Russian Su-57 Stealth Fighter

Anatomy of War: Dancing on the Edge of the Precipice


Thus far, Sukhoi has sold a paltry dozen Su-57s to the Russian Air Force and none for foreign export, despite entering into an agreement with India for a number of potential variants

Much has been made of Russia’s so-called fifth generation fighter, the Su-57 (formerly the Pak FA), although, according to recent reports, it may be a stealth aircraft in name only. Jane’s, the holy grail of weapons analysis and performance, has gone on record to indicate that the Su-57 is already a dismal failure, an aircraft that was supposed to turn the military aviation world on its ear and serve as a viable contender to go toe-to-toe with both the USAF F-22 and F-35 entrants.

According to Jane’s, there are a number of critical areas in which the Su-57 fails to live up to its billing. For one, the aircraft’s internal weapons compartment is incapable of storing some of the latest weapons in the Russian arsenal, forcing the designers to hang the ordnance as external stores, thus all but undermining the aircraft’s stealth profile. Meanwhile, the aircraft’s power plant borrows from older fourth generation weapons platforms, and from a cursory observation, doesn’t seem to be shrouded in any type of heat dampening mechanism, again defeating the aircraft’s radar cross section return. Interestingly, NATO has yet to assign a reporting name to the Su-57, something they typically do for all potential adversarial aircraft produced by Russian aircraft makers. Perhaps they will go with “Failure”.

More information on Jane’s critical analysis can be found here:

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