Popular Mechanics questioned the unmanned capabilities of the Su-57


According to Russian media reports, the new Russian Su-57 invisible fighter is undergoing unmanned tests. But Popular Mechanics experts believe that due to funding problems, the aircraft is unlikely to “reach” the Russian aerospace forces soon.


The Sukhoi Su-57, held at NATO under the code name Felon, is a large twin-engine stealth fighter of the same class as the US Air Force F-22 Raptor. During the last “unmanned” tests, there was a pilot in the cockpit monitoring the operation of fighter systems. However, PM doubts the veracity of this data.

Typically, a manned aircraft modified for autonomous missions requires the installation of additional equipment for remote control of weapons, sensors and flight controls. Su-57 is a single-seat aircraft, and if a pilot sits in the seat, there is simply no room for such equipment.

The Su-57 was first introduced in 2010, and Russian state media claimed that the country's aerospace forces would receive 144 such fighters by 2012. But in reality, funding problems are forcing Moscow to slow down with the development of the program. “Sukhoi” presented only 13 copies - prototypes and prototypes of the fighter. The company promises to start mass production of the Russian fighter this year and supply 76 units in the coming years. However, according to Popular Mechanics, given decades of underfunding and delays, it’s better to wait and see what happens next.
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  1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 13: 29
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    ... requires the installation of additional equipment for remote control of weapons, sensors and flight controls ..

    What kind of equipment, for example? There are all electrical control systems. There are no levers like in a tractor. What needs to be built in there, except for the software, so that it all works?
    1. sgrabik Offline
      sgrabik (Sergei) 20 May 2020 14: 28
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      And we are not obliged to prove anything to anyone, especially to Americans. These are already their personal problems - to believe or not to believe, everything is going according to plan. Su-57, having overcome all the problems and getting rid of its "childhood diseases", will certainly take its rightful place in our VKS. Not for that, billions of rubles are invested in the Su-57 creation program, so that in the end everything will be dropped halfway !!!
    2. Kristallovich Offline
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 18: 34
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      For example, an additional on-board computer. This is such a box of 50 to 40. Perhaps some kind of connecting equipment ...
      1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 19: 13
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        ... This is such a box of 50 to 40 ..

        You forgot to specify the thickness.) If it’s a couple of centimeters, then it’s a little (you can squeeze it in so that it does not stick out.) In addition, I think this box is already there, since the airplane was remotely prompted. Or do you think that an apple struck the designer’s head just yesterday?)
        1. Kristallovich Offline
          Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 19: 42
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          you can squeeze in so that it does not stick out.

          Yes, of course, because modern planes are full of empty niches ... At least carry a suitcase to rest with you.

          You write complete nonsense. In modern fighters, everything is so tight that you can’t put a cube with a side of 15 cm into it.

          Or do you think that the designer struck an apple on his head just yesterday?

          No, I think, just apples weren’t enough for you ...)
          1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 19: 48
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            No, of course, there are not many empty places there) Such capabilities were initially laid in the concept of this aircraft, so there is no point in arguing about “50 by 40 boxes”. Here the essence is different. Americans must first decide. Or that:

            ... As a rule, a manned aircraft modified for autonomous missions requires the installation of additional equipment for remote control of weapons, sensors and flight controls. Su-57 is a single-seat aircraft, and if a pilot sits in the seat, there is simply no room for such equipment.

            or still:

            ... But Popular Mechanics experts believe that due to funding problems ..

            That is, if you follow American logic,

            ... there is no place there, but if you finance, then there is ...
            1. Kristallovich Offline
              Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 19: 51
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              The concept of this aircraft was originally laid such opportunities

              Who told you that? Of the Su-57, no one plans to make an unmanned aircraft. He is needed only for testing technology! Unmanned fighter will be completely different!
              1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 20: 11
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                ... Who told you that?

