Britain: Five Su-57s are deployed 500 km from Ukraine and strike

LONDON, UK — British intelligence has released a satellite image of the airport in Akhtubinsk, Astrakhan Oblast, Russia. A closer look at one of the satellite images shows at least five Su-57 Felon stealth fighters. British intelligence has dated the photo December 25, meaning five Su-57s were at the airfield on that day.

Britain: Five Su-57s are deployed 500 km from Ukraine and strike
Photo credit: UK MoD

Akhtubinsk is a city in the Astrakhan region. The air distance between Akhtubinsk and the nearest point in Ukraine is 500 km. Akhtubinsk is located near the Volga River. The city is the administrative center of the Akhtubinsky district. Its population as of January 1, 2018, is 37,560 people.

According to British intelligence analysis, Russia used the five Su-57 Felons to carry out air-to-air missile strikes against targets in Ukraine. London claims that Russia is using the Su-57 for airstrikes beyond visual range. The reason: Russia is afraid of losing its reputation as the most advanced fighter in the Russian Air Force if it is shot down during a raid over Ukraine.

In fact, the information shared by British intelligence is not news. In 2022, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation confirmed the words of the British intelligence analysis. Mr. Sergey Shoigu even said that the Su-57 performed excellently in hitting targets beyond the visual range.

In the same interview, Mr. Shoigu gave in October, he confirmed that the Su-57 Felon had taken part in military operations in Syria. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that in 2021 it published a satellite photo of Khmeimim air base in Syria, where two Su-57 fighters were deployed.

BulgarianMilitary.com also suggested that these fighters are in Syria to participate in real combat missions, as part of state tests before being accepted for serial production.

Russia has plans for the Su-57

The participation of the Su-57 in the Russian military actions in Ukraine is also not to be underestimated. Although Russia is not using its full potential, Moscow’s plans are to phase out the 4th generation fighters. Russian experts claim that Russia will reduce the quantity and domestic production of the Su-30 Flanker-C, the Su-34 Fullback, and the Su-35 Flanker-E.

Moscow has long loudly advertised the new production facilities of the A. Gagarin plant in Komsomolsk on the Amur. Also, the Russian Izdelie 30 engine will power the new batches of Su-57s coming off the production line. Last but not least – Russia plans to have the first fully built Su-57 squadron located in the 23rd air regiment located near the plant.

'Non-classical' Su-57s are using Soviet-made Kh-59 ASM in Ukraine
Photo credit: TASS

On December 28, the Russian Air Force accepted another delivery of four Su-57 Felons. The CEO of Rostech, Mr. Sergey Chemezov, announced same day that with today’s delivery, Russia has received what was planned for this year. The combat aircraft, which is planned for delivery at the beginning of 2023, is already in serial production, added Mr. Chemezov.

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