‘Upgraded’ Russian Su-57E and Su-75 Fighters to be Presented at Indian Air Show – Though Russia has yet to reach full serial production for its Sukhoi Su-57 (NATO reporting name “Felon”) fifth-generation fighter and has only employed the aircraft a few times in combat operations in Ukraine, efforts continue to attract foreign buyers.

That explains why state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced that the Su-57E export model will be among the platforms presented at next week’s 14th Aero India 2023 International Air Show in Bangalore, India.

“Rosoboronexport will feature about 200 types of the most advanced Russian-made armaments and military hardware, including the Su-57E top-notch fifth-generation multirole fighter and the Checkmate light tactical aircraft,” the arms seller’s press office told state media outlet Tass on Thursday.

The Su-75 “Checkmate” is Russia’s low-cost fifth-generation fighter that was first announced in 2021 and which has yet to make its maiden flight. As previously reported, Moscow has sought a foreign partner to help fund the development of the Checkmate – and the project has seemed little more than “vaporware.”

The Russian state-owned arms producer ROSTEC is now seeking interest from India to co-produce the fighter.

Other Russian Offerings

At Aero India 2023, now among the largest air shows in Asia, Russia will also present a number of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft including the Il-76MD-90A(E) military transport plane, the Il-78MK-90A aerial refuelling tanker, the Su-35 and Su-30SME fighters, and the MiG-35D multirole jet fighter.

In addition, it will demonstrate the upgraded Ka-52E and Mi-28NE combat helicopters and Mi-171Sh military transport rotorcraft.

Rosoboronexport also announced that it will present the Ka-226T light utility helicopter, which could be produced by Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited, a joint venture with the participation of Russian and Indian industrial companies that is part of New Delhi’s Make in India program.
Drone On

Last year, the Kremlin was forced to turn to Iran to acquire a number of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to aid its war effort in Ukraine. However, Russia will present its domestically-built Orlan-30 reconnaissance drone at the Aero India 2023 air show – the first time it has been presented abroad.

“Visitors to the Rosoboronexport display stand are invited to see Russian unmanned aerial vehicles, including the Orion-E reconnaissance/strike UAV, the Orlan-10E reconnaissance UAV and the Orlan-30, a new product launched in 2022,” the company’s press office added.

The Orlan-30 drone system was reported to be engineered and produced by the Special Technology Center.

It is a follow-up of the Orlan-10 UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that already enjoys strong demand on the world market. According to the company, the new Orlan-30 was designed for conducting aerial reconnaissance, searching for, detecting, and identifying objects in the visible or infrared range. In addition, when equipped with a mission payload, it provides target designation for precision-guided weapons for destroying fixed and moving targets in the daytime or at night.

Why the Orlan-10 hasn’t been more widely employed in Ukraine is something that Rosoboronexport hasn’t note, but it is likely a matter of funding issues, while the system also relies on Western-made components – a problem with many of Russia’s military platforms.

Perhaps Russia will try to seek partners at the air show to address those issues.