Sujoy wrote:Russian Air Force should soon be able to routinely fly traditionally manned combat aircraft in tandem with unmanned aircraft. So maybe that's why Kremlin is not placing more orders for Su-57.
Su-57, Su-30SM, Su-35 flying in tandem with a UCAV like Mig SKAT can penetrate even a difficult Air Defense network like the Chinese Air Defense.
Traditionally VKS places one order for an aircraft type and waits for its fulfilment, until a new order is placed. Happened with most tactical aircraft in Russia and is happening again with Su-57, the 76 units is actually quite a big order for Russian standards and is planed to be delivered at a pace which is also rather high (ca. 1 sqd per year) once the production line gets up to speed in 2-3 years. So the current order is to be fulfilled by 2028 and until then there is no factual basis to claim that VKS is withholding orders for the Su-57, quite the contrary.
But of course, they are getting other options (Okhotnik and LTS mainly) to substitute the current fleet, composed mainly of Flankers in all its variants. Unmanned aircraft will be used more and more, and this applies even to normally manned platforms like the Su-57 or LTS, that can be made unmanned or optionally manned, too. An UCAV like Okhotnik or Skat are mainly strike and reconnaissance tools, but the air superiority role will be left to fighters, some of which quite probably will be mixed wings of manned and (increasingly) unmanned LTS, but maybe also mixed wings of manned and unmanned Su-57, the technical possibility has already been announced.
Going forward, the cheaper platforms allow Russia to increase their fleet at a reduced cost, rather than threaten the numbers of Su-57, which were always relatively restricted (estimations of 200-250 units in the long term) as a highest end platform that is overkill for most missions. USAF themselves are talking about ca. 100 NGAD, why should Russia produce thousands of Su-57?