A video has emerged purportedly showing two Su-57s operating from Russia’s Khmeimim Airbase in Syria. If genuine, the video will have documented the fifth-generation fighter’s first combat mission.
Beirut-based journalist Wael Al Hussaini shared a video on Twitter, purporting to show the brand new Russian aircraft in the skies over Syria. Although the two warplanes appear to look similar to the Su-57, RT cannot verify the authenticity of the video and is trying to verify its source.
Designed by Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi, the multirole Su-57 fighter took to the skies for the first time in 2010 – but only entered production this year.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov revealed on February 8 that the ministry is going to sign a contract for the first squadron of 12 Su-57s in 2018. He also said that the first stage of the trials was over, and that the Su-57 will be undergoing experimental combat training. The Russian Air Force hopes to field around 220 Su-57s between 2020 and 2030.
Befitting of a next-generation fighter, the Su-57 is fitted with a cutting-edge avionics system capable of autonomously assessing battlefield situations. Able to detect air, ground and sea-based threats at distances far beyond most modern radar systems, the fighter jet is also capable of striking targets with an array of modern weaponry, including short, medium and long-range air-to-air, air-to-ground, and even anti-radar missiles.
A “significant part” of the Russian forces returned home from Syria after President Vladimir Putin announced their withdrawal in December, declaring victory over “the most battle-hardened grouping of international terrorists” by Moscow’s forces, along with their Syrian and Iranian allies.
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