For Russian fifth-generation aircraft, covers will be sewn to protect them from bad weather and hide them from reconnaissance means. Deliveries will begin in 2021, sources told Izvestia in the military department and the defense industry.
The products will be made of polymers that reflect the radar signal. Each aircraft will receive more than a dozen covers – separately for the wheels, lower, central and rear fuselage, wings, cockpit, nozzle, stabilizers, air intakes and other parts of the structure.
The new “clothing” will also protect the electronics located on the outside of the aircraft from the elements. In the latest fighters, antennas, sensors, optical and electronic systems are located on the wings and fuselage. In addition, the Su-57 uses the technology of the so-called smart plating: active phased antenna arrays of different ranges are distributed “over the body” of the fighter. Unlike previous radar stations, whose antennas are attached to the nose of the aircraft, the “smart skin” provides an all-round view for hundreds of kilometers, not just in the front hemisphere.
The covers made of special material will also hide the aircraft, if they are based at the airfield without hangars and sheds – through them it will not be possible to see the outlines of cars in the pictures, electronic reconnaissance equipment will also be useless.
“Where the planes are based, how many are there, where and from where they have transferred forces – the enemy will not know all this,” the former commander of the 4th Air Force and Air Defense Army Lieutenant General Valery Gorbenko told Izvestia. – It is also important to protect modern technology from bad weather. Today, aircraft are sometimes covered entirely, but this provides little protection from rain or snow. In the southern regions, during sandstorms, paint is erased on machines like emery.
Manufacturers are currently executing contracts for the supply of a total of 76 Su-57s to the Russian Ministry of Defense. This year it is planned to complete state tests of a pre-production batch of aircraft.
Read more in the exclusive material from Izvestia:
Sewn for defense order: Su-57 will be hidden under invisible covers