Two fifth-generation Su-57 Russian fighter planes have successfully undergone combat testing in Syria and have returned to Syria, said Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. “They were definitely there. It wasn’t long, two days. While they were there, they underwent a battery of tests, including combat tests. There were two planes,” the minister told reporters on Thursday.
“I can say that the tests were a success. The aircraft returned home a week ago,” said Shoygu. On February 22, it became known that the planes had flown to Khmeimim in Syria.
According to the minister, in Syria the Su-57s were accompanied by aircraft-flying laboratories, as well as aircraft that tracked all the parameters of the weapons. “I was amazed that anyone noticed that the planes were in Syria,” Shoygu said.
“As for the various photos from satellites, I can say that it's not 1995, the planes are never together. The photos that were posted – I don’t know where they’re from, because the planes were inside the entire time,” he said.
The fact that the Su-57 fighters were in special bomb shelters at the Russian airbase in Khmeimim, Syria became known from photos shown on Russian TV. However, later there were satellite images showing one older fighter in the shelter and two Su-57s standing side by side out in the open on the runway. They were published by Israeli commercial satellite operator ImageSat International. Planes that are sitting out in the open can be easily hit by drones or mortar fire.