‘Almost certain’ Sukhoi Su-57 fighter being used on missions in Ukraine, UK says

5th generation fighter jet, however, would only fly over Russian territory launching air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles

The Sukhoi Su-57 ‘Felon’, the Russian Air Force’s most advanced fighter jet, has been involved in the conflict in Ukraine, according to intelligence analysts at the UK Ministry of Defense.

Despite not guaranteeing the involvement of the 5th gen aircraft, a report published on Monday states that “Russian Aerospace Forces have almost certainly used Su-57 FELON to conduct missions against Ukraine.”

FELON is Russia’s most advanced fifth-generation supersonic combat jet, employing stealth technologies and highly advanced avionics.”

However, the stealth jet has not invaded the territory of Ukraine, being limited to missions over Russia, from where it would launch air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles.

The British Ministry of Defense has shared a satellite image in which it identifies five Su-57s parked at Akhtubinsk Air Base, which is home to the 929th Flight Test Centre.

Su-57 fighters at Akhtubinsk Air Base (UKMD)

Two dozen Su-57 fighters

The UK government claims that the unit is the only one operating Sukhoi’s new fighter. The military base is about 450 km from the border with Ukraine.

Google Earth satellite images taken in late 2022 show six to seven Su-57 fighters scattered around the base, which is also home to several Russian Air Force combat aircraft, apparently even S-70 Okhotnik-B stealth drones.

Alleged Su-57 over Ukraine in March 2022

Although British intelligence has claimed that the ‘Felon’ has been involved in the conflict since June last year, there are records of similar aircraft in operation from March, weeks after the Russian invasion.

A video shared on social media shows an aircraft with diamond-shaped wings carrying out ground attacks in what would be an area near Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. There is no confirmation on the veracity of the images.

Russia reportedly has a fleet of around 20 Su-57 fighters, ten of them mass-produced, the most recent aircraft of which were delivered last December.

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