MAKS 2021: New Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate stealth fighter to conquer international markets

Rostec clearly intends to internationally market its single-engine stealth fighter jet officially unveiled at the MAKS air show at Ramenskoye airfield in Moscow Oblast on Tuesday, July 20. UAC’s teaser video, which appeared online in mid-July, features actors portraying pilots from Vietnam, India, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates. The single-engine jet will cost 25-30 million dollars.

New Sukhoi Checkmate stealth fighter to conquer international markets Sukhoi Checkmate stealth fighter unveiled at MAKS 2021 on July 2021 (Picture source: Twitter)

Rostec’s United Aircraft Corporation plans to begin serial production of the Sukhoi Checkmate single-engine jet fighter in 2026, UAC CEO Yuri Slyusar said during the presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo. "The static trials of the new plane will be complete in one year. […] The serial plane will be available for clients since 2026," he said. The plane should first take off in 2023. Before that, it will undergo a complex of ground tests.

Checkmate appears to be a high-flying interceptor whose main role will be to hunt Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters. UAC plans to manufacture 300 single-engine light tactical fighter jets within the next 15 years, Slyusar said: "300 planes are on our business plan. We hope it will be done within the next 15 years", Yuri Slyusar said, adding that the plan rests on the market analysis. "When I say 300, it is not just a dream. It is a figure calculated by countries and regions. We analyzed the clientele. When we cite these figures, we do it responsibly," he added.

The new Sukhoi single-engine jet fighter can carry up to five air-to-air missiles of various ranges, according to the Rostec presentation. The machine is capable of carrying the entire spectrum of fifth-generation missiles and bombs. During the presentation, the plane was accompanied by mock RVV-MD, RVV-SD and H-59MK missiles.

Like the American F-35, It can operate in a networking combat system and act as a part of a group of manned and unmanned aircraft, says Checkmate chief designer Mikhail Strelets said in an interview for TASS on July 20. "Both manned and unmanned versions of the Checkmate can operation in a networking combat system, which means acting as a part of a group of manned and unmanned aircraft," Strelets said.

"The Checkmate is equipped with artificial intelligence which acts as a co-pilot. It will diagnose all plane systems and assist the pilot in a rapidly changing combat situation. The pilot will focus on issuing commands, and the machine will perform all operations automatically," Strelets said. "The plane’s avionics with the built-in AESA radar can attack six and track 30 airborne targets. If we speak about ground and naval targets, the plane can track two targets simultaneously," Slyusar said.

Shvabe Holding said it had signed at MAKS-2021 airshow an agreement with the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to develop and supply optical-electronic KOEPS-75 sight for the Checkmate: "Checkmate will be equipped with KOEPS-75 optical-electronic aiming system designed by the Yalamov Ural Optical-Mechanical Plant of Shvabe. The system can be complemented by landing and defense stations upon customer requirements," it said. The agreement was signed by Shvabe CEO Alexey Patrikeev and UAC CEO Yuri Slyusar.

The fighter can carry all weapons of the SU-57. The jet can fire a whole range of weapons and fight air, ground and sea targets, as well as the latest air defense. The stealth Checkmate can carry up to five guided air-to-air missiles of various ranges. Gun containers can be carried in internal compartments. Rostec said the new fighter jet can fire short (RVV-MD) and medium-range (RVV-SD) guided air-to-air missiles, as well as Kh-38MLE and Kh-38MTE air-to-surface guided missiles, Kh-58ShKE antiradar missiles, Grom-E1 and KH-59MK guided missiles, Grom-E2 gliding guided missiles, KAB-250LG-E, K08BE (UPAB-500B-E) and K029BE (UPAB-1500B-E) smart bombs. It can also fire unguided weapons, including S-8 and S-13 missiles and free-falling highly explosive air bombs of 100, 250, and 500 kg.

According to Slyusar, the new plane was designed on the Su-57 groundwork. "Its thrust-to-weight ratio is indeed unique in its class. The internal weapons bay is the largest among this type of planes, […] which makes it possible to deploy the entire spectrum of aviation weapons of the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter," Slyusar noted. A number of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons have been developed specifically for the Su-57. The plane can carry weapons in the internal bay, as well as on hardpoints. The Su-57 carries an auto gun for a short-range dogfight.

The new Matreshka automated logistical support was developed for the Checkmate single-engine jet fighter, the Checkmate chief designer said: "The Checkmate light tactical plane is indeed easy to maintain. The special Matreshka automated logistical support system was developed for this fighter. Using the newest methods of predictive analytics, the system will track the plane’s condition in real-time throughout its life cycle," Strelets said.

As reported by TASS, United Aircraft Corporation works on the unmanned version of the Checkmate light tactical jet fighter, according to the Rostec presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo. UAC head Yuri Slyusar believes that the unmanned supersonic jet will interest potential clients, including the Russian Aerospace Forces.