Some onboard systems for Russia’s future 6th-generation fighter jet are being tested aboard the Su-57 fighter, a source in the domestic aircraft-building industry told TASS on Monday.
“There are no plans to create the unmanned version of the Su-57. It is currently being used to test some systems of the future sixth-generation fighter jet, which will be a drone in its baseline version and only optionally piloted,” the source said.
The systems undergoing trials involve “control and navigation equipment and weapon systems,” the source said.
Russia’s United Aircraft-Building Corporation declined to comment on this information for TASS.
Russian then-Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced in March 2016 that Russia had launched work to develop the sixth-generation combat plane. As Rogozin noted at the time, the Sukhoi Design Bureau presented preliminary work “on creating the sixth-generation fighter jet.”
Specialists note that the sixth-generation fighter plane features the ability to accomplish combat unmanned missions and artificial intelligence, the availability of the radio-photonic radar and the potential to develop the hypersonic speed and enter outer space and the possibility to use weapons based on new physical principles.
The Russian fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jet features stealth technology with the broad use of composite materials, is capable of maintaining supersonic cruising speed and is furnished with the most advanced onboard radio-electronic equipment, including a powerful onboard computer (the so-called electronic second pilot), the radar system spread across its body and some other innovations, in particular, armament placed inside its fuselage. These planes are expected to arrive for the troops in 2019. The pilot batch will comprise 12 Sy-57 planes.