Despite Beijing having its own fifth-generation fighter, Moscow may soon approve sales of the Su-57 to China and other countries like Turkey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin may sign off on sales of the Su-57E, an export variant of Sukhoi’s new Su-57 stealth fighter.
China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 in China or buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which could be another opportunity for the Su-57E.
During a press conference at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia. South Korea, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Turkey have also expressed interest in the plane.
Like the Su-35 Flanker-E, the Su-57 is built by Sukhoi, an aircraft design bureau that was rolled into the United Aircraft Corporation in 2006, along with other Russian plane makers.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said last July that Moscow wouldn’t seek mass-production of the Su-57 until Russia’s older fourth-generation jets begin to lag behind their competitors.
The first batch of Su-57s ordered included just a dozen jets, four of which were subsequently deployed to Syria. However, Sukhoi still has 10 different prototypes undergoing testing.
Alexander Pekarsh, the director of Sukhoi’s Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant, said at a press conference in February that the factory was “working on two aircraft under the contract with the Defense Ministry.
One that will be delivered this year and one next year, with the plane entering service with the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2020.
The plane is said to be comparable to the United States’ F-22 and F-35 jets, both of which are built by Lockheed Martin. It has super cruise capability, stealth technology, actively phased radar and can conduct air superiority or ground attack missions.
However, the Su-57 is purported to be only 40% of the cost of Lockheed’s offering, weighing in at roughly $40 to $45 million per plane, compared to the American planes that cost well over $100 million.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2019.