Russia Deploys Su-57 Advanced Stealth Fighter Jets to Syria

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) has deployed its most advanced combat aircraft, the Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet, to Syria on February 23.

Israeli satellite imaging services company, ImageSat International has published satellite imagery from Eros B satellite showing two Su-57 fifth-generation jets at the Khmeimim Air Base. Khmeimim Air Base, also Hmeimim Air Base is a Syrian airbase currently operated by Russia, located south-east of the city of Latakia in Hmeimim, Latakia Governorate, Syria.

Satellite imagery showing Russian Su-57 stealth jets in Syria. Photo credit: ImageSat International (ISI)

Syrian pro-government activists has also released photos of the jets landing at the airbase being escorted by a Su-30SM multirole fighter jet. The activists also revealed that Russia had deployed a second A-50U airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft at the Hmeimim airbase.

A Russian defense ministry source confirmed this week that the two planes were sent to the Hmeimim base “for a test in real conditions.”

The U.S. Department of Defense stated that the deployment of these advances jets don’t pose any threats to the US-led coalition in Syria.

The deployment of the jets comes two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian troops from the war-ravaged country.

Sukhoi Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 (Russian: Сухой Су-57) is a Russian fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine jet multirole fighter aircraft designed for air superiority and attack operations.

The aircraft is the product of the PAK FA (Russian: ПАК ФА, Russian: Перспективный авиационный комплекс фронтовой авиации, Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, literally “Prospective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation”), a fifth-generation fighter programme of the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi’s internal name for the aircraft is T-50.

The Su-57 will be the first aircraft in Russian military service to use stealth technology. The fighter is planned to have supercruise, stealth, supermaneuverability and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and maritime defences.

The fighter is intended to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force and serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being co-developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force.

The prototype first flew on 29 January 2010 and deliveries of production aircraft to the Russian Air Force are to begin in 2018.

The prototypes and initial production batch are to be delivered with a highly upgraded variant of the AL-31F used by the Su-27 family as interim engines while a new clean-sheet design power-plant is currently under development. The aircraft is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years.

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