The armed forces of Russia until 2028 will get 76 of the fifth generation fighter, the su-57. The delivery will also include modern air weapons and ground infrastructure. This was stated by Vladimir Putin during a meeting on the development of the defense industry.
According to the Russian President, the relevant contract can be signed in the near future. This will re-equip the latest aircraft three aviation regiment. The contract value is estimated at 160-170 billion rubles. The Russian defense industry has not fulfilled such orders for 40 years.
The day before the sensational statement Putin’s plane on the approach to Akhtubinsk was accompanied by six su-57. Already on the ground in an interview with the pilots, the President stressed that the fighter should be the best in the world. It was like a PR campaign. But if the development of our aircraft requires presidential PR…
The state armament program for 2011-2020 included the purchase of 52 su-57 fighters. However, due to economic instability, the plans of the Defense Ministry were reduced by more than three times — up to 16 such machines. Now they are not only restored but also blocked with a vengeance.
Such a sharp increase is due to a 20 percent discount and an internal redistribution of funds in the Defense Ministry. As explained to Kommersant, it will not be possible to make money on military contracts due to the low (3-5%) profitability of the plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, but the order guarantees capacity utilization for the decade ahead. The fact that employees of the airline will have a stable job, and the Armed forces of the new aircraft can not but rejoice. However, Russia could make good money by selling su-57 for export. Truth until produced in Russia dozen su-57 — piece and so expensive product.
But the Americans, unlike us, act in a big way, “riveting” their F-22 “Raptor” and more advanced F-35 hundreds. So, by the summer of 2018, the three-hundredth f-35 was produced, and by the spring of 2019, the defense company Northrop Grumman reported that it had already released the 500th Central part of the fuselage for this fighter.
Mass production allows Americans to effectively reduce costs. For example, the time required for the construction of the F-35A decreased from 108 thousand man-hours in 2012 to 41.5 thousand in 2017. More than twice! Naturally, this reduces the cost of the aircraft, and American diplomacy further stimulates the promotion of the F-35 in the world market.
Russia should learn from the “adversary”. Large-scale production of su-57 would reduce costs and increase profits from their sales. And although earlier Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that he sees no point in forcing the mass production of the su-57, perhaps now, after the presidential support of the project, it makes sense to reconsider this view.
The potential of the su-57 in the foreign market was estimated by the editor-in-chief of the magazine “arms Export” Andrei Frolov.
— First, the export of su-57 was recently allowed (in April 2019 — ed.). Among the markets, India may be the closest option. After all, India first tried to develop on the basis of the su-57 its fighter, and then there was talk that they can just buy the su-57 in the export version.
After India will catch up with countries that already operate the su-27 and su-30. For Example, Algeria. Vietnam can be ordered. I assume that China will order a certain amount, as it was with the su-35.
“SP”: — Our aircraft should be sold as hot cakes. They are cheaper than their American counterparts at times…
No, that’s not true. The same F-35, which is the main competitor of our su-57, constantly cheaper. For the US, it is worth less than $ 100 million. Of course, export prices vary, but the difference is not at times. It is unlikely that su-57 for export will be very cheap.
“SP”: — It will be cheaper only if there is large-scale production?
— Yes, but such a large series of, as have F-35 not will. The US produces them for 100 cars a year. And we even from what is planned to order for their Armed forces, it turns out no more than 8-10 cars per year. Due to the only seriality, we will not gain.
“SP”: — is It not dangerous to transfer the latest technology to just anyone, even for a lot of money?
— In the 1990s, Russia sometimes exported what was not in our Armed forces. For example, su-30MKI. He already only then became have us su-30SM. Or modernized diesel-electric submarines, air defense systems “Pantsir”, which were developed at the expense of the UAE. This was due to the lack of funds from the defense.
