Su-57 has a strong trump card that can put China in an awkward situation
BEIJING, (BM) – Russia’s fifth generation Su-57 fighters are of great interest to China, but there is a reason why Beijing will not buy these aircraft, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Chinese news agency Sohu.
Russia attaches great importance to the export of its military products and is the second largest arms dealer in the world. The country earns billions of dollars annually from supplying arms to other countries. According to many experts, one of the most valuable assets in the Russian export catalog will be the Su-57 fighters, in which several states are showing interest at once.
China is often mentioned among the latter, but this deal may never take place. This is reported by the Sohu edition. PolitRussia presents an exclusive translation of this publication.
“China is massively equipping its army with J-20 and J-31 fighters, and at first glance it does not have a great need to buy foreign aircraft <…> Then why do military analysts constantly attribute China’s interest in Russian Su-57s?” – ask the authors of Sohu.
According to Chinese observers, the Su-57 has one strong trump card that the J-20 lacks. The fact is that Russian developers in the course of designing the aircraft provided for an important point. They laid in it the ability to land in difficult conditions, including the ability to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. This machine, if desired, can be upgraded to a carrier-based fighter, which its competitors from China cannot boast of.
“The Su-57 is more suitable for use as a carrier-based fighter than the Chinese J-20 <…> In general, the Russian aircraft can easily cope even with the American F-35, and it also has great potential for further growth,” journalists from the PRC stated.
Many Su-57 systems are of great interest to China; the Russian aircraft is equipped with unique radars and outstanding engines. However, despite all the prospects of this machine, the Chinese army cannot go for their direct purchase. Beijing is striving for independence in military development and does not regret their advancement of forces and means. The Su-57 deal will discredit these undertakings, and the country will find itself in an awkward situation.
The PRC has only one chance to get these aircraft – to take part in their development and production. Technical cooperation with the Russian Federation will look more appropriate and will not harm local producers. In exchange for more advanced Russian technologies, the Chinese side can provide money and its own developments.
Russia tries something different – an ‘electric’ Su-57 fighter jet
Russian aerospace forces can get an “electric plane.” As we reported on April 27 this year on a fifth-generation fighter, hydraulic systems will be replaced by electric engines. This will reduce the radar visibility of the machine, increase its maneuverability and simplify maintenance.
It is planned that the “electric” Su-57 will be able to fly in 2022. According to experts, the modernization will also make the fighter more tenacious when hit by missiles and shells.
Russia plans mass export of Su-57 and to enter the market of combat drones
As we reported on June 16 the Sukhoi intends to establish serial production of an export version of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter and launch combat drones on the market, follows from the company’s annual report for 2019.
“The long-term prospects of society in the market of military aircraft are related to the serial production of the Su-57 (PAK FA, T-50) and its export version, as well as the entry of unmanned aircraft systems into the market,” the report says.
It notes that the fifth generation fighter is “at the final stage of testing.” [We recall that earlier this month the Russian Su-57 conducted the latest tests stage – ed.]
“Among the countries most interested in the export of Russian military aircraft are the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Southeast Asia and North Africa,” the document says.
According to the company, in the future it is also necessary to “take into account the general development trends of military aircraft in the world, which society must follow.”
Among these trends are the creation of hypersonic combat aviation systems capable of performing combat missions in near space, in dense layers of the atmosphere and under the influence of plasma; increasing the level of intellectualization of aircraft control, the creation of robotic airline complexes, as well as the development of fundamentally new types of aircraft weapons, including high-power lasers.
As Interfax reported, the Sukhoi company developed Russia’s first heavy impact drone of long duration – the Okhotnik. On August 3, 2019, he first flew up to the sky. Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov’s office previously reported that the main scope of the Okhotnik’s flight tests is planned to be carried out in 2023–2024, including in the strike version with various aviation weapons, and serial deliveries of drones to the Russian military should begin in 2025.
Felon or ‘the Criminal’. Thus, NATO named the newest Russian fighter, Su-57, which by its characteristics is a combat multi-role fighter. The fighter is designed according to the instructions of the Russian Air Force, as part of the PAK-FA program. The Su-57 has not one but two engines. The main goal of the PAK-FA program is to replace the existing Sukhoi Su-27. Nearly three years ago [August, 2017], the new Moscow fighter received its designation Su-57, while the type is more popular as a prototype Sukhoi T-50.
On the basis of the “FGFA program”, a two-seat variant for the Indian Air Force should also be developed. However, India dropped out of the project in spring 2018.
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