Russia may develop a naval variant of the Su-57 fighter jet for carrier-borne operations, state-owned TASS revealed, citing United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yury Slyusar.

Citing the recently released Russian naval doctrine calling for “advanced aircraft carriers,” he said carrier groups accompanying them should be equipped with the new aircraft and unmanned aerial systems.

“The groundwork laid under the Su-57 program makes it possible to solve the tasks of the Russian Navy’s naval aviation within the shortest time possible,” he explained.

Russian Naval Doctrine 

The Russian naval doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin on Navy Day (July 31) this year calls for making the navy a “great maritime power” through global expansion, including controlling the North Sea Route and “a permanent Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean.”

To achieve these goals, Putin called on the navy to arm its warships with Zircon hypersonic missiles and build new aircraft carriers.

Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, has been undergoing a refit since 2015 and is expected to rejoin the fleet in 2024. It was originally slated to resume operations in 2022. However, an onboard accident in 2018 lengthened the repair work.

22 Su-57s to Join Fleet by 2024

The Russian Air Force currently operates an unknown number of Su-57s but is expected to receive 22 more by late 2024. The fleet is expected to increase to 76 aircraft by 2026, according to TASS.

The fifth-generation Sukhoi twin-engine stealth aircraft completed its maiden flight in 2010. Serial production began 10 years later.

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