Despite headlines last week about upgrades to the stealth coating applied to Russia’s pseudo-fifth-generation fighter, the Su-57, new reports out of Moscow indicate that production of what was to be Russia’s most advanced military aircraft has been postponed until 2020.
The Su-57 has long been touted as Russia’s response to fifth-generation platforms like America’s F-22 and F-35, as well as China’s J-20 and forthcoming J-31. However, the program has been fraught with issues from the start, including production limitations that most experts contend would severely hinder the aircraft’s stealth capabilities, and India’s withdrawal from the initiative, which, it could be argued, put the financial nail in the fighter’s coffin. Since then, Russia has been working overtime to try to make their advanced fighter seem feasible despite the nation’s economic limitations, even going so far as to deploy four of what were essentially prototypes to Syria for a short, but headline-grabbing, period of time early last year.
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) February 21, 2018