If Russia buys a Su-75 Checkmate fighter, it will be after 2024
MOSCOW, ($1=72.48 Russian Rubles) – When planning a new state armament program for 2024-2033, they will discuss the likelihood of purchasing light single-engine fighters of the 5th generation Su-75 Checkmate for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov told reporters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
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“The plans of the future GPV will consider the possibility of acquiring it. This is an important factor in the export potential. Foreign customers are always interested in whether the native armed forces are taking the equipment they offer for export,” Borisov said.
He noted that the Russian Defense Ministry is currently buying twin-engine fighters for reasons of reliability.
“The Su-75 Checkmate is a single-engine aircraft, which imposes certain reliability requirements. The Ministry of Defense and the Aerospace Forces are traditionally quite cautious about such an implementation. Nevertheless, light single-engine aircraft are quite widespread in the world,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
According to him, the demonstrator shown at MAKS-2021, after some modifications, is capable of making its first flight in 2023, and mass production should begin from 2025-2026, “otherwise we simply will not enter this market, where American and Chinese models are already present.”
“In terms of its potential characteristics, this aircraft has very good potential, it has all the prospects to occupy a certain niche, and it already has potential buyers,” Borisov said.
“Two criteria: quick launch of it to the market and a reasonable price – these are characteristics that will allow it to occupy a corresponding niche,” added the Deputy Prime Minister.
What we know about Su-75 Checkmate
Yury Slyusar the General Director of PJSC UAC gave very interesting, somewhat sufficient information about exactly are the company’s intentions regarding the future of the Su-75 Checkmate. We must clarify – the aircraft that was presented at the exhibition is not a model or a demonstrator. He is ready to fly, figuratively speaking. Here is what is known so far:
1. Su-75 Checkmate is a single-engine stealth fighter. It is assumed that in 2022, before the first test flights, the fighter will receive an engine Izdelie 30. This engine is expected by all Russian aviation, as it is expected to become the main propulsion element of both Su-57 and Su-35 in the future.
2. The first flight will be performed in 2023. This means that in the next nearly a year and a half Russian engineers will test many procedures, as well as all possible systems, but on the ground, not in the air.
3. Su-75 Checkmate will develop speed up to Mach 2 and will have a low radar signature.
4. The armament of the Su-75 Checkmate stealth fighter will be similar to that of the Su-57. According to Yuri Slyusar, the Checkmate fighter can take over the entire range of weapons of the Su-57. This means bombs, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, anti-ship missiles, electronic warfare systems. Yuri Slyusar confirmed that for close combat the fighter will have a 30 mm automatic cannon. According to him, all armaments will be placed both in the inner compartment of the fuselage and on the hard points of the two wings.
5. The Su-75 Checkmate will have an unmanned version. “We hope that the Russian aerospace forces will show interest in this platform, <…> including [until] its unmanned version,” Slyusar said.
6. If the tests are successful, United Aircraft Corporation Rostec will begin mass production in 2026. As mentioned above, the UAC hopes the first customer will be Russia, which is very likely. According to Yuri Slyusar, the goal is for the company to produce 300 units of this fighter within the next 15 years. This figure is set at least in the business plan for the Su-75 Checkmate.
7. Su-75 Checkmate will be available on the international market. According to Yuri Slyusar, the company has carefully studied potential countries and regions that would be interested, or have given any signal for such, to buy this fighter. According to the company’s executive director, the desired number of 300 fighters includes international customers. It is also rumored [unconfirmed information] that the Su-75 Checkmate will be a budget fighter and a real competitor in the international markets of the American stealth fighter of the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II.
8. Su-75 Checkmate is not a version of the Su-57 but was developed from the mistakes made by the Russians in developing the Su-57. This was officially confirmed by Yuri Slyusar.
Hypothesis: as it became clear, the first flight is expected in 2023, while serial production is in 2026. This means three years, during which we at BulgarianMilitary.com assume that a second prototype will be made, which will receive complete armaments, avionics, and radar to be tested in real combat conditions in Syria [if the civil war is not over by then]. The second prototype (or built third) may receive an unmanned version to be tested.
It seems that the Russians’ expectations for the future and efficiency of the Su-75 Checkmate are high. At this early stage, there is no way to conclude or accept as authoritative the statements and comments of those involved in the development of the fighter. The first data and analyzes will come in stages over the next year and a half. Only then will conclusions and analyses of the technical characteristics be made.
Rumors: The UAE is part of the project
Yes. This rumor has been circulating in recent months in international aviation circles. But is it exactly a rumor?
If we go back four years, in 2017 at the international exhibition Index 2017 we will notice that then the Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates came out with a message that the two countries are starting work on a project for a fifth-generation stealth fighter, which should be ready in 2025. Too many matches, don’t you think?
According to MilitaryWatch Magazine, a Russian source in the defense industry and close to the publication’s editorial office has confirmed that Abu Dhabi is the “secret” partner of the Russians in the production of the Su-75 Checkmate. He shares that the UAE has the same role as Pakistan when it ordered its JF-17 from China – financing installments during certain periods.
The checkmate could take an advantage over the F-35 even before it began mass production. It is known that the United Arab Emirates ordered an F-35 from the United States in the last weeks of the Donald Trump administration.
At the beginning of his tenure, Joe Biden temporarily froze a deal to sell 50 F-35s to Abu Dhabi, but in April he signaled that he would notify Congress of the sale.
However, as it turns out, the UAE will receive a Russian Su-75 Checkmate in the future. Russia’s development and unveiling of a new fighter class for export without a confirmed client would be a major risk, which is why the report that the Checkmate is indeed the result of the Russia-UAE project makes sense. Of all the countries speculated to show an interest in the fighter, Abu Dhabi is best positioned to have financed and committed to the program. In addition, with no report that the Russia-UAE program was canceled, it would be highly unusual for Russia to develop the Checkmate for export highlighting the UAE as a leading client while at the same time developing another next-generation lightweight fighter jointly with the Arab country.
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