In 2021, Russia produced only 3 Su-57 Felon fighters, 8 more in 2022, and 10 in 2023, although Moscow’s plan is to produce 14.
If this is the case, by the end of 2023, Russia will have one regiment, because each Su-57 is equivalent to 3 conventional 4++ generation fighters, and works closely with no less powerful Su-35. According to the famous German aviation magazine Flug Revue wrote in a series of articles analyzing the performance of fifth-generation fighters in the Russian Air Force.
The German newspaper said that the stealth technology on the Su-57 needs to be carefully evaluated. Experts commented that Russia’s fifth-generation fighter deserves to be called a “super fighter” and a “jewel of the Russian defense industrial complex”. Currently the Komsomolsk-on-Amur plant is undergoing a revolutionary modernization process. New production technologies and automated processes are being actively adopted to speed up production.
The Russians are expected to produce 22 Su-57s by 2024 and as such, their number will reach 44 in two years. The next batch of Su-57 is expected to be delivered this spring. And according to experts, this will bring the number of active Felon fighters to 12. By the end of this year, it is likely that the majority of the Su-57 squadron will be transferred to the Western and Southern military districts, becoming a direct threat to NATO and its allies.
The stealth capability of the Su-57 is considered inferior to Western competitors, but it is superior to the F-35 in terms of maneuverability, flight range and weapon range. It is unlikely that the Russians will create the Felon fleet in numbers as large as the Lightning II, but for Moscow, this is not the ultimate goal. This comment was written by another expert from the US National Interest magazine. Accordingly, the focus on the range of weapons has made Felon truly multifunctional.
The Su-57 is primarily an extremely powerful air-to-air weapon carrier. This is an advanced P-77 missile under the brand K-77, K-74M2, and hypersonic P-74M2 with an ultra-long range. Although the Su-57 is primarily designed for air-to-air missions, it also boasts excellent ground attack capabilities with the Kh-38 tactical surface-to-air missile, as well as a range of guided missiles from the KAB family. Finally, the Su-57 can also carry a variant of the Russian Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile, including those with a nuclear warhead.