Russia Uses Su-57 Stealth Fighter to Attack Ukraine, Its Combat Ability is Extraordinarily Great

Russia Uses Su-57 Stealth Fighter to Attack Ukraine, Its Combat Ability is Extraordinarily Great
Russia Uses Su-57 Stealth Fighter to Attack Ukraine

- The Russian Ministry of Defense has finally broken the silence on the use of the Su-57 fighter in the ongoing special military operations (SMO). General Sergei Surovikin, commander of the joint troop group in the SMO area, told reporters Tuesday, October 18, 2022 regarding the use of the Su-57.

"In terms of the quality of combat use, I especially wanted to choose the fifth-generation multifunctional aircraft Su-57. It has a wide range of weapons, it accomplishes the multifaceted task of hitting air and ground targets in any sortie," he said, quoted by The Eurasian Times.

General Surovikin's comments indicate that the Su-57 is used in both the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, and in both roles, it has scored goals.

Earlier, in June 2022, Izvestia had reported that Russia had deployed four Su-57s for SMO, and the aircraft were being used to build a tactical information network. Earlier in 2018, Russia officially acknowledged using four Su-57s during the Syria campaign.

The State Duma's board of experts for the aviation industry, Vladimir Gutenev, said in July 2018. “The stay of our four Su-57s in Syria certainly allows us to obtain additional information about the capability of these engines to detect US F-22s and F-35s in space. the same operation." he said.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the weapons and tactics that Russian forces may use for the Su-57 in the aforementioned roles. Despite Syria's operational experience, much of the Su-57's operational capabilities will likely still be tested before the start of SMO on 24 February 2022.

Therefore, the use of Russian warplanes has been carried out with caution. Operational restrictions on its use likely include stand-off attacks and tactical information networks only.

It is widely believed that the Su-57 can be more easily detected by radar than US stealth fighters such as the F-22 Raptor & F-35 Lightning, The Eurasian Times reports. What is not so widely known is that although the Su-57's side and rear stealth characteristics are not prominent, the front stealth aspect is quite good.

That means if the Su-57 were to fly at the same altitude as a US E-3 or E-8 AWACS and move straight at it, it would be difficult for the AWACS to track it. As a result, ground radar and AWACS will not easily spot the Su-57 coming in air-to-air or air-to-surface attack mode.

The Su-57 stealth fighter can easily fly into the firing range without being detected by even the strongest enemy. The issue of combat weapons on this one is also very fierce. For air-to-air combat, the Su-57 is equipped with the long-range R-37M (RVV-BD), K-77M medium-range missile, and two short-range R-74M2 & K-MD (Izdeliye 300) missiles.

The R-74M2 is an upgrade from the R-74 adopted for the internal carriage, while the K-MD is a clean sheet design. There have been no reports of close combat between the Su-57 and Ukrainian warplanes, or radar or visual sightings of the Su-57 in Ukrainian airspace. Any air-to-air kills by the Su-57 need to be credited using either a K-77M or an R-37M missile.

The R-37M has a range of 300 kilometers and the K-77M 190 kilometers. Both missiles use dual pulse motors and are consequently very energetic during their endgame, making it difficult for enemy aircraft to break locks. Equally important, they use an active homing AESA finder for terminal guidance.

It can be safely assumed that in Ukraine, Russia uses only air-to-surface weapons with substantial stand-off range and has been adopted for transport in the internal bomb bay of the Su-57. Thus, the choice of weapons will include:

1. Kh-58UShKE anti-radiation missile up to a range of 245 kilometers.

2. Kh-59MK2 Stealth Cruise Missile with a range of 285 kilometers.

This is the Kh-59MKM variant adopted for internal carriage and LO formation.

The Kh-59MKM is intended to strike a variety of stationary ground targets with known coordinates. The X-59MKM is a fire-and-forget missile that can be operated with an illumination intensity of 10-3 to 105 lux, in any terrain and in any season.

The missile flies a route defined by waypoints, gliding at terrain-dependent altitudes from 50 to 300 meters. Maximum cruising speed is 1050 kph. Missile flight missions establish the missile's low-altitude flight route. The missile is designed to penetrate statically hardened and buried targets.

It is equipped with a 360 kilogram lethal package consisting of a 40 kilogram array of four shaped pre-charge with contact delayed action fuses mounted under the radome and a 320 kilogram organic penetrating tandem warhead. The Kh-59MKM is claimed to be able to penetrate reinforced concrete up to three meters.

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