Russia’s First Fifth-Generation Fighter: Sukhoi Su-57

The Sukhoi Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation jet fighter being developed since 2002 for air superiority and attack operations. The Su-57 is an outcome of the Russian Air Force’s PAK FA fifth-generation fighter jet programme. Codenamed ‘Felon’ by Nato, Su-57 is a twin-engine stealth fighter that will be used in both anti-air and air-to-ground operations. Originally it was thought that the PAK FA is an air superiority fighter, however it turned out that this aircraft has a secondary ground attack capability.

The SU-57 is a single-seat fifth-generation jet fighter with an external length of 20.1 meters, an external height of 3.8 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.9 meters. It has a tail height of 5.45 meters and a wheelbase of 7 meters. The wingspan is 14.1 meters and the wing area is 78.8 square meters. It has an empty weight of 18,000 kg, a gross weight of 25,000 kg on a typical mission, and 29,270 kg on full load. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 35,000 kg and an internal fuel capacity of 10,300 kg.

The initial production engines are two Saturn AL-41F1 two-shaft afterburning turbofans with thrust vectoring. It has four fans and nine HP compressor stages, annular combustors, and two single-stage turbines. The engine produces a 20,900 lbf dry thrust each and 33,100 lbf afterburning thrust. Two Izdeliye 30 turbofan engines with thrust vectoring are also in development rated at 24,300 lbf dry thrust and 39,700 lbf with afterburner.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,145 knots at altitude and 923 knots supercruise at altitude. It has a subsonic range of 1,900 nautical miles and a supersonic range of 810 nautical miles. It can fly up to 66,000 feet and can climb at a rate of 64,000 feet per minute. The SU-57 is armed with a single 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 autocannon, twelve hardpoints, and several missiles such as air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface-missiles, anti-ship missiles, and anti-radiation missiles. The aircraft also features the 101KS Atoll electro-optical targeting system for tracking and locating targets in aerial warfare.

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