Russian media has reported that the Russian Air Force received two more Sukhoi Su-57 Felon fifth-generation fighter jets in the closing days of 2021.
These are the third and the fourth serially-produced Su-57s. The first crashed in 2019, before being delivered to the military. The second was delivered in December 2020.
The new deliveries mean that Russia’s Su-57 fleet now consists of three aircraft, not counting the prototypes.
The information about the new deliveries first appeared on January 20, 2021, in an announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defense. According to the deputy Minister of Defense Aleksey Krivoruchko, 77 new and modernized airplanes, including two Su-57s, had been delivered to the Russian Air Force.
Any reference to the stealth jets was later removed from the press release, which appeared on the Ministry’s website. However, it remained in an article written by Russian state news agency, TASS.
At least one of the new jets, with the fuselage number ’52’, can be seen in Sukhoi’s recently-published promotional video. This suggests that the second aircraft has the fuselage number ’51’, Russian aviation news website, Aviation21.ru noted.
With just two aircraft handed over in 2021, deliveries of the Su-57 are lower than previously expected. According to a TASS report from June 2021, which cites the Russian deputy prime minister, Sukhoi was due to deliver four Su-57s in 2021. Sukhoi had also previously announced plans to increase production to 15 Su-57s per year by 2022, and to deliver more than 70 Felons by 2028.