African countries interested in Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 “Felon” stealth fighter

CEO of Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms seller Alexander Mikheyev stated at the MAKS 2021 international aerospace show that “Rosoboronexport is currently considering the requests for the fifth-generation Su-57E fighter from five countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and Europe.” 

Although the Russian weapons manufacturer declined to name the particular customer, he did say that countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and Europe have shown interest in fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet.

Alexander Mikheyev explained that the Sukhoi Su-57 attracted great interest from several regions, and that a state contract had been signed for this fighter.

Su-57 is the official designation of the T-50 stealth multirole 5th generation fighter jet, developed under the PAK-FA program (Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii, translated prospective aeronautical complex of front-line air forces), that flew for the first time on January 29, 2010.

The Sukhoi Su-57 (NATO reporting name: Felon) is a single-seat, twin-engine stealth multirole fighter developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Aerospace Forces.

For a long time, Russia has been actively seeking to expand the export customer base for their latest tactical aircraft including the new fifth-gen Su-57, and updated versions of their MiG-29 and Su-27 airframes. In Africa, Egypt, Angola, and Algeria have been potential customers for these Russian aircraft.

Just last year, the Algerian Air Force began taking delivery of its first Russian-made MiG-29M/M2 multirole combat aircrafts in a deal which is expected to increase the size of the country’s combat fleet and replace legacy systems operated by the 193rd fighter squadron.

Algeria ordered 14 MiG-29M/M2 jets at the MAKS 2019 air show, comprising of new single seat MiG-29M and dual seat MiG-29M2.

The contract will see Algeria acquire additional 16 Su-30MKA and 14 MiG-29M/M2 fighters from Russia in a contract worth nearly $2 billion excluding weapons and training. The MiG-29M is the most capable variant of its class, and is also operated by the Egyptian Air Force.

In 2019, unofficial reports of Algeria has allegedly “signed a contract to purchase 14 of Russia’s newest Sukhoi Su-57 multi-role 5th generation fighter aircraft” started making the round. 

The reported Su-57 sale was said to part of a “package” including an additional 14 Sukhoi Su-34 and 14 Sukhoi Su-35s to Algeria. Apparently, the story seems to be entirely false.

Discussions with Algeria for the sale of the SU-57 might have occurred, however, this does not imply a contract has already been signed.

On the other hand, Egypt has taken delivery of all its MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets it ordered from Russia and has started receiving its two dozen Su-35 fighters.

Five Su-35s were delivered to Egypt in 2020, from an order of 24 Su-35S fighters signed in 2018/19, with delivery to be completed by 2023.

Twelve Egyptian Air Force (EAF) Su-35s have been spotted in satellite imagery outside the Komsomolks-on-Amur plant ahead of delivery.

Egypt signed a $2 billion deal for the supply of around two dozen Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft in March 2018, despite the threat of US sanctions, straining relations between Cairo and Washington. Thus, making it the second country after China to acquire the Su-35, the most advanced 4th generation jets in Russian inventory.

Meanwhile, Angola recently received all of it’s twelve Sukhoi SU-30K Flanker fighter jet ordered in October 2013, after they had undergone upgrade by Belarus’ 558th Aviation Repair Plant in conjunction with Russia’s Rosoboronexport.

Darek Liam

Been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade. Sometimes you see me in the Sahara desert horse riding.

Choose Your Language