Advances in the Su-57 Felon: Second stage engines in 2024

A detailed analysis of the incorporation of second-stage engines in the Su-57 fighters, scheduled for 2024.

The current Su-57 fleet and the transition to Izdelie 30-engines

According to a report by TASS, the Russian Aerospace Forces have received a fleet of ten Su-57 fighters equipped with phase one engines. This squadron constitutes an integral part of the VKS, standing out in air capabilities with its current design. The insider source cites that, starting in 2024, all Su-57s  produced will be equipped with the advanced Izdelie 30 engines, marking a qualitative leap in terms of performance and operational efficiency.

The Izdelie 30 engine, formerly known as AL-51 and later AL-51-F1, has been under an extensive development and testing process. This two-shaft, low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine features a three-stage fan, a five-stage high-pressure compressor and significant improvements in terms of efficiency and performance.

Current Su-57 fighters in service with VKS will not receive engine upgrades, maintaining their current engine configurationsRostec, the state corporation, has confirmed the completion of second-stage engine testing, signaling the early integration of these advanced engines into future Su-57s.

Technical analysis of the  AL-51-F1 engine: Innovation and efficiency

The AL-51-F1 engine represents a significant innovation compared to its predecessor, the AL-41F1. This engine includes fiberglass plastic IGV and nozzles that optimize its radar signature. Its efficiency is notable, evidenced by a 19% increase in thrust-to-weight ratio, a 6.4% increase in specific thrust and a 9% reduction in fuel consumption. The thrust data is impressive: 107.9 kN dry and 166.8 kN after burning.

The use of full authority digital engine control (FADEC) ensures exceptional reliability under various operating conditions. These engine upgrades increase performance and strengthen the Su-57 ‘s capability in complex combat scenarios.

Advances in the Su-57 Felon: Second stage engines in 2024

In 2023, modifications were introduced to the structural design of the engine, highlighting the adoption of flat nozzles, a design that has gained popularity globally and improves the stealth and efficiency of the fighter.

Development and advantages of flat nozzles in stealth fighters

Flat nozzles, present on cutting-edge designs such as the F-22, offer significant advantages in stealth fighters. Its ability to distribute exhaust gases more evenly reduces its visibility to infrared sensors, a crucial attribute for stealth operations. Additionally, these nozzles allow for more precise control of the exhaust gas flow, improving the aircraft’s maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

Durability and reliability are other aspects where flat nozzles excel. Its design minimizes stress, reducing the risk of damage such as cracks or deformations, which translates into a longer useful life and less need for maintenance. These factors, combined, affirm the superiority of flat nozzles in modern fighters.

Additionally, a three-circuit powerplant is being developed, promising a 12.5% ​​improvement in subsonic fuel efficiency, underscoring the continued commitment to innovation in engine technology.

The  Su-57: A fifth-generation fighter with an eye to the future

Advances in the Su-57 Felon: Second stage engines in 2024Su-57 with new square nozzles

Developed by Sukhoi, the Su-57  is a twin-engine, multi-mission stealth fighter. Initiated as part of the PAK FA program in 1999, the Su-57 is emerging as a modern and cost-effective counterpart to projects such as the MFI. Classified as T-50 by  Sukhoi, this aircraft represents the pinnacle of stealth technology in Russian military service.

As a 5th generation multirole fighter, the  Su-57 combines stealth, exceptional maneuverability, supercruise, integrated avionics and significant payload capacity. Its role is fundamental to replace models such as the MiG-29 and Su-27, remaining an attractive option in the export market.

Despite the challenges faced in its development, including structural and technical problems, as well as an accident on an early production aircraft, the  Su-57  remains a centerpiece in Russian air defense strategy, marking a milestone in the evolution of fighter jets.

FAQs

What improvements will the Izdelie 30 engines bring to the Su-57?

The Izdelie 30 engines, with increased thrust and greater efficiency, will significantly improve the performance of the Su-57. These engines offer a 19% higher thrust-to-weight ratio, a 6.4% increase in specific thrust and a 9% reduction in fuel consumption.

When are the Su-57s expected to receive the Izdelie 30 engines?

Starting in 2024, all Su-57s produced will be equipped with Izdelie 30 engines. This upgrade marks a notable advancement in operational efficiency and overall performance of the fighters.

What features make the AL-51-F1 engine innovative?

The AL-51-F1 engine includes innovations such as fiberglass IGV, optimized nozzles for radar and FADEC for reliability. It offers 19% more thrust, 6.4% more specific thrust, and reduces fuel consumption by 9%.

How do flat nozzles affect stealth fighters like the Su-57?

Flat nozzles improve stealth and efficiency in fighters such as the Su-57. They distribute exhaust gases evenly, reducing infrared visibility and increasing maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

What is the role of the Su-57 in Russian air defense strategy?

The Su-57, as a 5th generation multirole fighter, is key in the Russian air defense strategy. It combines stealth, maneuverability, supercruise and integrated avionics, intended to replace fighters such as the MiG-29 and Su-27.