The Russian Air Force has used its 5th generation stealth fighter Su-57 to conduct attacks against Ukrainian Air Defense Units.
During a Special military operation in Ukraine, Russia deployed four of its newest Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jets, combined to work in a network, to identify and destroy Ukrainian air defense systems. They successfully conducted a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) operation inside Ukraine.
According to a Russian Source – “The Russian Aerospace Forces carried out an operation to identify and destroy Ukrainian air defense systems using a flight of four newest Su-57 multifunctional fighters. The aircraft’s were combined into an information network through automatic communication systems, data transmission, navigation and identification in real time” – said the source of the agency.
The source noted that “combining the aircraft in a single information space increases the efficiency of identifying and hitting targets.” He also specified that the low radar visibility of the Su-57 was confirmed.
What is a SEAD Operation?
SEAD simply means the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses. SEAD is a special military operation used to completely destroy the enemy Air Defense System Network, which includes the destruction of enemy anti-aircraft weapons, such as anti-air missile launcher battery, anti-aircraft artillery guns, SEAD also means the destruction of enemy radars and C³ systems (Command, Control and Communication). These targets are destroyed by the use of advanced weapons such as Air to surface missiles or Laser-guided bombs.
In modern aerial warfare, SEAD missions can constitute as much as 30% of all sorties launched in the first week of combat and continue at a reduced rate through the rest of a campaign.
The destruction of enemy Air Defense System Network can be done either by conducting air strikes or deceiving them through the use of Anti-Radiation Missiles.
About Su-57 Fighter
The Su-57 is a twin-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft developed by the Russian Aircraft manufacturer JSC Sukhoi. The Su-57 was originally designed to succeed the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Su-27. Along with its capability of aerial combat, the aircraft can also be used for conducting ground-attack and Maritime Strike missions.
The Su-57 incorporates several advanced features such as supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, etc. Currently Russian Aerospace Forces operates a few numbers of this aircraft. The aircraft is also been marketed by Russia for export to several countries such as Turkey, UAE, India, etc.
The Su-57 has the Maximum takeoff weight capacity of 35,000 kg (77,162 lb). The aircraft is operated by the crew of one pilot. The aircraft is fitted with a single 30mm GSh-30-1 autocannon which has the rate of fire of 1,800 rounds per minute.
The Su-57 has 12 hard points (6 × internal, 6 × external). The aircraft can carry a wide range of advanced weapons such as R-77, R-74 air-to-air missiles, Kh-35, Kh-31 Anti-ship missiles and Kh-58 Anti-Radiation Missiles. The aircraft can also carry unguided bombs and cluster munitions.