A series of images tweeted by Russian Su-57 jet manufacturer, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) today indicate that the stealth aircraft has entered serial production mode.
The images show several airframes under various stages of assembly being attended to by engineers at the assembly shop of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant. The tweeted images are remarkably clear showing close-ups of the fuselage, the engine bays and wings.
The assembly line had been set up only in September this year for the full-scale manufacture to fulfill a state order for 76 jets whose contract estimated at $2.7 billion had been signed in 2018.
Last week, Sergei Chemezov head of Rostec, the holding company for Russian aviation and defence entities, had said in an interaction with journalists, “In the near future, literally before the end of the year, we should deliver a serial-produced aircraft with the first-stage engine. It complies with all of the characteristics required of the fifth-generation aircraft.”
Chemezov’s statement indicates that aircraft to be delivered will have all the intended features such as stealth, electronic warfare, an advanced AESA radar for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat and targeting systems.
Some 10 prototype aircraft have already been delivered to the Russian MoD for testing by air force pilots. Results of the prototype testing are being incorporated into the serially-assembled aircraft, UAC officials had said earlier.
Aside of the Russian Air Force (RuAF) the Su-57 is being offered to international customers. Some reports say Algeria is a likely customer and would be supplied along with orders to the RuAF. However, there is no confirmation of this.
A production version of the Su-57 is expected to demonstrate at the Moscow Air show (MAKS) in 2021, sources in the know had told defenseworld.net.