Rogoway has come out to say that the Su-57 is about as stealthy as the Rhino. I suspect its stealthier than THAT, but not by a whole lot. I've been
teasing folks about what's wrong with the Su-57 and you can see it plainly if you look closely. That bird is NOT very stealthy. Even in some of the
latest pix of the latest Su-57 EMD aircraft, it has serious flaws for low RCS:
However, Rogoway makes an interesting point. While the Su-57 is really just a reduced RCS aircraft (like the Rafale) and not a Low RCS Aircraft, it
was designed to counter
low rcs aircraft. he then makes a list of some of those things.
1. The Cheek radars: these are radars in the aircraft meant to be turned on at an angle and allow for the Su-57 to try to mess with the AESA radars
on more advanced jets. It also allows for better situational awareness because they have radars pointing more than 'just' forward.
2. The IRST. This is meant to allow the Su-57 to look for stealth aircraft it can't see with the radars. Thermodynamics wins all wars, folks.
FWIW, the F-22 was going to have one and it was cancelled for money reasons. The F-35 does, iirc.
3. Infrared countermeasures built in. This is useful to essentially jam heat seekers.
4. Supposedly, rough air fields. Traditionally, the Russians do like the ability to work off of rough air fields. I'm not convinced we have seen
this demoed by the Su-57 yet, but I could be wrong.
5. 3d thrust vectoring. Meh. I think dog fights are really a thing of the past. Esp once the 6th gen and SHIELD gets deployed, but some people
live, love and die on the idea that the more maneuverable wins the fight.
6. he also goes on about the weapon's bay lay out. I'm not convinced but could be.
The idea here is that the Russians clearly believe they cannot make a fighter that is the F-22. They tried to play to their strengths. The problem
is, when it comes to a shooting war, as our friends the Blue Beanies stated as far back as the Gulf War, if you can see it, you can kill it.
The F-22 and F-35 will see the Su-57 first. That's bad for the Su-57.
Stealth isn't a panacea and its not magical. It DOES delay detection and that means everything in war.
And it seems the Chinese agree.