Russia is reportedly eyeing exporting Su-57, its most advanced fighter jet, to China, an offer Chinese experts described as an indication of the close strategic relations between the two countries.

While Chinese analysts are becoming convinced of the Su-57’s combat capabilities, some are skeptical whether the Russian warplane can integrate into the Chinese system since China has developed its own advanced J-20 fighter jet.

The Su-57E, an export version of the Su-57, is expected to receive export approval from Russian President Vladimir Putin in a few weeks, said Viktor Kladov, director of  international cooperation and regional policy at Russia’s Rostec defense industrial holding company, at a media briefing at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia, Jane’s Defense Weekly reported Thursday.

Kladov named China as a potential customer. “China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 in China, or buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which could be another opportunity for the Su-57E,” he said.

Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Sunday that it is possible that China could make the purchase, because China needs to study from other countries’ strengths whenever possible.

Kladov’s remarks are also an indication of cooperation in high-end military technology under the framework of the two countries’ strategic cooperation, Xu said.

Described by Putin as “the world’s best military plane” on March 19, the Su-57 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter jet capable of both aerial combat and hitting ground and naval targets, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

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Wang Yongqing, chief designer of the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, wrote in the February 2019 issue of Aerospace Knowledge magazine that the Su-57 is designed to have strong supersonic cruise capability and super-maneuverability, and intentionally reduces stealth, a capability said to be crucial to a fifth-generation fighter, to a secondary priority.

While US warplanes stress stealth and beyond visual range attacks, the Su-57 can evade incoming long-range missiles through its super-maneuverability and engage enemies at close range, a situation where stealth is not so important as super-maneuverability, Wang said.

However, Aerospace Knowledge’s chief editor Wang Ya’nan said although he is convinced of the Su-57’s capabilities, he is less keen to see China buy it because China has already developed its own fifth-generation fighter jet, the J-20.

China is perfecting its own fifth-generation technology as the J-20 is on the way to being mass produced, Wang told the Global Times on Sunday.

During this period, integrating another fighter jet into the fleet could bring challenges to the integration of the Chinese military’s weapons and equipment systems and disrupt development and training plans, Wang Ya’nan said.

He noted that a technical study is possible, using the Su-57 in the Chinese military is unlikely.

India could also be interested in buying the Su-57, Kladov said.

Unlike China, India does not have a fifth-generation fighter and will not be able to develop one anytime soon, so the Su-57 is an attractive warplane to India, Wang Ya’nan said.

The Su-57 could also become a strong market competitor to the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet, Weihutang, a column affiliated with China Central Television (CCTV), reported on Friday, noting that the FC-31 and the US’ F-35 are the only two current fifth-generation fighter jets available on the international market.

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Source: Global Times

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1 COMMENT

  1. ++++ “Su-57E, an export version of the Su-57”
    => Monkey model! Just reading “export version” should be enough to deter any potential client ? All Soviet/Russian “special-export versions” have ALWAYS been degraded, comparing to the domestic version.

    ++++ “He noted that a technical study is possible, using the Su-57 in the Chinese military is unlikely.”
    => Reverse engineering = a$$-rapïng Russia again : Hey, China is building Flanker copies as they copied mostly all MiGs and Sukhois in the past. If they buy some Su-35, it’s just to reverres engineer improvements and equip their copies.
    IMHO, they may buy Su-57 just to get the improved Izdelyie 30 engine as the classic Saturn ALF-31/41 has not really great reliabilty and the Chinese WS-10/15 copy is even worst ?
    When the Russians will get that selling fighter jets to China is their worst business since China is into Fück-WTO and plays dirty, Russia will get better.
    Note that J-20 and J-31 (or FC-31 if you prefer) are just some of the Lockheed side projects to F-22 and F-35! J-20 was in fact the 1st LM proposal for the ATF competition that led to the F-22 creation, J-31 comes from a F-35A/C dual engine proposal which was rejected since DoD insisted at having the same engine for all version while F-35B was only feasible with a single big one (well, the vertical fan is a bizarre thing connected to the main engine fan through a shaft. They should have kept the Yakovlev solution with 2 small turbojet, it’d had been more efficient and much less cumbersome, but hey, it wouldn’t have let LM chief of project deposing a patent and make money from each system, hehe!)

    ++++ “India could also be interested in buying the Su-57, Kladov said.”
    => India paid 50% of Su-57 R&D and quit in April 2018 for several reasons : Su-57 is inferior to Rafale on nearly all points while more expensive, understated : to be brought to Indian standards : India always customise aircraft to her specs, e.g. an Indian-made Su-30MKI costs double as a Russian made Su-30, but is also much more advanced as it uses domestic, Israeli and French systems with better results as Russian ones in their roles. In fact, Rafale even ends with cheaper flyaway cost than the Indian made Su-30MKI…
    Now, with the Indians, you never know

    ++++ “Unlike China, India does not have a fifth-generation fighter and will not be able to develop one anytime soon, so the Su-57 is an attractive warplane to India, Wang Ya’nan said.”
    => Wrong : Rafale will be here in September. The method to gain stealth is different, but is actually more fficient in the end… And, in fact, is ALREADY potentially available for HAL’s Tejas too! Now, having the 5th-gen Tejas is suspended on Modi/Sitharaman decision (or their successor if they lose the elections)… It’s clear that the Rafalised-Tejas would cost the double, going from $20M+ to $40M+ but with capabilities superior to a Mirage-2000-9/MiG-35/F-16V/J-10 and inheriting Rafale’s stealth features, including IR-stealth…

    ++++ “The Su-57 could also become a strong market competitor to the Chinese FC-31 stealth fighter jet, Weihutang, a column affiliated with China Central Television (CCTV), reported on Friday, noting that the FC-31 and the US’ F-35 are the only two current fifth-generation fighter jets available on the international market.”
    => Again : wrong : the 1st fifth-generation fighter jets available on the international market was French Rafale which was introduced a year before F-22. The only point is French govt had the point Rafale is a stealth aircraft classified at the highest level from the decision to build it and make it stealth in 1988, onto the official unclassification published by French govt. at the “Journal Officiel” in Dec.2015.
    BTW, there were already rumours about even in the US as soon as 2004 (at the same time I learnt about it first hand from a French Mirage-2000 pilot, it was later confirmed to me by a Navy-pilot)

    Chinese J-20 stealth fighter not cause for concern, Rafale too has stealth features: Air Marshal SB Deo :
    https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/china-j20-stealth-fighter-rafale-indian-air-force-3737350/
    But hey, Weihutang knows better [sarcasm] than French govt, French AF+Navy and Indian AF… I think Gaddafi’s former air defences operators must know too, at least the survivors…
    Unfortunately, they have no hope to syphon 40TB of data from Dassault’s computer : Dassault are not as dumb as Lockheed-Martin : the intranet is simply not connected to the Internet ?