Russia reported the KRBB – a new missile for its criminal Su-57

Despite its limited usage in Ukraine, Russia’s advanced Su-57 stealth fighter jet, known for being the fifth-generation aircraft, is now being enhanced with an in-body air-launched cruise missile [ALCM] to possess long-range strike capabilities.¬†

According to an insider cited by RIA Novosti, a¬†Russian news agency, “The newly-developed KRBB [Long-range cruise missile] with internal placement is intended for the Su-57. Although its dimensions are comparatively smaller, the missile’s range is akin to the weaponry used in long-range aviation such as the strategic bombers Tu-95MS and Tu-160.”¬†

Digging deeper into the waning dimensions of the weapon, the source highlighted that “the substantial shrinkage of the new ordnance owes to the intricately perfected design of the foldable wings and internal layout coupled with the utilization of a¬†compact, high-efficiency, dual-circuit turbojet engine.”

Russian Su-57 Felon gets a R-37M missile with a 300 km range
Photo credit: Sukhoi

The report highlighted the capabilities of long-range air-launched cruise missiles, emphasizing that these projectiles can accurately strike targets up to 600 kilometers away. The document provides specifics regarding the usage pattern of the Russian Aerospace Forces, stating that their long-range operations primarily involve cruise missiles with a range between 1,000 and 6,500 kilometers. 

This assessment emerged slightly over one month after the VKS reportedly kitted out its latest Su-34M Fullback with Long Range Cruise Missiles [LRCMs]. These long-distance cruise missiles, currently deployed on the Su-34M ‚Ästor else known as Su-34NVO in Russia ‚Ästwere reportedly launched into the designated ‚Äúspecial military operation zone‚ÄĚ within Ukraine.

An authoritative source, who wished to remain unnamed, informed the press that there was a trial involving the Su-34, under the Special Purpose Vehicle [SPV], employing a long-range cruise missile that had never been paired with these aircraft before. Despite the missile and the aircraft not being new, this marked their first combined operation, presenting a broader potential for utilization of both the missile and the plane. 

Su-57's AESA isn't dangerous to F-35, but the passive sensors are
Photo credit: Getty Images

Mirroring their current stand on the long-range cruise missile designed for the Su-57, Russian authorities chose not to reveal the missile’s identity then. In both instances, there has been a¬†conspicuous silence from the state media as well as the Russian Ministry of Defense [MoD], avoiding specific references to these missiles.

Earlier in the year, it was suggested that Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter plane could potentially be equipped with missiles capable of striking targets approximately 300 kilometers away. This information comes directly from sources within Russia’s defense industry. 

An unnamed informant from the military-industrial complex shared with TASS that the Su-57 fighter is currently capable of “hitting targets from a distance of 120 kilometers in active warfare.” It was further imparted that the arrival of new aircraft missiles, capable of hitting targets up to 300 kilometers away, is imminent.

Su-34 and Su-57 have begun using the new GROM gliding munition
Photo credit: Yandex

The military fighter in question currently operates at a distance of 120 kilometers. Shortly, it is anticipated that aircraft missiles capable of targeting high-speed air objects at a distance of up to 300 kilometers will arrive,” relayed an undisclosed source. 

Previously, several sources speculated that this yet-to-be-identified weapon could indeed be the upgraded version of the R-37 or RVV-BD/R-37M air-to-air missile [AAM] –¬†a powerful device first introduced in 1989. Capable of being launched from several aircraft including both the Su-57 and the Su-35S, it can engage targets at both low and high altitudes and up to a¬†range of 300 kilometers. However, the reported missile, designed for usage in fifth-generation jets, has yet to be officially revealed.

