Reasons Why the Low Production of the Sukhoi Su-57 Felon

Reasons Why the Low Production of the Sukhoi Su-57 Felon

Among the three countries that are currently producing and operating stealth fighter jets, Russia may be in third place. In terms of combat readiness, the Russian Air Force currently operates only 10 Sukhoi Su-57 Felon units. 

By comparison, the United States already operates hundreds of F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs. Likewise with China, which now operates around 200 units of the Chengdu J-20 Mighty Dragon stealth fighter jet.

The low number of Russian stealth fighter aircraft is of course influenced by various factors. Amid the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Russia finds itself unable to increase production of its fifth-generation fighter, the Su-57. 

Quoted from, Vladimir Artyakov, first deputy general director of Rostec, in an interview with the Russian media, Izvestia, said there were plans to have a total of 22 Su-57 units produced serially by 2024.

Currently, Russia has only 10 Su-57s in serial production. To achieve the projected 22 units, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) must produce an additional 12 units in the next 24 months. This equates to producing six Su-57 fighters per year – a paltry level when compared to Lockheed Martin's annual production of nearly 50 F-35s, or Chengdu Aerospace Corporation's annual production of 120 J-20s.

However, amid challenges to the production of the Su-57, Artyakov indicated that the Su-57 is currently undergoing flight tests with the Izdelie 30 engine. This special engine is expected to significantly enhance the capabilities of the Su-57, cementing its status as a fifth-generation fighter.

The Izdelie 30 is a high-performance turbofan engine developed by United Engine Corporation (UEC) and manufactured by NPO Saturn. The Izdelie 30 is designed to propel the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet and is capable of generating up to 32,000 pounds of thrust. 

These machines feature advanced technologies such as 3D printing, ceramic matrix composites and digital engine control systems. Thrust vector nozzles in this engine allow for increased maneuverability and stealth.

The Izdelie 30 engine also boasts a high level of reliability and maintainability, with a modular design that makes changing parts easy. Overall, the Izdelie 30 engine is the cutting edge of technology that gives the Su-57 extraordinary performance and capabilities.

So the question is, why is the serial production of the Su-57 so low?

Firstly, one of the main reasons why Russia cannot produce a large number of serial production Su-57s per year is due to lack of funds. The development of the Su-57 has been an expensive project for Russia, and the economic situation makes it difficult for Russia to allocate the funds needed to produce the aircraft in large numbers.

Second, the Su-57 is a complex aircraft that requires advanced technology and skilled manpower to manufacture. Russia faces challenges in acquiring the necessary technology and expertise to manufacture high-speed aircraft.

Thirdly, the Su-57 faced technical problems during its development, which delayed the production process. This includes problems with the aircraft's engines, avionics, and weapons systems. As a result, Russia will have to spend additional time and resources addressing these issues before resuming production.

Fourth, the Su-57 faces competition from other advanced fighter jets in the global market, which makes it difficult for Russia to secure export orders. Without a strong export market, Russia may not have the financial resources to produce large numbers of the Su-57.

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