A trial by fire, as it were, whether Russian military's newest toy is very good or not remains to be seen but this deployment is probably one of the best 'test drives' it could get.
It'll be interesting to see how people treat this and if they see it as anything but a show of force - after all this is a relatively large escalation by Moscow.
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 drill.
A video published on the Facebook group 'Syrian Military Capabilities' purports 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.
(L) Su-57 multirole figher jet © Sputnik / A still from a video by Syrian Military Capabilities/Facebook
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.
READ MORE: First Russian 5th generation Su-57 fighter jets to be put in service ‘very soon’
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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Su-57’s debut? Video claims to show Russia’s 5th-gen jets in action over Syria watch
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I'm sure that, if true, USAF F-22 pilots will be watching with interest.
It's a risky move deploying a brand new stealth platform over Syria where NATO AWACS, ISTAR platforms & USAF F-22s are. Ivan must be desperate to get some exports for its new toy.
I wonder how many of its avionics & weapon systems are operational. The new engines for it haven't yet come online so its currently borrowing powerplants used by the Su-27 family. It takes time to add in new systems - usually air-to-air weapons are added on first so I'm curious if the Russians have introduced air-to-surface precision guided munitions onto the airframe. The RAF's Typhoon still hasn't been cleared to carry the in combat if I remember correctly. The first test fire was only completed in the Summer of 2017.