CAATSA kills Su-75 Checkmate – no machinery, no semiconductors

PANAGYURISHTE ($1=1.97 Bulgarian Levs) — By all accounts, it seems that the war in Ukraine will not find its finale this year. Most probably, and based on the statements of the two presidents, Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky [Ukraine] and Mr. Vladimir Putin [Russia], it is entirely possible that the war will not able to end again throughout the year 2023. We are getting closer and closer to a “complete victory” option. This means that either Ukraine loses the war and capitulates, or Russia loses the war, withdraws, and returns the temporarily occupied territories, including Crimea.

Russian Su-75 Checkmate will never enter serial production
Photo credit: Sandboxx

If Russia wins the war, it will be a pyrrhic victory. Mr. Putin will use the victory to entrench himself even more in power. But the consequences of the “won war” will reverberate for decades, to the detriment of the Russian economy and Russian citizens.

The US is already slowly killing the Russian defense industry. One of the strongest driving elements of the Russian economy [after energy] is already in the hands of Washington, which is slowly starting to squeeze around the “neck”. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act [CAATSA] has played a huge role in recent years in bringing down the Russian military-industrial complex, and today that complex is on its knees.

The first victim of CAATSA was the Su-75 Checkmate. The idea of ​​a low-cost fifth-generation stealth fighter to compete with the US flagship F-35 Lightning II and the Swedish SAAB Gripen has already died. It subsists on a mockup and a few computer graphics designs.

Maya Carlin, a defense analyst outlines the current status of the Su-75 Checkmate project. “Russia’s ability to obtain essential items such as precision machining and semiconductors has been impeded,” Carlin says. Without this mix of technological needs, the avionics of the Russian “Chessman” could not even be produced in a prototype version.

Iran buys 24 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighters produced for Egypt
Photo credit: UAC

This means Russian designers and manufacturers work with what they have available. I.e. avionics from Su-57 or Su-35. However, these fighters are currently failing. And if the Su-75 does it in international markets, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Su-35 does it in the war. Despite positive comments and evidence of good performance, the Su-35 did not deliver that air superiority as claimed. This means that equipped with Su-57 or Su-35 avionics, the Su-75 Checkmate will most likely fail in international markets as well.

Such signals come from the “friends” of Russia. India, for example, long ago withdrew from the Su-57 project and left Russia alone to handle its financing. This affected development, delaying it for years, and the results are visible: the only customer of the Su-57 is Russia.

Su-35 was supposed to fly in the skies of Algeria, Indonesia, and Egypt. Alas, that’s not going to happen after all three countries backed out of it “at the last minute.” CAATSA played an outstanding role in these denials. The fear of severe economic sanctions against the economies of these countries simply closed the door to Russian fighters and opened it to other options.

The Su-75 Checkmate is currently following in the same footsteps as other Russian aircraft. The lack of components and equipment, chips, and semiconductors constantly changes the plans in the Kremlin. This fighter was supposed to fly next year, but it will most likely do so in 2024, according to the Russians. But such a claim is now being questioned.

The Su-75 Checkmate was supposed to go into serial production in 2025, but Russian conglomerate Rostech says it won’t be earlier than 2027.

Vietnam sees Su-75 Checkmate fighter decorated with its flag
Photo credit: Twitter

CAATSA and the influence of US law also intervened in a Middle Eastern country. Pressure from Washington forced the UAE to withdraw funding for the Su-75 Checkmate. In return – the US is already assisting in the purchase of Israeli weapons from Abu Dhabi, and Israel is doing the opposite – urging the US to allow the UAE to acquire F-35 fighter jets.

However, there are more options ahead of the Su-75 Checkmate. Argentina and Vietnam. And while the second country trots a cheap version of a super-fighter in the air, Argentina is trying to escape British influence. But Argentina is not looking for a fifth-generation fighter, but a new fighter. To eliminate Russian influence in the region, most likely Washington will pressure London and the British will agree to be sold an F-16 fighter jet. Otherwise, they risk Buenos Aires acquiring Chinese fighters, which is a worse option for the Western coalition.

CAATSA kills the Russian “chess player”. Some experts believe that CAATSA cannot prevent some governments from purchasing the Su-75. But CAATSA is not currently required to do so. It is enough that he continues to stop the import of technology to Russia and this project will simply be buried. Because every single delay in the project, which is already happening repeatedly, leads to the rejection of potential customers.

Today, America’s most powerful weapon against Russia is not modern weapons systems, partnerships, or influence near Russia’s border. Today, CAATSA “shoots” lethally into the heart of the Russian defense industry.


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