The first serially produced Russian Su-57 fighter jet is being used at the State Flight Test Center (GLITS) in Akhtubinsk for testing hypersonic aircraft weapons.
TASS reported quoting a source in the military-industrial complex today, “The first serial Su-57 entered the GLITs at the end of November. It will be used to test the latest aviation hypersonic weapons.”
Meanwhile several social media posts by Russian aviation watchers published images and video claiming that the first production Su-57 carrying the serial number 01 marked its maiden flight on December 25. One of the blogs, Military Informant said showing several Images of the “first” serial Su-57 for the Russian Aerospace Forces. “The shot was taken during an intermediate landing at the Tolmachevo airport (Novosibirsk),” it said.
So far only the MiG-31K fighters on duty in the Southern Military District are carriers of the Kinzhal (dagger) hypersonic missiles. TASS had earlier reported that the Su-57 entered service with one of the aviation regiments of the Southern Military District.
Andrei Yelchaninov, first deputy chairman of the board of the Military-Industrial Commission has said in an interview last week, “new types of weapons that will be used from the inside of the fuselage (of the Su-57). Their tests are planned to be completed in 2021 as part of the aviation armament complex.
After a series of delays and setbacks, Russia seems to have fast-forwarded the development of the Su-57. While some 10 prototypes have been manufactured, the plan is to manufacture four more serial Su-57 jets by 2021 and progress to about 10-12 jets a year from 2022, according to various reports.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the military department board that by the end of 2024, 22 Su-57s will be sent to the aerospace forces. The contract, signed in 2019, provides for the delivery of 76 Su-57s until 2028.