Zvezda, the official television channel of the Russian defence ministry, has published another video in its unique series of footage of the Su-57. In the latest clip, the fighter is first shown imitating refueling formation behind an An-12 transport plane. Later, the video shows the first-ever televised footage of the Su-57 carrying out real aerial refueling behind an Il-78 tanker.
Unlike previous generations of Sukhoi fighters, the Su-57's extendible refueling probe is attached several centimeters further off to one side of the aircraft. Sukhoi chief test pilot Sergei Bogdan told Zvezda that the new system will take getting used to for pilots.
The Russian military expects to receive its first dozen production-run Su-57s next year, with further orders expected after that. The new fifth-generation air superiority fighter has experienced rigorous testing, including combat evaluation in Syria against terrorist targets, and is packed with the latest in Russian avionics, electronics and weapons systems.