If photos by Russian planespotters are to be believed, two more Sukhoi Su-57s have recently taken to the skies, bringing the grand total of mass-produced Russian fifth-generation fighter jets to five.
The two jets were spotted on May 25-26, 2022, in Novosibirsk, according to a Russian plane spotting channel.
The aircraft sport fuselage numbers “53” and “54”, making them fourth and fifth mass-produced Su-57s in existence.
The photos were first posted by Telegram channel Nsk Planes.
Although the serial production of the Su-57 was initially planned to start in 2016, it faced a string of delays and only started in 2019. The first aircraft crashed during a test flight before being delivered to the military. In December 2020, Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) received the second one, marked “01”.
Two more Su-57s – “02” and “52” – were delivered in December 2021. According to some reports, VKS also operates some of the 10 flyable prototypes manufactured between 2010 and 2017.
In June 2021, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that four Su-57s will be delivered in 2021, and their number will rise to 22 by the end of 2024. However, only two were delivered in 2021, and recent reports indicate that no more than four are expected in 2022.
In May 2022 Russian state news agency TASS reported that Su-57s have been used to launch stand-off weapons during Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, although the reports have not been independently confirmed.