Since at least June 2022, the Russian military has been using the latest fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets in the war against Ukraine, but attacks with their help are carried out only from Russian territory. As believes the British Ministry of Defense, so Moscow is trying to avoid export and reputational risks in the event of the loss of aircraft in the war.
Missions in which the Su-57 was involved (according to NATO codification Felon – “Criminal”), were limited to flights over Russian territory and the launch of long-range air-to-ground or air-to-air missiles into Ukraine.
Referring to satellite images, British intelligence points to five Su-57 aircraft at the Akhtubinsk airbase in the Astrakhan region. The 929th State Flight Test Center of the Ministry of Defense is based here. “Since this is the only known base where Felonthese aircraft probably participated in operations against Ukraine, ”the British Ministry of Defense concludes.
“Russia is most likely trying to avoid reputational losses, reduced export prospects and compromise confidential technologies that may arise in the event of the loss of Felon in Ukraine. This is a symptom that Russia is still not inclined to take risks in the use of air power in the war, ”they believe in London.
The Su-57 fifth-generation multifunctional fighter was designed to replace the Su-27 heavy fighter in the Russian Aerospace Forces. Its development began in 2001, the first flying prototype took to the air in 2010. By the end of 2024, the Russian military expects to receive 22 Su-57 aircraft out of the 76 contracted, the rest are planned to be delivered in 2025-2028. Contract evaluate in the amount of up to 170 billion rubles.
In 2012, India also planned to purchase Russian fighters at a price of $100 million per aircraft. Six years later, the country’s Air Force abandoned the purchase due to significant delays in development, increased prices and doubts about its technological capabilities.