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Eastern Europe and Central Asia , Aircraft and Anti-Aircraft

Russia's Rostec Corporation Continues Development of a Next Generation Engine for the Su-57 Air Superiority Fighter

November 25th - 2017

Russia's Rostec State Corporation released photographs in November 2017 showing its current prototype for the new 'Izdeliye 30' 30,000Ib engine. The engine is being developed to power Russia's first fifth generation fighter, the Su-57 air superiority platform, which will enter service in the Russian Air Force 2018. Like the Su-30 and Su-35, the Su-57 will incorporate three dimensional thrust vectoring giving it supermaneuverbility, and requires advanced engines to facilitate this. The next generation fighter will however require specialized engines superior to those of its predecessors, as not only is it expected to compete with rival fifth generation platforms such as the F-22, but in future it is also set to be upgraded into Russia's first sixth generation fighter. With sixth generation technologies such as anti missile lasers long under development in Russia, as well as in the United States, it is yet to be determined which country will be the first to induct a sixth generation fighter - but the Su-57 retains a significant chance of being modified to become the first of these future platforms.

The Su-57's new engine is both complex and costly to design, and it is only set to be ready for service in 2020. The fighter's initial production batches meanwhile will incorporate an upgraded version of the Su-35's. Prototypes have also had to rely on these upgraded 4+ generation engines. While the older engines will grant the fighter supermaneueverability similar to that of the Su-35, next generation engines will be significantly more powerful and will be designed with a 30% lower specific weight.

The Su-35, currently Russia's most potent air superiority fighter, is rivaled only by the United States' F-22. While the Su-35 has a significant advantage in maneuverability, a superior range, lower maintenance and double the firepower of its American rival, the F-22 maintains stealth capabilities, a higher speed and a higher service ceiling. The Su-57 however is set to incorporate all the assets of both fighters, with the speed and stealth of the F-22 and the maneuverability and low maintenance of the Su-35. For this it will need highly capable engines capable of performing better than those of either the F-22 or the Su-57. With such assets the Russian next generation fighter may well prove to be the world's most potent air superiority platform by a significant margin - just as the Su-35 has proven to be the world's most potent fourth generation platform.

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