Last week, images surfaced on social media that seemed to show two advanced Russian Su-57s, also known as T-50s, had been deployed to Syria, where Russian forces have been providing military support to Bashar Al Assad’s regime. Now, satellite imagery has confirmed not only the presence of the supposed 5th generation fighters, but have increased the count to four: meaning a full one third of al Su-57s ever made are now in Syria.

By Western standards, the Su-57 is still very much an experimental aircraft. With only 12 or so ever built and fewer in operational status, America would consider such an aircraft to be years away from any sort of operational status, but Russia has a long history of disregarding risks in defense projects that the West may see as grave – in large part thanks to state controlled media outlets being unable to call the government to task on failures or deaths.