InsideOver: US loses $10B contract due to Russian Su-75 fighter

ROME, ($1=0.87 Euros) – The United States could lose a multi-billion dollar contract over the Russian fifth-generation fighter Su-75 Checkmate. Italian military expert Paolo Mauri spoke about this, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

The new Russian fifth-generation fighter Checkmate will be unveiled at the Dubai Airshow 2021, which will take place from 14 to 18 November in the UAE. According to Paolo Mauri, Russia chose this event for a reason to demonstrate its new product. Writes about this edition InsideOver. PolitRussia presents an exclusive retelling of this article.

“Checkmate is in many ways similar to the Su-57, Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter,” notes the InsideOver author.

The new Russian aircraft has a payload of 7,400 kg, a maximum flight speed of Mach 1.8, and a range of 1,700 km. An interesting feature of Checkmate will be its cost – $ 25-30 million. This is very small compared to the price of Western aircraft, with which the Russian aircraft will compete on the international market.

Russia does not hide that Checkmate is primarily export-oriented, but it is possible the Checkmate to join the ranks of the Russian Aerospace Forces. It is assumed that the fighter can replace the MiG-29 in the Russian troops.

“The plane already has its first foreign customer – the United Arab Emirates,” the expert stated.

According to Western media reports, Abu Dhabi will be Moscow’s secret partner in the production of the Su-75. It can be assumed that the United Arab Emirates will be one of the first to receive a new Russian aircraft. Against this background, it is not surprising that the fighter will be presented at Dubai Airshow 2021.

The participation of the UAE in the Checkmate project is indirectly confirmed by the reaction of the United States. The latter recently froze a major deal for F-35 fighters destined for Abu Dhabi. The cost of this contract is estimated at $ 10.4 billion – for this money, the Arab state was to receive 50 American aircraft. But in the end, due to Checkmate, there are not very many chances that the deal will be completed.

Argentina, Vietnam, India

These are the three countries that are most often mentioned as potential buyers of Checkmate. These three countries also want to bring down the F-35 market leader, but not at any cost. In reality, the three countries are not in conflict with the United States.

But the Su-75 allows them to buy a much cheaper fifth-generation aircraft than the F-35. However, will the Russian quality correspond to that of the F-35? The answer is 50/50. The F-35 has been operating in international markets in this area for years, but in the last 24 months, whether unexpectedly or planned, serious problems have started to appear. We can assume that in one way or another, if the Su-75 wants to remove its American competitor from the market, then its developers have made sure that it meets international requirements.

But Argentina, Vietnam, and India? India seems to have another goal – to develop its next-generation fighter. Many times she gave requests and signals for these intentions, but just as often she sought solutions outside the country.

Either Vietnam spread the word or it leaked elsewhere, but the Asian side is more interested in the Su-57 than the Su-75. This was the case until the last fighter appeared on the market.

The main question, however, is another – who will spend hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars to help the Russians complete the Su-75? Because the one who does it will have a serious advantage in terms of quantity, price, and production time. Is there no fourth player?

Su-75 Checkmate fighter – features and weapons

The United Aircraft Corporation Rostec [UAC] of Russia presented at the International Air Show at MAX-2021 in Zhukovsky a new light and single-engine stealth fighter of the fifth-generation Su-75 Checkmate. The aircraft was officially presented by the CEO and executives of the corporation Yuri Slyusar.

During his presentation, Yuri Slyusar not only hinted but also 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.

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