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Russia won’t proceed with Su-57 program – Report

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The Su-57 has been a sparkling performer at air shows and reportedly conducted a successful operational trial in Syria. (UAC)

The Russian Defence Ministry says it will not proceed to production with the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter according to a report in The Diplomat.

Speaking on Russian television on July 2, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov reportedly said the country has no plans to mass-produce the jet.

Developed from Russia’s ‘Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii’, or PAK-FA requirement, the Su-57 was Russia’s first attempt at developing a 5th generation fighter with a view to taking on the US’s F-22 and F-35.

Designed with low observable features, particularly in the front profile, the Su-57 conducted what was considered to be a successful operational trial in Syria in 2017. A small low rate production batch of 12 aircraft was ordered in June bringing the total number built to about 22, and it is expected these will be employed on test and evaluation (T&E) and development work as they enter service.

“The plane has proven to be very good, including in Syria, where it confirmed its performance and combat capabilities,” Borisov said on Russian TV, as reported by The Diplomat. “You know that today the Su-57 is considered to be one of the best aircrafts produced in the world. Consequently, it does not make sense to speed up work on mass-producing the fifth-generation aircraft.”

But Russia’s economy continues to struggle under the weight of wester-imposed sanctions following its annexation of Crimea and forays into eastern Ukraine, so the Defence ministry will instead to continue to concentrate its development budget on new classes of submarines, long-range surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile systems, and enhanced electronic warfare systems.

The announcement by Russia also follows India’s decision to withdraw from the joint development of the Su-57. India operates a large number of Sukhoi Su-30MKIs and, despite their acclaimed capability, have suffered from poor reliability and a shortage of spares.

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