Now defense companies due to the fact that foreign exchange contracts are much more profitable than the state defense order, can somehow make ends meet. In addition, in the case of exports, the conditions for spending the earned money are freer. If the money from the special account of the state defense order can be spent only for the purpose of a particular order, then there are no strict requirements for export money.
The editor-in-chief of the portal told about what critical technologies Russia will have to protect when exporting su-57 MilitaryRussia.ru Dmitry Kornev.
— Let me remind you that the su-57 project was initially considered fifty percent as an export one. He’d be with India. Until the recent past, India has considered the su-57 as your main promising fighter. For its designation the abbreviation FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft — a bus was used.). The Indians inside called it the Indian-Russian plane. Although all understood, that this was simply localization Russian fighter pilot. But in the end, India abandoned the project. Apparently, because of the price and because of the fact that we have refused to transfer some of the technology. Perhaps the role was played by the fact that Russia sharply cut off the number of aircraft that we planned to enter into its Armed forces. According to the logic of the buyer, if the manufacturing country itself does not want such an aircraft, then why buy it from it? For example, our T-72 tanks, the Indians were bought by the thousands, because he was our main tank.
“SP”: — You mentioned the possible refusal of Russia to convey to potential buyers, some critical technologies of the su-57. What specifically applies to them?
— If the final mass version of the su-57 will be a new generation engine, which is now only being tested (on the current su-57 it is absent), it will certainly be of value in terms of know-how. In addition, it is necessary to protect the digital arms control system, the system “friend-foe” from proliferation.
Next, the radar complex. The su-57 is not one but a whole range of radars. Panels of phased antenna arrays are located in the nose, and on the sides, and in the “socks” of the wings. All these antennas and the complex that collects data from them and displays information to the pilot or other aircraft are also protected.
Composite materials can also be critical technologies. Although after the American embargo on them there is a suspicion that the su-57 will be all metal. This may affect the high-tech device. But this is only a guess.
Also subject to protection are structural elements that provide low radar visibility of the su-57 and components of weapons systems — the most modern missiles and bombs.
“SP”: — it Turns out, it is critical to transfer everything that makes the su-57 is a fifth-generation fighter. How to be?
— We’ll have to make sacrifices. After all, if you put on the su-57, for example, too simplified radar system, remove part of the antennas, it will lose its almost circular view radar. Thus, the range of weapons will be severely limited in functionality. The engine of the previous generation will worsen the speed, acceleration characteristics, efficiency, although this is not fatal.
So maybe part of the export su-57, supplied to countries in which we have less trust, will be differentiated in hardware.
SP: what does the US do in this sense? Americans “rivet” the F-35 for all countries-buyers identical?
— Aircraft equipment for different countries is different. Key components installed on American or British aircraft may be absent, for example, on the Turkish F-35. It can also be caused by joint programs of the United States with different countries. General development, for example, with Israel, can be put only on its aircraft. According to military expert Boris Rozhin, the supply of su-57 to the Russian Armed forces will be an important part of the preparation for future wars.
— We must remember that the order 76 su-57 aircraft stretched for several years. For the plant it is profitable — people will be provided with work. Meanwhile, su-57 delivered to the army will certainly be used in some local conflicts. Present or future. And it will be a certain advertisement for the su-57. The export potential of this aircraft will be realized not through advertising leaflets and commercials, but through combat work. So it was with the T-90 tanks after their participation in the Syrian campaign.
I think the su-57 is quite successfully able to compete with the American F-35 and due to the price, and due to the fact that the US is not ready to sell its aircraft to everyone. Part of the cost of creating su-57 thus will be repulsed by exports. If earlier said that the machines will order a little, but now it is clear that the su-57 finally brought to mind and it will be one of the “workhorses” in future wars.
Moreover, the situation in the world continues to heat up. Relations with the United States every year are degrading. We are witnessing the collapse of the INF Treaty. Most likely, the same is expected and start-3. So while there is such an opportunity, means, it is better to rearm the army with new perspective equipment.