                I can redirect this question to you. And who told you that no one planned this? In addition, in fact, the argument with "place 50 to 40" is not serious at all. For that matter, I will give you plenty of room for this there.
                At least in the arms compartments. To reduce the radio frequency, part of the armament is hidden in the internal compartments of this aircraft. There is more than enough space for such “boxes” in case of “technology development”. Or do you think such flights are carried out at full ammunition?
                1. Kristallovich Offline
                  Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 20: 17
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                  I can redirect you to the same question. And who told you that no one planned this?

                  Class! Like - I blurted out here, try to refute. smile

                  then as many places as I can give you there.

                  Provide. laughing
                  1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 20: 25
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                    Well then, let's turn 180 °. I give you information based on my statements.

                    ... The fact that the Su-57 can be upgraded to a combat drone, has been said for a long time. And so, the other day, test fighter flights began in unmanned mode. Flight testing in unmanned mode takes place on the basis of the flying laboratory T-50 in the mode of equipment verification. The test pilot is in the cockpit, but during the flight it is assigned only control over the operation of the automation ....

                    https://naukatehnika.com/su-57-sverxzvukovoj-udarnyj-bpla.html
                    naukatehnika.com

                    Read the article carefully to the end, and then tell me, please, your opinion.
                    1. Kristallovich Offline
                      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 20: 38
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                      Why should I read the private opinion of a certain Roman Barsky? Who is he at all? Some kind of rewriter? He found some materials on the network, of them dazzled what happened ... It's funny! And your statements are based on this ???

                      To make a drone out of a Su-57 is utter nonsense! Just for the sake of testing technology, no more! This is a different concept! Why unmanned fighter cabin? Lamp? Look at the S-70, there is nothing like that and it cannot be! Further. The presence of a pilot is a serious barrier to unlocking the flight potential of an aircraft. Overloads, after all. An unmanned fighter will be built on the basis of the lack of a pilot, there are completely different horizons! And a bunch of other nuances that we don’t even know about!
                      1. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 21: 14
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                        ... the opinion of a certain Roman Barsky? Who is he at all? Some kind of rewriter? ..

                        I don’t know who he is, I don’t know his scientific degrees, but he often writes about the technical capabilities of aviation. Pretty detailed, informative, technically competent, and most importantly neutral. In addition, the journal "Science and Technology" as if by name obliges you to write objectively. In any case, as a certified engineer, his articles do not cause any rejection or doubt.

                        Why unmanned fighter cabin? ..

                        Well, maybe for versatility. The T-14 tank is also with a cabin, and an unmanned regime is laid in the concept. There are many applications for this.
                      2. Kristallovich Offline
                        Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 22: 02
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                        Why unmanned fighter cabin? ..
                        Well, maybe for versatility.

                        Why then does the S-70 not have a cabin "for versatility"? It is in size as a Su-57.
                    2. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 21: 25
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                      ... Why do an unmanned fighter cabin ..

                      The question is not entirely posed. That's right: why does an airplane need unmanned mode (or remote control)? And if the pilot lost consciousness for some reason? To bring an expensive plane back, and maybe save the pilot’s precious life, is this not an argument?
                    3. Kristallovich Offline
                      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 21: 53
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                      You propose to implement a truly breakthrough project of an unmanned fighter based on the previous generation. This is the same as creating the latest launch vehicle with a return stage on the basis of the Soyuz of the 60s. It doesn’t work like that! An unmanned combat aircraft is not just the next generation, but a new era in aviation! This is a new component base, communications, completely different software, artificial intelligence, etc.
                    4. Kristallovich Offline
                      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 20 May 2020 21: 59
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                      And if the pilot lost consciousness for some reason? Return expensive plane back

                      This is not an unmanned combat aircraft. This can be implemented on regular machines. This is just an improved autopilot. We are talking about a combat situation. This is the main task of the generation of unmanned aircraft. Be completely autonomous on the battlefield. Independently choose a target, select a means of destruction from the existing nomenclature, hit the enemy. Yes, also work, as they say, from the remote control. But communication is an unstable thing, even if it is very secure.
                    5. Dear sofa expert. 20 May 2020 22: 13
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                      ... be completely autonomous on the battlefield. Independently choose a target, select a means of destruction from the existing nomenclature, hit the enemy ..

