su-57
- Air Power, Latest News, Russia

New images shows the cheap build quality of Russian Su-57


The idea that Russia’s million dollars modern fighter line must be meticulously crafted right from the finishing stage, but recent findings show that some Su-57s are built very poorly.

Su-57 is promoted by Russia as the world’s most powerful 5th generation fighter, they are a counterweight to the F-22 and superior to China’s J-20.

Currently built Su-57s are priced at more than 200 million USD. It is thought that with this expensive line of advanced weapons, the Su-57 will be cared for in the manufacturing process from the inside out. However, the recent discovery has surprised many Russian weapons fans.

The first is the construction of the outer frame, images from the camera mounted on the tip of the Su-57 wing accidentally reveal that this advanced fighter still uses ordinary screws. Many jokes that the Su-57 maintenance team can remove these screws with all kinds of cheap screwdrivers sold in convenience stores.

Russian using ordinary screw in Su-57
Russian using ordinary screws in Su-57

Meanwhile, analysts say that using less modern screws, not suitable for a leading fighter line in the world, on the other hand, their quality is also very poor, even though they have only been built for a few years it starts to rust

Looking at the line of rival fighters F-22, they are currently using special anti-slip screws. The design of this type of screws helps them not to release themselves when the aircraft shakes during flight, when screwed on they are almost flat with the shell and do not concave as on the Russian Su-57.

US F-22 Screws
US F-22 Screws

The quality of these screws is excellent even after 15 years old. In addition, to remove them also requires specialized equipment, which limits the enemy’s ability to destroy.

And yet, the closing gste of the weapon compartment in the fuselage of the Su-57 are made not tight, the clearance and opening are too large, which will seriously affect the stealth ability of the aircraft.

Su-57 internal weapon bay
Su-57 internal weapon bay

And yet, one more detail that shows the quality of the Russian Su-57 is problematic, at least in the series of testing prototypes, is that air bubbles appear in the cockpit glass. public. Meanwhile, looking at the F-22 fighter, they are built quite accurately, the door of the internal weapon space once closed is almost closed, there is no lag.

The presence of air bubbles reduces the structural quality of the durability, while the bubbles on the cockpit glass also reduce the pilot’s view of the target. During long-range air combat, enemy aircraft targets will also be as small as the size of one of the bubbles that appear in the cockpit of the Su-57. Looking through the US F-22 glass chamber, you can see the clarity and no air bubbles. F-22 pilots even feel like they’re looking at the sky, not through the cockpit’s glass. With the “ripples” in the finishing touches of the Su-57, it is clear that this is unacceptable in such a super expensive 5th generation weapon.

It is possible that this will seriously affect the quality assessment of this advanced fighter. And that will have a significant impact on export promotion. However, there are also advocates that these are just prototypes. It is possible that in series production versions will be rigorously tested for perfection.

Some other opinions argue that the former Soviet Union and the present Russia, they focus on maneuverability and combat power, not really focusing too much on completing the appearance of the hull, for example. The new MiG-29SMT put into service (photo), the shell of this aircraft is designed quite “rough” and far behind in “smooth” compared to the American fighter.

MiG-29SMT frame
MiG-29SMT frame

Obviously, the US F-15C fighter line, born 30 years ago, has a much smoother outer frame, but their power is only equivalent to the original Su-27 and MIG-29SMT has a somewhat ‘shaggy’ chassis.

US fighter frame
US fighter frame

Even the Soviet MiG-25s that shocked the US and NATO were built quite simply in the fuselage. When discovering that the MiG-25 escaped to Japan, the US was surprised to discover that many details on the plane were hand-welded very rough.

However, military experts believe that, for the 5th generation fighter, which emphasizes stealth, the construction and completion of the body frame that requires aesthetics and closeness will be more important much more than the 4th generation fighter, which emphasizes sturdiness and mobility.

The smoother the shell frame, the more closely the details, especially the weapon compartment, are designed to help improve the stealth feature. Therefore, they hope, the Su-57s with defects in the above finishing are only a small number and they are only experimental prototypes.

Russia has a total of 12 Su-57s, but only one of them is officially in service. Testing is still being rushed by Russia with the hope of quickly mass-producing it. Obviously, if Russia does not complete the Su-57 when mass production will affect not only the combat performance but also the reputation of this fighter in the export market. The Su-57 is Russia’s pride in fighter aircraft development. They are designed to counterbalance American stealth fighters.

Su-57 assembly line
Su-57 assembly line

After many missed appointments on payroll, in 2018 the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a contract to buy 16 aircraft from the manufacturer Sukhoi, the signing of this first contract helps Russia partly clear doubts about the effectiveness of the war. Su-57 fighter.

Not stopping there, in 2019 President Putin suddenly announced that he was considering a plan to buy more Su-57s to bring the total number to 76 instead of 16 as planned a year earlier.

But unfortunately, the progress of mass production for payroll is not as expected, because a number of technical factors have not been overcome, especially the engine part.

Su-57 canopy with air bubble
Su-57 canopy with air bubble

The only official service Su-57 is still using the engine of the Su-35. Currently, the problem of perfecting the engine for the 5th generation fighter is still the biggest challenge for the Russian Su-57 manufacturer.

Moscow is currently rushing to accelerate the research and completion of the Su-57. In addition to domestic use, Russia also hopes that the Su-57 will continue to create a “buying fever” in the export market, which the Su-30/35 has been very successful.


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