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Russia will develop the two-seat Su-57 fifth-generation fighter for exports

The Sukhoi Design Bureau and The Russian Defense Ministry plan to develop a two-seat Su-57 fifth-generation fighter for its military exports.

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The Sukhoi Design Bureau and The Russian Defense Ministry plan to develop a two-seat Su-57 fifth-generation fighter in its export configuration, said Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov.

The vice-premier said, “There is interest in this aircraft and, in my view, it will grow with every passing year as our Russian Army is supplied with this model. Foreign customers at first look at how a particular weapon of the Russian Armed Forces operates. The Defense Ministry and the Sukhoi Design Bureau have plans to develop a two-pilot aircraft that will boost the export demand for this model … and it may create additional demand.”

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Alexander Mikheyev, CEO of Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport, said in June that the latest Su-57 fifth-generation fighter was already gaining the interest of five Southeast Asian countries.

Su-57 is the first fighter in Russian military service to use stealth technology. The Su-57 is intended to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force and entered service in December 2020. The fighter is expected to have a service life of up to 35 years. The aircraft performed its maiden flight in August 2019.

According to Sukhoi, the multirole fighter is designed to have supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and integrated avionics to overcome the previous generations of fighter aircraft and ground/naval defenses. The fighter jet is currently powered by Izdeliye 117 or AL-41F1 augmented turbofans.

Russia is already the World’s second-largest exporter of weapons, right after the US. Together the countries contribute to 57% of the global weapon exports. This new technology will only further help boost their control over the market.

The leading weapon importers from Russia are India, China, and Algeria, respectively. All countries belonging to regions filled with conflict. India and China have both been part of a struggle for regional dominance for quite some time while importing weapons from the same country.

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When it comes to a countries airforce, its strength always lies in having access to the latest technology. During the 2019 aerial dog fight between India and Pakistan, this was made clear when a Pakistani F-16 shot down the comparatively outdated MiG-21 Bison piloted by Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. 

These new jets will undoubtedly garner much demand for themselves once they are available in the global market, which will eventually create the need for even more recent technology, and hence the cycle will go on

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