Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, the production of a number of types of combat aircraft has multiplied, it is proceeding at a “dramatic pace”, and the production of the fifth-generation Su-57 fighters has increased several times over the year. Yury Slyusar, the head of the United Aircraft Corporation, told Rossiya 24 TV channel in an interview at the Army-2023 forum.
“For some types [production volumes] have grown many times over. I can say that the new Su-57 aircraft – this year is several times more than the previous year. At the same time, we do not stop production and deliveries under military-technical cooperation, we fulfil all our contacts – we deliver new aircraft, continue maintenance, supply spare parts,” Slyusar said, specifying that UAC now prioritises deliveries under the state defence order and maintaining the serviceability of aircraft actively involved in the special military operation in Ukraine.
In 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence received six Su-57 aircraft equipped with AL-41F1 first stage engines “izdelie 117”: two in May and four in December. A total of ten serial fifth-generation fighters have been handed over to the Russian Air Force so far. The machines were reportedly used in Ukraine to engage both air targets at long range and to strike enemy air defence systems.
On 17 August, also at the Army-2023 forum, Yury Slyusar told RIA Novosti that the standard engine (“izdelie 30”) for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter requires further development and continued testing. Earlier, a number of high-ranking representatives of the defence industry said that tests of the second-stage engine were to be completed in 2022.
“The second-stage engine for the fifth-generation Su-57 aircraft is already there, it is flying, actually undergoing tests, but they will not end the day after tomorrow. We are not deviating from the model agreed with the Ministry of Defence, talk that it does not exist is empty. But like any fundamentally new engine, it requires refinement, it requires more tests,” Slyusar said, adding that the team is working professionally and the money has been allocated. The Su-57 is now powered by intermediate engines with controlled thrust vector AL-41F1, which is a modification of the one used on the Su-35S fighter.
Serial production of Su-57 fighters with the new engines will begin by 2027, said Vadim Badeha, head of the United Engine Corporation. “If they [the deadlines] were called, we are definitely not moving them to the right, everything is going according to plan,” Badekha said.