On August 11, Russia named its new stealth fighter the Su-57, but despite having a name, a finalized design, and a tentative date for its delivery, it already looks like a huge disappointment.

Russia first flew the Su-57 in 2010, demonstrating that it would enter the race towards fifth-generation aircraft after the US revolutionized aerial combat with the F-22, and later the F-35.

But in the years since, the Su-57 has failed to present a seriously viable future for Russian military aviation. Russia already fields some of the most maneuverable planes on earth. It has serious firepower in terms of missiles and bombs, and long-distance bombers and fighters. But what Russia doesn’t have is a stealth jet of any kind.

While Russian media calls the Su-57 an “aerial ghost,” a senior scientist working on stealth aircraft for the US called it a “dirty aircraft,” with many glaring flaws that would light up radars scanning for the plane.

Additionally, two of the plane’s most fearsome weapons, the Kh-35UEm a subsonic, anti-ship cruise missile, and the nuclear-capable BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missile, can’t fit in the internal weapons bay and must hang from the wings…

Source: Business Insider

Bottom line: While this new fifth-gen Russian fighter is not yet ready for prime time, most new U.S. designs require several years’ worth of testing to work out the bugs. We expect that at some point, the Russians will indeed have a viable stealth fighter aircraft that can match U.S. fifth-gen fighter capabilities. — JED