Ankara, Turkey – Greece will pay a total of 2.3 billion euros under a deal it is due to sign soon with France for the purchase of 18 Dassault-made Rafale fighter jets. Greece will buy six newly-built and 12 second-hand Rafale jets for 1.92 billion euros and pay another 400 million for their equipment.
Greece aims to boost its armed forces and defense capability with new jets, frigates and arms, as tensions over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean region grow and relations with neighbor Turkey are fraught with disagreements. The first six used jets will be delivered around June and the rest by the middle of 2023.
After Turkey was removed from the F-35 project, the Turkish Air Force’s need for a new generation of fighter jets is on the agenda. The Su-57, the 5th generation fighter jet developed by Russia, continues to be a threat to F-35 aircraft and NATO with its remarkable features.
Turkey has to maintain its air dominance and superiority over Greece by acquiring S-57 fighter jets compatible with the S-400 air defense system.
Although the Su-57, the 5th generation fighter aircraft produced by the Sukhoi company for Russia, very few contemporary alternatives have joined the category it has been in over the past 10 years.
Despite being repeatedly delayed, the first mass production of the Su-57s has a number of advanced features that could seriously threaten NATO assets. The superior characteristics of the Su-57s compared to these F-35s are remarkable:
Sukhoi has designed the Su-57 with features that will be the leader of its class, especially in terms of air superiority. The Su-57s surpass the aerodynamic characteristics of the F-35s produced by Lockheed Martin, the largest defense industry contractor worldwide.
Su 57s can reach a range of up to 3,500 km without using afterburners (a method used to make jet aircraft go faster than normal engine capacity can), up to 2 Mach (the name given to the ratio of Mach speed to the speed of sound in the environment where the mass is located) without subsonic range. This feature gives the Su-57s excellent performance and super maneuverability in possible dogfight scenarios.
The Su-57s are designed to detect and neutralize high-priority air targets with superior efficiency, with maneuverability and superior weapon characteristics, rather than stealth characteristics.
The Su-57 has a powerful surface-to-air missile ammunition system. The Su-57s, along with the K-77M radar-guided missiles, an advanced version of Russia’s first medium-range missile, the R-77, have an electronic radar beyond visual range, with an impressive aiming capability of more than 150 km.
As a short-range capability, it has two K-74M2 infrared guided missiles. Besides a number of guided bombs from Russia’s KAB (smart bomb class) family, the Su-57 is also capable of hitting ground targets with tactical ground missiles such as the Kh-38, although it is largely designed for air-to-air missions. The Su-57 is also capable of carrying Russia’s nuclear-capable hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal missile.
In recent years, Russia has taken great steps to reduce the cost of the Su-57 and has made it easier to make mass production. This also allowed Russia to export Su-57s in the defense sector at a more competitive price. With an estimated cost of about $ 40 million, the Su-57s are not more expensive, although they are more capable and markedly more advanced than the F-35s.
Among other features, the Su-57 has an IMA BK integrated avionics (aviation electronics) package that monitors enemy units and can offer the pilot the most effective engagement options. This feature strongly threatens counter-air targets. The Su-57 also features the 101KS Infrared Search and tracking system to facilitate detection of stealth aircraft over long distances, in accordance with the anti-secrecy mission.
In the summer of 2019, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing Okhotnik-B aircraft produced by Sukhoi flying alongside a Su-57. The development of Okhontik-B as a type of “wing satellite” for the Su-57 is likely to improve the performance of the Su-57 aircraft with data connectivity and reconnaissance support.
The Okhotnik-B also appears to have some limited offensive capabilities, allowing it to attack locations considered too high risk for the accompanying Su-57. Exactly how the drone is controlled and to what extent it can operate autonomously has not yet been disclosed.
Note: Okhotnik-B is a low-radar unmanned aerial vehicle project of Russia.