Russian Su-57 stealth fighter may have two-seat variant

United Aircraft Corporation has registered patent drawings for the version at the Russian patent office and could transform the aircraft into an aerial drone control platform

The Su-57 fighter, Russia’s first stealth aircraft, may have a two-seat variant in the future. United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Sukhoi’s parent company, registered the version’s industrial designs with the Russian patent office recently.

According to Izvestia, the two-seater Su-57 will have three missions: advanced training, attack and becoming an aerial platform for controlling heavy drones.

Despite the larger and taller cabin, the UAC is expected to preserve the stealth capacity of the aircraft, which will also receive extra fuel tanks to offer a range 10% greater than that of the single-seat model.

A feature of the project would be duplicate piloting controls, allowing the Su-57 to be piloted by both occupants.

Patent drawings of the two-seat Su-57 fighter (FIIP)

The Russian outlet extols the fact that the Su-57 could be the first 5th generation fighter to have two seats, however, it did not consider the existence of a two-seat variant of the Chinese Chendgu J-20.

In the West, however, stealth fighters are only produced with one seat because there are advanced simulators that provide conditions for pilots to assimilate lessons before flying solo.

Two-seat J-20 fighter (Social media)

This concept has been used since the F-22 Raptor, the world’s first stealth fighter, and was extended to the F-35 Lightning II.

The argument that there are too many tasks on board for the pilot to be able to balance piloting with aspects of the mission also falls apart due to the high level of automation, which reduces the workload.

Sukhoi Su-30 (Natalie/CC)

Russian tradition

The development of two-seat versions has been common practice in Russian combat aircraft. Whether as trainers or attack aircraft, fighters such as the MiG-29 and Su-27 have these variants in operation.

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The UAC is also studying a two-seat variant of the Su-75 “Checkmate” single-engine fighter, which is still in the construction phase of the first single-seat prototypes.

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