Russian Su-57 Aircraft Thread (PAK-FA and IAF FGFA)


Inst

Senior Member
Anzha: the question behind any military procurement or purchase is whether there is a need, and whether a particular purchase satisfies that need in a way that fulfills value.

The only real selling point of the Su-57 is cost. People here seem to have some kind of notion that the PLAAF can procure everything at ridiculously cheap "China prices", but Chengdu etc are state-owned and tend to be less efficient than private companies. Moreover, the J-20, barring the lack of laser dazzler (a must technology for future J-20s), is a technologically more advanced fighter than the Su-57 in terms of subsystems (retractable pylon for short-ranged missile, EODAS, arguably superior radar). It stands to reason that the J-20 would be more expensive.

The Su-57 is likely to be less stealthy than the J-20, and is likely to have inferior high-speed performance than the J-20 (huge wings and low length to width ratio result in greater drag, and the stated T/W isn't much better than the J-20's with WS-10X). But for the price, it delivers exceptional capability (including access to and loading of Russian anti-radiation missiles and strike weapons). As long as the Russians can deliver the Su-57 for less than 50 million a pop, it's a reasonable buy for the PLA.
 

Inst

Senior Member
To put this in the most palatable way possible for Chinese nationalists, the PLAAF should induct the Su-57 as a replacement for J-7s and J-8s. Because that's similar to how it's going to be run in the PLAAF, as cheap cannon fodder with exceptional value for price.
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
the question behind any military procurement or purchase is whether there is a need, and whether a particular purchase satisfies that need in a way that fulfills value.
I do not believe the Russians will deliver to a customer their Su-57 at $31M/each for the fly away price. Historically, the russians have - with development projects - negotiated a price and then come back to request more money. The Indians got hammered with this for the FGFA and with the last carrier they bought from the Russians. The Su-57's development is incomplete. The new engine isn't performing as hoped, for example. The avionics are clearly not in great shape if the first production example crashed on one of its first flights. More needs to be done. if the Chinese were to get involved now, the price will likely change prior to delivery.

I could go on about what China should do, but it'd not be about the Su-57 now, huh?
 

ougoah

Captain
Registered Member
Depends why it's 31 million each. How much are parts, support, and weapons? Suspect it isn't entirely developed and Russia will eventually put into service a much better, finished, and upgraded Su-57 with the intended engines. Perhaps the current version is available as a frame for 31 millions and the buyer has to pay extra for sub-components. There's no way a finished Su-57 is the same price as a Su-35 when it hasn't even got economies of scale going for it yet unless RuAF has actually ordered at least a few hundred.

If however you can get a finished, supported, and armed Su-57 (even the current version) for about 40 million each, that is an absolute bargain and there's no reason why PLAAF should refrain. Perhaps wait until India makes a big purchase and then buy a few dozen to demoralise them.
 

Figaro

Junior Member
Registered Member
If China is just interested in the engines and avionics of Su-35, then as long as Su-57 is mature enough buying Su-57 is not that bad of a deal as you'll get what the Su-35 has and with a cheaper price, if what @Inst say is true. It also comes with an added benefit of giving the Chinese engineers a chance to inspect the plane with all their sensors, probably giving them intel on a potential future RuAF backbone. That said, it's only a good deal if Su-57 is considered mature. I think China looked at it and deem it not mature enough to justify the risk.
I doubt China even considered purchasing the Su-57. Just like with the Su-35 saga, I highly doubt China could find anything useful studying the engines other than the TVC implementation/integration (which was already fulfilled by the Su-35 purchase). As for avionics, Chinese avionics should be quite a bit ahead of Russian ones, especially those of the J-20 for sure. I could definitely see them purchasing for the purpose of evaluation and creating an OpFor force (especially at 40 million dollar/plane prices), but I doubt Russia would allow a small order to serve this purpose.
 
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Breadbox

New Member
Registered Member
30 million to 50 Million USD per Su-57 is a literal cabbage price for a 4.5-5th Generation fighter, are the Russians really that desperate to sell them? Su-57 have completely different strength and weaknesses compared to the J-20 and I do not see the PLAAF acquiring it as a sign of lacking confidence in the J-20, at such low prices, I almost think acquiring them for evaluation/study and strengthening the relationship with Russia alone would be worth it.

Strength: Engine capable of sustaining super-Cruise. Not sure how reliable and durable is it.
Large internal weapons capable of delivering cruise missiles, could complement the J-20 as a stealthy strike fighter.
Weaknesses: Very questionable stealth

However, there's a significant risk of the Plane not living up to the hype together with other caveats.
 

Breadbox

New Member
Registered Member
I doubt China even considered purchasing the Su-57. Just like with the Su-35 saga, I highly doubt China could find anything useful studying the engines other than the TVC implementation/integration (which was already fulfilled by the Su-35 purchase). As for avionics, Chinese avionics should be quite a bit ahead of Russian ones, especially those of the J-20 for sure. I could definitely see them purchasing for the purpose of evaluation and creating an OpFor force (especially at 40 million dollar/plane prices), but I doubt Russia would allow a small order to serve this purpose.
Russia literally fleecing China with those SU-35 costing 83 million each, I heard reports of less than stellar radar performance and avionics, its definitely not amongst the best 4th gen fighter the PLAAF have right now. I do not see any point to the SU35 for the PLAAF due to the existence of J-16.
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
30 million to 50 Million USD per Su-57 is a literal cabbage price for a 4.5-5th Generation fighter, are the Russians really that desperate to sell them?
IMO, this is a hook price. The Russians are looking to get someone to buy in and then they will jack up the price. They did to the Indians for the FGFA. They did to the Indians for the carrier the Indians bought from the Russians.

Also, for reasons other than the games the Russians have played so far with India as well: the Russians do not, IMO, have a good idea on how much serial production unit costs will be. They produced *ONE* production Su-57, which promptly crashed.

I trust Boeing's cost estimates more than the Russians at this point and I don't trust Boeing at all due to recent events.
 

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