The Su

Russia and the top of its state hierarchy, starting with its President Vladimir Putin, constantly praise the new ultra-modern weapons produced by the country and of which, has it been proclaimed for yearsthe West should learn to be wary.

Latest example, after use Kinjal hypersonic missiles, of contested effectiveness: the launch in the Atlantic Ocean of theAdmiral Gorshkova frigate equipped with Zircon hypersonic ballistic missiles, announced by Vladimir Putin on January 4. A way of once again showing fangs, which it is legitimate to put the edge in question.

There is another technological marvel available to Moscow, but which has kept a low profile since the start of what it calls its “special operation” in Ukraine: the Su-57 “Felon”, the most advanced fighter and bomber released. Sukhoi production lines, newly commissioned and which she claims to have already used in this war against her neighbor.

The always very talkative British Ministry of Defence, in one of its daily points, indeed considers that Moscow has made good use of this supposed master asset against its enemy.

With a limit however, and not the least: the plane would have operated only from Russian skies, very far back from the battlefield. Russia being afraid that this jewel and its secret innards will be mowed down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses and fall into the hands happy to dissect them, as it happened with other valuable materials.

According to the United Kingdom, Su-57s have been used since last June, at least to fire air-to-air missiles from a respectable distance or at ground targets –what the state agency Tass had already said. Like the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-31, which operate from Russian or Belarusian territory and represent a real threat to Ukraine and its hunters, the Su-57 would thus not risk falling into the wrong hands. This would explain the absence of videos or photos accrediting this use.

Stealth or invisible?

British intelligence is based on satellite images of the Akhtubinsk base, in the Astrakhan oblast (Russia), where the precious aircraft would be stationed when they are not taking to the skies to carry out their distant work.

But as aptly noted by The War Zone and some observers, the evidence seems thin. All the more slim since the British ministry claims that the base is the only one to receive Su-57s, while other evidence has already shown them in that of Lipetsk.

Still, the NATO countries, allies of kyiv, have the means to know quite precisely what is happening in the Russian skies, which they constantly monitor from the borders of the alliance. Difficult, then, to think that the British Ministry of Defense has only this meager element to prove its allegations.

“It seems highly likely that Russia will try to avoid damaging the reputation of the device and therefore the possibilities of exporting it, as well as the compromise of sensitive technologies if a Felon were to be lost over the air. ‘Ukraine”estimates British military intelligence about this distant use of the Su-57.

Admittedly, this seems logical. But it would also seem consistent that a baptism of fire of the device in good and due form, made public and glorified by the Russian army as by its designer Sukhoi, could boost its export prospects. Nothing proves the worth of a combat aircraft better than the fight itself. There is therefore reason to ask some questions about the Kremlin’s strategy, and about the other weapons constantly presented as invincible and miraculous by Russia.

The Su-57 “Felon”, the ultra-modern stealth jet that the Kremlin is terrified of losing in Ukraine