Although the shape is similar to the standard Su-57 version, the Su-57E export version has some differences
For military products that are core and affect Russia’s security, it is completely understandable that the export version has reduced features. Specifically, the Su-57E version will not be equipped with the R-37 and KS-172 super long-range air-to-air missiles. The operating modes of the onboard avionics will be significantly different from the standard Su-57 version. The Su-57E also has many differences in operating modes and the ability to combine pilots and aircraft.
In mid-June 2021, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that Sukhoi Group is developing a two-seat variant of the Su-57 for export. This is the most obvious manifestation of the fact that the Su-57E will be much different from the standard version. The reduction of some features will make controlling the aircraft in the single-pilot version difficult and inefficient. Therefore, the development of a 2-man version will help the Su-57E better respond to complex combat missions that require a lot of manipulation, especially when cooperating with combat drones such as UCAV Okhotnik.
The Su-57 is a fifth-generation stealth fighter developed by Russia to compete with US and Western rivals such as the F-22 and F-35. The strength of the Su-57 lies not only in its stealth capabilities, but also in the most advanced Russian aviation technologies today such as active phased array radar (AESA), ePilot pilot support system, and range of sensors and modern aviation weapons.
Sukhoi has announced a new aeronautical computer system called “Military Aviation Modules Integrated System” – or ePilot, with the function of assisting pilots in combat missions. Accordingly, ePilot helps to minimize or assist in controlling part of the aircraft’s functions so that pilots have more time and focus for combat missions. However, since the launch of the Su-57, very little information about the ePilot system has been published.
To date, 13 Su-57s and T-50 prototypes have been built. They have been delivered to the Russian Air Force for various purposes. In the future, the Russian Air Force is expected to put into service no less than 100 Su-57s by the end of this decade. Russia is also considering the possibility of exporting this fifth generation fighter.