Russia has a new superweapon, and it's a big threat to Ukraine

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.22 - 2023 10:34 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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Russia's most advanced fighter jet, the Sukhoi Su-57, is at the center of speculation regarding its potential deployment in the ongoing Ukraine war.

Despite no confirmed sightings over Ukraine, there are rumors and unverified reports that Moscow might be using these stealth jets to target Ukrainian defenses.

The Sukhoi Su-57, known under NATO's code "Felon," represents Russia's response to the latest fighter jet technologies developed by countries like the United States and China.

This stealth multirole combat aircraft, which took almost a decade to develop, was touted by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a significant advancement that could potentially shift the dynamics in the Ukraine conflict. However, the much-anticipated role of the Su-57 in the war remains unclear.

Rumours in the Ukraine war: Russia does not exploit the potential of fighter jet

Technical challenges and budget constraints, exacerbated by Western sanctions in response to the Ukraine war, have slowed the deployment of the Su-57. Currently, Russia reportedly operates less than a dozen of these jets, with production not showing signs of scaling up due to these issues.

Despite the advanced capabilities of the Su-57, its full potential in the conflict remains untapped, according to reports.

The Kyiv Post highlighted that while the aircraft might be competent, its effectiveness in the current war setting is questionable. British intelligence, in a January report, hinted that Putin might have "almost certainly" commissioned missions involving the Su-57. However, there has been no concrete evidence to substantiate these claims.

State media in Russia claimed in mid-2022 that the Su-57 was actively engaged in combat missions in Ukraine, focusing on identifying and neutralizing Ukrainian air defense systems. These claims, like others, have yet to be independently verified. Telegram channels have occasionally posted videos alleging sightings of the Russian jet, but these have not been corroborated.

The uncertainty surrounding the Su-57's involvement in the war adds to the complexities of the conflict, with even Ukrainian defenders not ruling out its possible deployment. The true extent and impact of the Su-57 in the Ukraine war remain a subject of conjecture, wrapped in the fog of war and propaganda.

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