MOSCOW ($1=61.50 Russian Rubles) — Officially, Russia has seven series-produced Su-57 Felon fighters. There are 17 in total, as ten are prototypes and used to develop the final version, which entered serial production in 2020. However, Russia is slowly producing the Su-57. However, experts claim, as well as the general director of AUK, Mr. Yuri Slyusar, that in 2025 Russia will have at least one squadron of Su-57s.
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Where will these planes go first? The first produced is already serving the Western Military District as early as 2021. However, the remaining six so far are located on the outskirts of the Su-57 Komsomolsk on the Amur plant.
In the Dzomgi region, where the plant is located, the 23rd regiment operates. The regiment is made up of the elite ground and air forces. The 23rd Regiment is no accident. It can be said that this regiment is privileged as it was the first to fly the first Su-27 Flanker and Su-35 Flanker-E years ago.
The pilots of the 23rd regiment were the first to be sent into combat in the war with Ukraine. Before the war, they conducted some exercises and were stationed in Belarus. These are the soldiers who attacked Ukraine from Belarusian territory.
It is currently known that a training program for future Su-57 pilots is underway. All of them [pilots] are from the 23rd regiment. The information was officially confirmed by the deputy commander of the regiment, lieutenant colonel Ilya Sizov. Lieutenant Colonel Sizov confirmed to Russian media that his pilots are currently undergoing theoretical training, after which field training and the first real flights with the Su-57 begin.
The pilots of the 23rd regiment are being trained under the program for next-generation fighters, the Russian sources said. All of them conduct their training at the 4th State Center for Training and Military Evaluation of Air Force Personnel in Lipetsk. The exercises correspond to developed Russian air tactics procedures, the sources said.
The 23rd Regiment enjoys an extremely high status among the Air and Space Forces [VKS] of Russia. The elite unit is so highly classified among the other regiments of the Russian VKS that the 23rd is said to be the reason why Su-57 production has been delayed for years. According to the claims, the test pilots of the regiment evaluated the capabilities of the aircraft and according to their preferences, it was modified over the years, which led to delays in the final design and its serial production.
Most likely, according to Russian sources familiar with the matter, the 23rd Aviation Regiment will form the first full squadron of Su-57M fighters, which will be the next upgrade to the basic Su-57. This is expected to happen in 2025-2026, and the fighters used by the elite unit until then will be redistributed to the various aviation regiments in Russia.
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