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How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles

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The Su-57 / Illustrative photo from open sources
The Su-57 / Illustrative photo from open sources

The Su-57 are capable of working far from the frontline, so russians apply these jet fighters against Ukraine without any fear to lose them

British Ministry of Defense noted in the intelligence report that approximately since June 2022, russia’s Armed Forces have used their Su-57 fighters in the war against Ukraine, which russians themselves call these jets "5th generation fighters", although the Su-57 is the 4++ generation aircraft.

How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Credits: British Defence Intelligence

It is stated in the report that at least 5 Su-57 aircraft are stationed at the airfield of the 929th test center of russia’s Ministry of Defense in Akhtubinsk. And that the use of the Su-57 was limited to firing air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles from russian airspace at objects on the territory (or in the airspace) of Ukraine.

Read more: ​Canada Donates More NASAMS to Ukraine

In fact, there is evidence that russians started using their Su-57s in the war against Ukraine even before June 2022.

How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russians report on the transfer of new Su-57s to the russian Air Force in December 2022 / Open source photo

For example, in mid-April 2022, Defense Express, citing its own sources, reported about two cases when the invaders applied these fighter jets: the 4++ generation Su-57 hit objects in Kirovohrad oblast and the territory of the Odesa seaport with Soviet Kh-59 missiles.

How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Scheme of the hypothetical placement of the Kh-69 missiles in the internal compartment of the Su-57 fighter, / Illustrative image from open sources

However, before the full-scale invasion, Kremlin propaganda talked about the development of the latest Kh-69 stealth missile, which is essentially a rebranding of the Kh-59MK2, specifically for the Su-57. And in August 2022, russian military-industrial complex presented the "non-existent" Kh-69 for the second time, and without much practical results. Although in open sources you can find the statement that in theory the Su-57 could carry as many as four X-69s in the fuselage compartment.

How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Su-57 and MiG-31BM in one parking lot / Illustrative picture from open sources

In turn, The Drive article assumes that russians can also use long-range missiles of the R-37M type with a declared range of up to 400 km from their Su-57s to try to "hunt down" targets in the airspace of Ukraine. The same as russians do it using their MiG-31BM.

It seems that russians themselves are still not completely confident in their Su-57, as they keep these aircraft not in the formation units, but in the "experimental" 929th test center. Although Kremlin propaganda claims that in 2022, russia’s Air Forces received as many as six aircraft of this type, reaching the overall number of serial Su-57s up to 10 units.

How russians Apply the Su-57s With the Kh-59 And R-37 Missiles, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's Su-57 at the airfield in Akhtubinsk as of 2019 / Picture provided by The Drive
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