                      I think that making the technique for killing completely autonomous is not the goal. The decision must always remain with the person. I can imagine a group of planes, in one or several of which pilots are sitting, and the rest are driven in semi-automatic mode, or remotely controlled by these pilots, in a mode.
  • Arkharov Offline
    Arkharov (Grigory Arkharov) 21 May 2020 06: 28
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    Dear sofa expert. And where will the software get information about the environment from? Do you think that the "periphery" existing on it at the moment is enough, in the absence of even the pilot’s eye?
    1. Dear sofa expert. 21 May 2020 11: 36
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      ... Do you think that the "periphery" existing on it at the moment is enough, in the absence of at least the pilot’s eye? ..

      Yes, I think there are enough sensors there.

      http://www.airwar.ru/enc/fighter/su57.html
      1. Arkharov Offline
        Arkharov (Grigory Arkharov) 21 May 2020 11: 39
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        But not for unmanned use. I fully support in this matter Kristallovich.
        1. Dear sofa expert. 21 May 2020 12: 06
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          .. I fully support Kristallovich in this matter ..

          Your full right.
          What do you think? Opportunities for subsequent upgrades are laid in advance in the plane? After all, such things fly then more than a dozen years.
          1. Arkharov Offline
            Arkharov (Grigory Arkharov) 21 May 2020 14: 28
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            Just upgrading and switching to unmanned mode are two very big differences. Somehow, the thermal power plants do not seem to be upgraded to nuclear power plants (well, excuse me, the first, in my opinion, somehow suitable, occurred to me). There is too much for the use of a pilot, a lot of useless iron and plastic and a lot of restrictions due to the use of a living creature. Conversely, a bunch of missing, which compensates for the pilot with his presence. Only as a flying laboratory for working out individual solutions.
  • 123 Offline
    123 (123) 21 May 2020 07: 26
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    Typically, a manned aircraft modified for autonomous missions requires the installation of additional equipment for remote control of weapons, sensors and flight controls. Su-57 is a single-seat aircraft, and if a pilot sits in the seat, there is simply no room for such equipment.

    They planned to make an unmanned version two years ago.

    The fifth-generation Russian fighter Su-57 can be upgraded to a combat drone. This was stated by the head of the defense committee of the Federation Council Viktor Bondarev.

    https://russian.rt.com/russia/article/565135-su-57-shestoe-pokolenie-bondarev

    To believe that in 2 years they could not solve the "super task" of installing an on-board computer was either outright stupidity or an extremely biased attitude towards the qualifications of Russian engineers.
    Even if the head is clogged with propaganda sawdust, they could assume that it is enough to throw out felt boots and balalaika, and then there will be enough space.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Dear sofa expert. 21 May 2020 11: 42
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      .. They planned to make an unmanned version two years ago.

      Yes, it’s just sometimes, if a person doesn’t know something, it’s easier to say that this is not. After all, no and no court)

      ... just throw out the boots and balalaika and then there is enough space ..

      You risk getting a counterargument that without felt boots it will be impossible to walk the airborne bear)
      1. 123 Offline
        123 (123) 21 May 2020 12: 22
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        You risk getting a counterargument that without felt boots it will be impossible to walk the airborne bear)

        There’s no time for a bear to walk, he sits at the helm. laughing
        1. Dear sofa expert. 21 May 2020 12: 53
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          ... Bear has no time to walk, he sits at the helm ..

          - from time to time tossing rods into a nuclear reactor.
  • vbsvob Offline
    vbsvob (Vladimir Bobykin) 27 May 2020 15: 00
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    Tens of billions of rubles have been spent on the creation and all in vain. Up to the fifth generation, the aircraft cannot be brought, despite all efforts. Neither by stealth, nor by engine. Backward science, technology and economics do not allow to bring the plane to mind and put into series. It’s too expensive, tasks are set beyond the means. And gigantic sums of creation are unlikely to give a return, as with Buran, for example.