BEIJING, (BM) – Chief designer at China’s Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute Wang Yongqing in a recent interview with Chinese media praised the design of Russia’s new Su-57 next generation fighter – a fighter which the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is expected to order for its Air Force or its Navy in the near future, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Military Watch.
Shenyang has developed two of China’s primary frontline fighters – the J-11B and J-16 both of which are derived from the Russian Su-27 Flanker high performance air superiority platform. The Su-57 was designed as a next generation analogue to the Su-27 to replace Flankers in the Russian Air Force and the fleets of export clients.
The fighter entered mass production in Russia in July 2019, with advanced prototypes seeing limited combat in Syria.
China has been a leading client for high end Russian air superiority fighters, and today deploys Su-27 derivatives in larger numbers than Russia itself including indigenous, Soviet and Russian built derivatives.
Despite a highly sophisticated military aviation sector of its own, China has been highlighted as a leading potential client for the Su-57 to complement the capabilities of its indigenous next generation fighters. Thus when asked about the possibility of a Chinese purchase of the Su-57, Wang Yongqing replied:
“China is really interested in the Su-57 and can import several units for their research and study, if possible. There are reasons. Russian technology implemented on the Su-57 could enable China to provide supersonic cruising speed capabilities for Chinese-made fighters. In addition, in this regard, Russians can learn to create aircraft with super-manoeuvrability, which is provided by both engines and airframe design.”
The Shenyang designer further noted that technology transfers accompanying the Su-57 sale could complement the next generation technologies developed in China itself, and improve the capabilities of its own next generation fighter jets such as the J-11D and J-20.
Comparing the Su-57 and the J-20, while both are heavyweight aircraft designed for air superiority missions both are very different. The J-20 is though to benefit from more advanced avionics and superior stealth capabilities, and appears to have integrated new technologies such as a distributed aperture systems and new engines at a far faster rate.
The Su-57 is a more manoeuvrable and versatile design however, and benefits from a number of unique technologies such as cheek mounted radars and laser defence systems. The fighter is more capable in strike and anti shipping roles, and can deploy an unrivalled arsenal of ten air to air missiles including a range of cruise missiles and even hypersonic anti ship ballistic missiles.
This could allow the Su-57 to perform effectively as a maritime strike fighter – complementing the J-20’s capabilities as a dedicated air superiority fighter. The development of carrier based variants of the Su-57 could also be of interest to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy as a successor to the J-15 Flying Shark.
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Editorial team / Military Watch