Russian Ministry of Defence has revealed the delivery dates of Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets to the Russian Aerospace Forces. The new engines of the fifth-generation jets are expected in the second half of the 2020s.
Deputy Minister of Defence of Russian Federation Alexei Krivoruchko specified that deliveries would be carried out in two steps. For the first set of deliveries, planned to be completed by the middle of the 2020s, Su-57 jets would be equipped with fourth-generation engines.
“In the second stage, after the completion of tests, supplies of the engine and fifth-generation power units with increased fuel efficiency and lower life cycle costs will begin,” Krivoruchko explained. Deliveries of Su-57 fighters with the fifth-generation engines will begin after the mid-2020s.
According to the initial plan, the Russian Aerospace Forces were to get the first Su-57 fighters in 2020, but deliveries were postponed after a jet crashed during the test flight on December 30, 2019.
Russian Aerospace Forces placed an order for 76 Su-57 fighter jets at the Army-2019 forum. On December 27, 2019, Algerian defense media Menadefense reported that Algerian Air Force ordered 14 Su-57 fighter jets in export version, becoming the very first export customer for the Su-57. However, that order has yet to be confirmed.
Currently, the Su-57 jets are undergoing a series of tests that involve the evaluation of fighters’ functioning systems and operating conditions of the second stage engine. Russian Ministry of Defence also stated that Su-57 was successfully tested in Syria.
On December 24, 2019, the first production Su-57 took off from the test runway in Dzyomgi Airport (UHKD). For an unknown reason, the fighter crashed 111 km away from the airport. The pilot successfully ejected and was recovered unharmed. The reason for the crash could be related to a failure of the tail control system, as two sources later told TASS news agency.
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation Russian multi-role fighter developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It is the first Russian stealth aircraft and the first brand new fighter designed by the country since the end of the Soviet era. The development of the aircraft began in the early 2000s.