03:48 GMT01 December 2020
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    The newest export model of the Russian stealth fighter was recently demonstrated at the MAKS air show this summer, with President Vladimir Putin showing it off to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    US media outlet The National Interest, which focuses on the global defence industry, has come up with a short list of five nations that are more likely to buy Russia’s fifth-generation fighter jet, the Su-57, as the aircraft is about to be delivered to the Russian Air Force.

    One of these countries could be Turkey, which has essentially been kicked out of the F-35 programme by the US over its purchase of S-400 air defence systems from Moscow. The new Russian stealth jet was presented by Vladimir Putin to the Turkish president last summer, with the latter wondering whether Ankara could buy the aircraft.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at MAKS 2019
    © Sputnik / Сергей Гунеев
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at MAKS 2019

    Another potential buyer is Algeria, which has long been an importer of Soviet and now Russian-made armaments and equipment. Namely, the country is speculated to have bought S-400 air defence systems from Moscow in 2015, according to The National Interest. However, Moscow has never confirmed selling the air defence systems to the North African state. The magazine further pointed out that Algeria has also shown interest in the Su-35 – a predecessor of the Su-57 – which has only a small difference in terms of its price per plane.

    Myanmar could eventually also show interest in the top Russian jet, according to the media outlet. The magazine argued that the Su-57 would be of little use to the government in its fight against multiple domestic insurgencies due to the jet's focus on maintaining air superiority – but the latter could still be of interest to the country, according to The National Interest.

    Su-57 test flight over Astrakhan, Russia.
    YouTube / Zvezda
    Su-57 test flight over Astrakhan, Russia.

    The "air specialisation" of the Su-57 could also hinder its entry onto the Chinese market, with Beijing already developing its own fifth generation stealth jet, the J-20, which focuses on penetrating enemy defences and delivering ground strikes, according to the media outlet. China may still be interested in acquiring Su-57s for training purposes, as well as to study it for technologies that could be applied in the domestically produced fighter jet, the magazine pointed out.

    As a result of China’s interest in the Su-57, India may also be incentivised to acquire the cutting-edge Russian warplane, the media outlet added. According to The National Interest, the Indian Air Force has already "cautiously" signalled interest in the jet. Moscow and New Delhi previously tried to jointly build a fifth-generation jet under the FGFA programme, but India eventually withdrew from it in 2018.


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    India, China, Myanmar, Algeria, Russia, Turkey
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