United Engine Corporation (UEC), Russia’s sole aero-engine manufacturer has confirmed that the proposed ‘second stage’ engine for the Su-57 stealth fighter jet will have super-cruise function which will form a part of the aircraft’s stealth functionality.
Super-cruise is a key requirement for a stealth aircraft and this is being cited as the key reason for India reportedly halting its participation in the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project which involves developing a new aircraft for India based on the Su-57 development. The aircraft was previously called the PAK-FA.
“Super-cruise means an ability to cruise at supersonic speed without after-burners which translates into significant benefits for the aircraft on mission,” head of marketing of UEC, Anton Chechukov told this correspondent.
The second stage engine, marked its first test flight in December 2017 on board a Su-57 fighter jet and that further developments are going on, said Chechukov. He however refused to divulge any technical details.
Sources in United Aircraft Corporation which is building the Su-57 and Rosoboronexport the Russian arms export agency, separately told this correspondent that the stealth fighter program had not been abandoned and that India and Russia will take it forward when the engine and other technologies sought by India in the FGFA were ready for export.
The Su-57 features include six internal weapons hard-points to sharply reduce radar signature, top speed up to Mach 2, X-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for situation awareness, L-band AESA radar for target identification, infra-red search and track (IRST) system to identify objects through their heat signature for targets beyond the radar’s range.