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Updated variant Su-57 aircraft: production start in 2025?

The fighter will not only have more advanced avionics ...

Serial production of the modernized variant of the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet aircraft is expected to begin in 2025, according to the Russian press writes today on statements from an anonymous source. The update is part of the Megapolis research and development project. In the new variant of the aircraft -the source emphasizes-, a completely updated cockpit with the most advanced avionics will be installed. In addition, the airplane will be equipped with a second-level power unit.

Only last May the Russian Minister of Industry and Commerce Denis Manturov, regarding the fighter declared: "The Su-57 has just entered service and we are already planning and preparing for a new phase of modernization. The process is underway". It is in fact an airplane that entered service with the Russian aerospace forces, albeit with weakened engines compared to the final design, only at the end of December 2020. A fighter -incidentally, also known as T-50 in development phase, and identified before receiving the official name, with the acronym PAK-FA-, born with the aim of equipping the Russian aerospace forces with a new generation air superiority aircraft capable of conducting ground attack missions.

Therefore also understandable the few certainties that there are about variants and upgrades, around which there are few indiscretions, and almost never from reliable or official sources. For example, there are those who say that a modernized single-seater variant will also be developed as part of the Megapolis project. Who is talking about a two-seater, considered more suitable to better control a swarm of sixth generation Okhotnik heavy fighter planes still under development.

This latest rumor would have its own why. Sukhoi's UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) S-70 Okhotnik, designed to carry out patrol, reconnaissance, bombing and escort missions, incorporates some of the technologies used on the Su-57, will be able to act as its own gregarious and -always it being understood that it can move in autonomous mode-, it can be controlled by the pilot of the Su-57. In any case, the developers will have time because the S-70 will not be delivered to the Russian aerospace forces before 2024.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency