Russia's stealth fighter Su-57 to get AI-powered communication complex onboard

The new technology will help the fighter counter electronic warfare.
Ameya Paleja
File photo of a Su-57 in flight
File photo of a Su-57 in flight


Russia's advanced fifth generation fighter aircraft, the Su-57, is set to get an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered radio communication complex, state-owned Rostec Corporation said in a press release.

The Su-57 is a twin-engine multirole fighter aircraft developed by Russian manufacturer Sukhoi. An intended successor for the likes of MiG-29 and Su-27, the aircraft entered service in 2020 and is the first fighter in Russian military service to have stealth capabilities.

With the AI-powered digital communications complex onboard, Russia is looking for effective ways to counter jamming and other electronic warfare measures commonly deployed today.

How does AI-powered digital communication work?

According to Rostec's press release, the complex was developed by specialists at NPP Polet, a subsidiary of Ruselectronics, and operates in high and very high-frequency ranges. It includes computing devices, mixers and intermittents, digital signal processing units, noise-resistant coding and decoding appliances, as well as signal receivers for global navigation systems, and a digital signal processing and synchronization bus.

The press release also adds that the equipment is for "fifth-generation aircraft" and will "improve the quality of information transmission between aircraft and ground complexes."

Russia's stealth fighter Su-57 to get AI-powered communication complex onboard
The rise of AI will be seen in the military domain too

Further, it goes on to state that equipment ensures the reliability of information transmission due to "noise-resistant coding, interleaving of characters in the message, unified time synchronization during signal processing, the possibility of simultaneous transmission of messages via parallel channels, increasing the range of stable communication, as well as the use of artificial intelligence technologies."

According to Rostec, the use of AI in radio communication aims to increase interference and intelligence protection of the onboard complex's communications. In plain speak, the AI-powered radio communication will help find the most effective wireless channels in the Su-57s vicinity and resist interference or jamming. `

While that might seem like a simple application of AI, Russia isn't limited to using technology for communication alone. Earlier this year, a Russian media outlet reported that its State Research Institute of Aviation Systems had patented a technology that would provide fighter pilots with an intelligent system during combat.

Even though very few countries can boast of fifth-generation fighter planes, Russia is surely claiming the crown for using AI in its aircraft. The U.S. expects the technology to be incorporated into its sixth-generation fighter as part of its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Program.

The U.K., Italy, and Japan are also expected to use advanced AI on their new fighter jet dubbed Tempest, which is currently in the works and yet to make its first flight.

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