Featuring two substantial internal weapon bays situated between the engines and two side bays devised for short-range air-to-air missiles, the Su-57 is fully equipped with a noteworthy range of defensive and offensive capabilities. These include the proficiency to accommodate a varied assemblage of weaponry on its ten internal and six external hardpoints. Among these are the R-74M Archer and R-77M Adder air-to-air missile [AAM] technologies, in addition to the Kh-38M air-to-surface missiles. The aircraft is also furnished with Kh-31AD and Kh-35U anti-ship missiles, further enhanced by the Kh-31PD and Kh-58UShK anti-radiation missiles.

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

The introduction of advanced long-range cruise missiles into the fleet is invaluable, given the potential for Russia to deploy the Su-57 for remotely striking on the ground while avoiding infiltration into adversarial territories. This approach would help circumvent detection by US/NATO E-3 Sentry Airborne Early Warning [AEW] aircraft, which vigilantly patrol the alliance’s precincts.

Russia continually adapts and innovates

The Sukhoi Su-57, commonly referred to as ‘Felon’ [The Criminal] within NATO’s nomenclature, is a¬†multifaceted, fifth-generation fighter aircraft engineered by Russia. The design aims to serve dual purposes –¬†overarchingly, it is envisioned for air-to-ground combat, while also being equipped for achieving air superiority or dominance. This avant-garde aircraft integrates the latest in onboard technology, inclusive of radar-absorbing coatings, clandestine internal weapons bays, and the¬†potential to achieve supersonic cruising speeds.¬†

Eminent among its cutting-edge features are a sophisticated communication system, an intuitive pilot interface, and a technologically advanced cockpit. It has been suggested by Russian official media outlets that some of these functionalities may be strengthened through the implementation of artificial intelligence [AI].

Russian Su-57 Felon has begun tests of new engine flat nozzles
Photo credit: Dzen.ru

Vladimir Artyakov, Rostec’s First Deputy General Director, has stated this year that the Su-57 platform is going through an evolutionary phase. “Its combat abilities are being enhanced and the latest technological advancements are being incorporated into the vehicle, thereby continuing to magnify its efficacy,” he communicated to the press.¬†

Furthering the discussion, Artyakov proclaimed that the existing pact with the Russian Ministry of Defense would commence the delivery of Su-57 aircraft equipped with second-stage engines. “Aircrafts fitted with the engine of the second stage are presently undergoing flight examinations. Under the current serial agreement, there is a¬†plan to equip the Su-57 with a¬†new engine ‚Ästa project that the UEC and UAC are keenly working on,” elaborated Artyakov.

The representative further elaborated that the Su-57 is designed to operate with both first and second-stage engines. He declared, “Even with the engine of the first stage, the aircraft meets all fundamental criteria of a¬†fifth-generation fighter.”¬†

Su-57 gets a Kh-69 missile for hitting railway stations and hubs
Photo credit: Telegram

In recent developments, it was reported that the Su-57s have now been outfitted with sensor fusion and data links, seemingly backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning [AI-ML] capabilities. These technological advancements effectively support tactical operations including target allocation, choice of attack path, timing of missile deployment, and interference with enemy aircraft. The system provides “critical assistance to the pilot during time-sensitive decisions and enables swift interaction between paired pilots.” Notably, an AI-empowered communication system for the Su-57 was allegedly developed by Rostec Corporation in April.

Truth or rumors - Algeria 'buys' 14 Su-57 fighter jets, Russia media claimed
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Su-57 has been employed within the Ukraine territory for surveillance activities. Notably, it was purportedly utilized within Russian borders in a June 2022 operation designated as Suppression of Enemy Air Defense/Destruction of Enemy Air Defense [SEAD/DEAD] without violating Ukrainian airspace. 

Presently, the Su-57 is in the early stages of limited production, a¬†process projected to gradually escalate. It is noteworthy that, following the enforcement of strict international sanctions after the invasion, the Russian military-industrial complex made a¬†public announcement in September of this year about the successful procurement of a¬†new unit of Su-57 ‘Felon’ and Su-35S combat aircraft for the Russian Aerospace Forces.

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