Russia has been developing their PAK Fa fighter jet for a number of years and it will be fully operational in 2018. The Generation 4++ fighter has been given the official designation of the Sukhoi Su-57 and is ready to join the Russian Air Force. Despite nearly a decade worth of development and praise from the pilots, orders for this advanced fighter are on the slim side.
“In 2019, we should begin the delivery of a pre-production batch of [T-50] planes. This is the year when we should complete the R&D work on the PAK FA.”
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– Yuri Slyusar (United Aircraft Corporation Chief)
Currently, Moscow only has plans to purchase 12 Sukhoi Su-57 fighters for their air force. The PAK FA fighters have a price tag of $50 million each which isn’t too bad once you compare it to other jets. However, rumors are circulating that the success of Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 fighters is affecting orders of Su-57.
The Su-57 still has some bugs to work out and pilots claim that it is only a slight improvement over the Su-35 which uses nearly identical engines and systems. The $10 billion budget of the PAK FA program may go to waste if orders don’t pick up. Recently the Su-57 got to strut its stuff at the MAKS Airshow in Russia, get a good look at it and judge for yourself.