Sukhoi Su-57

YouTube – Sukhoi Su-57


Est. US$Cost:
Primary Function:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max Speed:
Climb Rate:
Max. G. load:
First Flight:
Initial Operation:
$48 million
one – 30 mm
16,500 lbs.
Saturn AL41
2 x 40,000 lbs. ea. (est.)
39,700 lbs.
77,200 lbs.
65 ft. 0 in.
45 ft. 10 in.
750 – 1,100 mph
1,600+ mph
65,000 fpm
65,500 feet
1,900 miles
+ – 9.5


Sukhoi Su-57

It was planned that the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 developed from the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA program would be offered for export in 2025.  Its selling price was to be around the equivalent of US$60 million today.  It was anticipated that total development cost would be around US$10 billion.

The Indian government was contributing heavily to the development of the aircraft. The Sukhoi Su-57 was being co-developed by HAL in India. It was anticipated that the aircraft would also be flown by the Indian Air Force.  However, on April 20, 2018 it was announced that on going disagreements with Russia regarding expenses and technology were too great to be overcome and India would no longer participate in the project.

A total of ten prototype Sukhoi Su-57 aircraft have been flight tested some several thousand hours, according to the Executive Director of Rostec Corporation, Oleg Yevtushenko. The aircraft is being developed as a supersonic stealthy fighter/bomber that is intended to replace a number of aging Russian aircraft.  The first operational serial production Sukhoi Su-57 aircraft was deployed on December 25, 2020, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

The origins of the Sukhoi Su-57 date back to 1989 when the then Soviet Union decided on a strategy of combining technology used on current fighter jet aircraft with the latest advances in super cruise and stealth engineering.

The project saw considerable delays with the break up of the Soviet Union and ensuing financial problems. Once funding for the program was reestablished, additional delays were encountered in the development of avionics and engine technology.

The first prototype aircraft flew on January 29, 2010. Nine additional prototype aircraft have now joined it. The aircraft made its first public appearance at the MAKS 2011 Air Show on August 17, 2011.

We are told that the design of the Sukhoi Su-57 presents a minimal target for radar while enabling maximum maneuverability throughout its flight envelope. Its overall handling characteristics enable high alpha flight angles. The use of its fuselage as a lifting body facilitates high altitude maneuverability. About one quarter of the aircraft is built from composite materials, to resist degradation by high temperatures generated at supersonic aircraft speeds, for higher strength, lower weight, and corrosion resistance.

The digitally controlled twin engines of the Sukhoi Su-57 allow super cruise flight, while giving it the potential of top speeds in the 1,600 + MPH range.  Each engine has independently operated thrust vectoring exhaust nozzles for increased maneuverability.

The total internal fuel of the Sukhoi Su-57 has been estimated to be around 23,000 lbs., giving the aircraft a long range. It is also equipped for in-flight refueling.

Internal weapons bays of the Sukhoi Su-57 suggest that they should be able to carry a combination of missiles and up to ten 1,000 lb. smart bombs. There are six external hardpoints under the aircraft’s wings when not flying in stealth mode.

The cockpit of the Sukhoi Su-57 is coated with a special composite material that minimizes its radar signature. The latest computerized avionics for use by the aircraft are designed to reduce the pilot work load in order that full mission engagement is provided. Full tactical analysis would be provided in real time to the pilot through an array of color monitors. The information would also be available for instant analysis through a data exchange network synchronized to ground control. Data detection would be through an array of antennas producing variable radiation patterns with actively modified output energy. These are designed to maximize acquisition of desired targets through a common data feed.

It was anticipated that along with Russia’s most advanced avionics, the Sukhoi Su-57 would carry both L band and X band radars. It is also possible that it could be equipped for electronic warfare. Recent thinking was that its primary mission was to be for use as a stealthy fighter/bomber.

Sukhoi Su-57 aircraft are being equipped with DIRCM (Direct Infrared Counter Measures) systems.  They work by having a pair of lasers on board the Su-57 aircraft lock on to an infrared guided missile attacking the aircraft.  The lasers are intended to blind the missiles tracking, therefor keeping it from reaching the target aircraft.  Such systems are used on military transports and helicopters against ground to air missiles, but this appears to be the only example of being used on a fighter aircraft against air-to-air missiles.

It was reported that two Su-57 aircraft were deployed to Syria’s Khmeimim Air Base on February 21st and 22nd 2018.  According to Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu, “The Su-57s conducted “practical” test launches of “promising multipurpose tactical cruise missiles.”   Why the tests should be conducted in heavily populated areas, where they could easily be observed by coalition forces including Israel or other coalition countries, is unknown.  There were no observations of any such tests. Russia desperately needs foreign investment to continue work on the Su-57. There is speculation that in that context, a dramatic, possible staged missile test could make sense.

It appears that Russia has ordered twelve Su-57 aircraft.  Although it was originally thought that deliveries would be through 2025, on June 30, 2018 Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Alexey Krivoruchko told reporters that “deliveries will start shortly”.  The Russian Ministry of Defense further issued a statement that all twelve aircraft would be delivered by mid 2019.

On July 2, 2018 Deputy Prime Minister of Russia for Defense and Space Industry Yuri Borisov said, “Russia has no plans for mass-producing the Sukhoi Su-57.  You know that today the Su-57 is considered to be one of the best aircraft produced in the world. Consequently, it does not make sense to speed up work on mass-producing the fifth-generation aircraft.”  Whether the order for twelve aircraft has been canceled, or are considered pre-production prototypes has not been made clear.

According to a July 14, 2018 Aviation International News article, due to lack of new engines and radar, the Russian Air Force does not feel that the Sukhoi Su-57 offers any significant advantages over other Russian aircraft. Unlike other Russian aircraft there are no major orders for the Su-57 and it is unlikely that funding will become available to further its development.

May 16, 2019:   Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin announced that “in the near future” a contract will be issued for a total of 76 Su-57 aircraft for deliveries to the Russian Air Fore by 2028. Sources say that the aircraft are now viable for the Russian Air Force due to a 20 percent price reduction that was realized through production process improvements and unspecified changes to the aircraft.

On June 27, 2019 Russian Minister of Industry Denis Manturov told reporters that Russia has contracted with Sukhoi to purchase a total of 76 Su-57 aircraft, valued at some US$2.63 billion (includes additional associated items), which will be supplied by 2028.

On Dec. 24, 2019 a Su-57 undergoing the end stage of a factory trial test flight, being flown by a civilian pilot, crashed in the Khabarovsk region of eastern Russia, some 70 miles from the Sukhoi manufacturing plant at the Dzyomgi air base. It is reported that when a control system failed, the aircraft entered into an unrecoverable spiraling descent and the pilot ejected safely. The aircraft was the first serial-produced Su-57 and the first ever Su-57 reported as being lost in a crash.


RC Sukhoi Su-57

The RC Sukhoi Su-57 from comes ready to fly with two 2100 kV motors turning 70 mm fans, retracts, thrust vectoring, and two 11.1V 25C 4,000 mAh Li-Po batteries.  It has a wingspan of 42 1/2 in. and length of 62 1/2 in. Weight is around 6 3/4 lbs.


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