Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet will be equipped with a new higher thrust engine besides being armed with hypersonic missiles by 2027.
About 25 aircraft out of 76 aircraft being manufactured under the long-term contract already concluded (between Su-57 manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and the Russian MoD) be initially equipped with the new engine and hypersonic missiles, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Russian Military-Industrial Commission (MIC) Andrei Yelchaninov said in an interview with Interfax today.
The Su-57 fighter will be armed with hypersonic weapons, from 2027 the aircraft will go to the troops with a new engine (also called second stage engine), he said.
“In the short term, the Su-57 will be able to use hypersonic weapons, the missile is already ready,” Yelchaninov said.
The hypersonic weapon earmarked for the Su-57 will most probably be the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal that has already been tested from the underbelly of a MiG-31. Believed to fly at a speed of between Mach 7-10, the missile can tear through any known defenses due to it high speed.
Earlier reports said that a weapon similar to the Kinzal would be mounted in the internal belly of the Su-57 so as to minimize its radar signature.
At the end of 2020, the first serial Su-57 was accepted into the Russian Aerospace Forces. By the end of 2024, the Russian military plans to receive another 22 such aircraft. In total, by 2028, 76 fifth-generation fighters should be produced, which will be equipped with three air regiments.
The so-called “second stage” engine (code named- product 30 produced by UEC), will provide the Su-57 with supersonic cruising speed, began flight tests in December 2017. Its increased thrust over the current first stage engine of the Su-57 (derived from the AL41 engine of the Su-35), will enable it carry a heavier weapons load.