17 Oct 2018 12:18

Sukhoi Su-57 can be transformed into unmanned aircraft - MP Bondarev

MOSCOW. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet has a huge modernization potential, according to former Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Chairman of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev.

"The Su-57 has a huge modernization potential, which will last for half a century. The plane's avionics has open architecture. In fact, the fighter jet can be transformed into a fully automated, unmanned warplane," Bondarev told the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta in an interview published on Wednesday.

"Not to be overhasty and speaking of the present, Su-57 has passed the first stage of state trials with flying colors, and each of its performance characteristics has been confirmed," Bondarev said.

Su-57 has proven its value on both training ranges and in a real combat environment in Syria, Bondarev said. "Please note that prototypes of this aircraft were sent to the Russian airbase in Hmeimim six months ago," he said.

Speaking of the expediency of a shift to the sixth-generation aircraft, Bondarev said, "A transition to the sixth generation is impossible without mastering modern aviation technologies in fifth-generation vehicles first."

"To my mind, the call for designing and selling an export modification of Su-57 (I quote: "capitalize the aircraft costs on foreign markets") are either outright treason or mere incompetence and shortsightedness," Bondarev said.

"Let me say again: we need the Su-57 aircraft, there will be no progress without it. Our Armed Forces need it for effectively deterring hostile forces and guaranteeing our superiority over air forces of any countries. Most importantly, it is needed for the sake of national security, and stable and sustainable wellbeing of Russia, which no one will dare to attack if it has modern high-tech aviation complexes of the kind," he said.