Ukraine: Su-75 Checkmate was not involved in Russian air strikes
Ukraine mentioned the Su-75 Checkmate in a war-related analysis. According to Yuriy Ignat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, “Ukraine has not found evidence of the use of the Su-57 and Su-75 in the war.” According to the Ukrainian military, Moscow may have ordered “remote control of the Su-57 and Su-75”. Thus, the two aircraft appear on Ukrainian radars only as flashes during an operation.
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Such a statement by Mr. Ignat to Ukrainian media is more than illogical. The mention of the Su-75 in connection with the war in Ukraine is highly illogical. Russia has never officially claimed to have developed a Su-75 prototype. Before the war, Moscow “exhibited” a model of the Su-75 at one or two exhibitions, mostly in the Middle East.
According to the Ukrainian spokesman of the Russian Air Force, “These planes have shown something on the front that they have dropped bombs and missiles somewhere.” Russia has never claimed that the Su-75 was involved in any way in the war in Ukraine. Moscow claims only that the Su-57 Felon was involved. In fact, not only Moscow, London claims the same.
Mr. Ignat’s statement that “the Su-57 appeared as a blip on the radar” also raises serious doubts. Russia has never claimed that the Su-57 entered Ukrainian territory. Moscow and London claim that the plane was used for beyond-visual-range attacks. This means that the Su-57 was over Russian territory, firing a long-range missile.
In fact, Mr. Ignat’s remarks come at a time when Kyiv is trying to convince Washington to allow the re-export of American F-16 fighters. Political scientists of BulgarianMilitary.com assume that the statement about the participation of “Su-57 and Su-75” has a more political nature. I.e. Ukraine is trying to show the danger of Russian fighter jets, thus changing the opinion of the Americans. But there is no logic in such a statement, given that the Americans also know that the Russians do not have a working prototype of the Su-75.
BulgarianMilitary.com wrote a long time ago that Russia will not soon put the Su-75 into serial production. Even according to the former National Security Council staffer in the George W. Bush Administration, this aircraft may never enter serial production.
At the end of last year, we wrote that it was the war in Ukraine that could put an end to the ambitious project for a fifth-generation single-engine fighter. The Su-75 Checkmate was in the sights of India and Vietnam, as well as a Middle Eastern country. But the war in Ukraine and the diversion of resources to the production of existing weapons technology will either seriously delay the production of the Su-75, or it will never start.
Although Russia claims that the Su-75 will enter serial production in 2026, there is no indication that this is true. First, the war in Ukraine forces Russia to necessarily look for a foreign investor for this project. Second, even if a miracle were to happen and the plane did get on the production line, selling it overseas would be next to impossible because the plane would have no combat experience, nor would its capabilities be clear. The probability that the Su-57 will be a more successful fighter for sale abroad is greater than that of the low-budget Su-75.
However, Russia categorically opposes the analyzes and assumptions of Western experts. Moreover, in the middle of last year, the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC] announced that they were starting the production of four Su-75 prototypes. Yury Slyusar, General Director of the UAC also announced that an unmanned version of the fighter will be developed.
“Work on the unmanned version of Checkmate has been ongoing since the early design stages. The unmanned version can be created together with a single-seat aircraft. The potential for flight tests of the unmanned aircraft is being created as part of the work on the manned version,” Slyusar told the TASS agency then.
Others believe that Russia can afford to develop the Su-75 despite the war. As a reason for such a statement, they point out that the Su-75 will use many of the ready-made solutions, systems, and armament of the Su-57.
According to the plans of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the Su-75 should perform its first flight test in 2024. This year was chosen after Moscow changed the year of the first test flight several times. First, it was 2022, then it became 2023, and now 2024.
The future of the Su-75 was predetermined, according to the available data. The United Arab Emirates is believed to have financed the Russian project. The first signals of this were years ago when at one of the IDEX exhibitions in Abu Dhabi, Russia, and the UAE announced a “joint project for a stealth fighter of the fifth generation”.
However, information later emerged that the UAE may have stopped funding the Russian Su.75 Checkmate. Maya Carlin makes an analysis in which she says that the reasons for this are probably two: the continuous postponement of the date of the first test flight, as well as the war in Ukraine. There is a third reason – stopping access to modern components for the Russian industry. Even if the war stops today, the sanctions will not be lifted, which means that it will affect the development and production of the Su-75.
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