Frontier generation: The first mass-produced Russian Su-57 will go west
MOSCOW, (BM) – One of the first serial stealth fighters Su-57 will be aimed at strengthening the Western Military District, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Russian news agency Izvestia and sources in the Ministry of Defense.
It is in this direction that Russia borders on countries that already possess the most modern American fighters. Domestic VKS will receive “invisibility” early next year. The decision to deploy the latest Russian aircraft in the region was a response to the strengthening of the NATO air force, experts say.
In May, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the western strategic direction remains the most important for the country’s military security, so a “package of measures” will be implemented to neutralize emerging threats. Among them was the improvement of the combat strength of the Western Military District and equipping it with advanced technology. By the end of the year, the share of new and modernized weapons in the district is planned to be increased to 63%.
In early June, Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Sergei Rudskoy, noted that the Ministry of Defense recorded a high level of military activity by the United States and its NATO allies near the Russian borders, as well as an increase in the number of military training activities of the alliance troops with a clear anti-Russian focus.
On Saturday August 15, Washington and Warsaw signed an agreement on the redeployment of part of the American contingent from Germany to Poland. So far, it has announced the relocation of an additional 1,000 troops and the deployment of the recently recreated 5th US Army Corps headquarters. It was also reported that, if necessary, the number of soldiers in the country can be rapidly increased from the current 5.5 to 20 thousand.
The deployment of the Su-57 near the northwestern borders of Russia is an adequate response to NATO’s actions, says Colonel Vladimir Anokhin, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems.
“This will radically increase the capabilities of the ZVO aviation and make it possible to quickly destroy enemy aircraft in the region,” he told Izvestia. “NATO understands this very well. The creation of a powerful air grouping of the bloc near the north-western borders of Russia was a military-political adventure. The creation of a retaliatory aviation group, which has an order of magnitude greater strike capabilities, is a completely logical step of our leadership”.
By placing its aircraft in the region, NATO made a certain gesture, the expert added. “But when fighters such as the Su-57 appear there, we will see an emotional reaction. Combined with powerful ground forces, especially in the Kaliningrad region, the Russian air force will turn NATO’s military potential in the region into nothing”, he is confident.
The 6th Air Force and Air Defense Army, headquartered in St. Petersburg, covers the airspace over central Russia. But its main direction is the north-west, where our country borders on states receiving the latest American fifth-generation F-35 fighters.
The first 16 of 52 ordered F-35As have already been delivered to the Norwegian Air Force. Contracted 32 units and Poland. Denmark intends to acquire almost three dozen such fighters.
The Baltic countries do not have their own fighter aircraft and plans to create one. But since 2004, a NATO air patrol has been constantly on duty on their territory. To protect their airspace, the bloc member countries send their planes one by one on a rotational basis. Since 2014, the contingent has been increased to 12 modern fighters and dispersed over two airfields.
In the summer of 2019, the United States worked out a rapid increase in the number of its aviation in the Baltics in exercises. During Operation Rapid Forge, F-35s and modernized F-15Es were transferred from the American airbase in Germany to airbases in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.
Aircraft from the territory of the Baltic states regularly take to the air to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea to the Kaliningrad region and back.
Preparing for the series
Manufacturers are currently executing contracts to supply a total of 76 Su-57s to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The first production aircraft was to be handed over to the VKS at the end of last year. But due to its loss in an accident on December 24, plans had to be seriously adjusted. The construction of the next fighter should be completed by the end of this year.
State tests of a pre-production batch of Russian “invisible” vehicles are scheduled to be completed this year. In their course, Su-57 fighters have already visited Syria twice. There, they attacked militant targets using new guided missiles and bombs specially designed for these aircraft. According to the military, all the planned tasks were successfully completed.
The Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant (KNAAZ) has allocated a separate workshop for organizing a line for the assembly of fifth generation serial fighters. According to Ilya Tarasenko, general director of PJSC Sukhoi Company, its creation will be completed by the end of this year.
It is planned to reach the planned production rate of the Su-57 from 2024. As Izvestia previously wrote, by this time, within the framework of the Megapolis development work, its improved version of the “second stage” will be developed. Its distinctive feature will be the new generation “product 30” engines, super-maneuverability, improved avionics and an expanded set of high-precision weapons.
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