One of the most notable Russian test pilots who commanded the space shuttle Buran, Magomed Tolboyev turns 70 on Wednesday. Now retired, the former cosmonaut gave his opinion on Sukhoi Su-57, Russia’s first stealth fighter.
In an interview with TASS, Toboyev said that “Su-57 will kill [a F-35] easily, should they meet one on one. The F-35 cannot maneuver, it’s simply incapable. But it does has electronic might,” he explained. He further emphasized being opposed to the excess of electronics, which can be affected even by solar flares, in his opinion.
The former pilot said the Su-57 is a “brilliant aircraft”, but that the current war scenario has reduced the possibility of dogfights occurring as before. “Today, you no longer fight one on one. Everything depends on your support. There is electronic warfare today. This is no longer a sparring tatami, but a complex approach to tactical issues,” he stressed.
Developed by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 Lightning II was designed as a versatile combat aircraft, with stealth capability and that can assume different roles as conventional fighter, onboard aircraft carriers or in V/STOL operations.
Unlike the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 has been exported to several countries such as Australia, UK, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Netherlands and Norway, but an agreement with Turkey ended up being vetoed by the US government due to the purchase of missiles Russian S-400 surface-to-air.
The Su-57 is the first Russian stealth fighter, developed after a long period of testing. Its capacity has been questioned in the West because of the lack of resources from the Russian government that decided to put pre-series aircraft into service. Only in December, the first mass-produced Felon was delivered to the Russian Air Force.
For Tolboyev, who flew more than 50 types of aircraft, including the MiG-29, MiG-31, Su-24 and Su-27, flying the Su-57 would be a great asset but his retirement prevented that possibility.