International sales of Russia’s Su-57 jet are not expected to take off until Russia inducts the stealth fighter into the Russian Air Force (RuAF), according to Rostec aviation complex’s Industrial Director Anatoly Serdyukov.
"It is unlikely that there will be a significant demand until we ship enough machines in our own army. So, our number one goal is to ship the aircraft to the RuAF," Serdyukov said in comments quoted by TASS. Rostec is the holding company of Sukhoi which manufactures the Su-57 and other jets under the Sukhoi brand.
Nevertheless the marketing campaign to get foreign customers interested in the Su-57 has begun with the launch of the Su-57E, the export version of the Su-57 which was displayed at the recently concluded Army 2020 event in Moscow. “Meanwhile, we offer this machine to the foreigners, we conduct our advertisement campaign," Serdyukov said, without specifying what countries exactly may become potential buyers.
In addition, The Russian Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation spokeswoman Maria Vorobyova disclosed earlier that several countries sent their application for purchase of the Su-57.
The RuAF order for the Su-57 could be well on its way. In May 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting that 76 Su-57 fighters will be procured by the Armed Forces until 2028.
Following that Sukhoi Corp. set up a production line in Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant (KnAAZ) and recently has started setting up a final assembly shop to integrate the Su-57 stealth fighter jet.
"The factory of the company, Sukhoi in Komsomolsk-on-Amur carried out modernization and technical re-equipment of production, which allows us to successfully and timely fulfill the (Su-57) state defense order," General Director of PJSC Sukhoi Company Ilya Tarasenko was quoted as saying in a MoD announcement.
“As part of the state defense order, we plan to supply the Ministry of Defense with 76 Su-57 aircraft systems by 2028. Such workload allows us to ensure the dynamic development of the enterprise and assure jobs for our employees," he added.
As to exports Turkey and India could be possible buyers of the Su-57 given its price to performance ratio is much lower than the US-made F-35. However, the current Su-57 will not be able to exploit all of its advertised features without the “second stage” engine currently under development. The new engine is expected to offer increased thrust as well as super cruise capability over the current engine sourced from the Su-35.