The Su-57 has barely begun to be mass-produced, but Russia is already accelerating plans to export the stealth fighter. This week, Aleksandr Mikheyev, CEO of Rosoboronexport (the state-owned company that handles arms sales abroad), stated that there are up to five nations interested in the aircraft.
“We are negotiating with several countries. In Southeast Asia, four or five countries,” Mikheyev told Russian media.
Although he has not said which nations are, it is speculated that they involve air forces that already operate Russian fighter jets. Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia are customers of Sukhoi and MiG jets and are already planning to renew their air force squadrons.
Malaysia has 18 Su-30 fighters while Myanmar has a mix of Chinese and Russian planes, including 31 MiG-29s. The country also ordered six Su-30s some time ago.
Russia’s long-time ally, Vietnam operates 43 Su-27/30 fighters in addition to 34 old Su-22s.
So far, only the Russian Air Force has ordered the ‘Felon’, as it is called by NATO. In all, the country plans to have 76 Su-57 fighters in the next few years, a small amount for the size of the Force.
Therefore, exporting the stealth fighter is considered a way of injecting financial resources into the program. It is not known, however, whether the Su-57E export variant will have the same requirements on fighters produced for Russia.