WASHINGTON – Analysts and US military experts do not recognize the new Russian fifth-generation Su-75 fighter as a competitor to the F-35 but as another Russian failure. They compare the Su-75 Checkmate to the Russian T-14 Armata tank. Let’s follow this point of view.
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What is positive about the Su-75 Checkmate?
The Americans see positive characteristics in the Russian plane. First of all – the use of one engine. According to them, this is a signal that in the future the Russians from the state company Sukhoi may gradually forget about the use of twin-engine fighters and focus their efforts on the production of single-engine fighters, which would have cheaper maintenance and would cost less.
The second thing that American experts liked was the design. According to them, Sukhoi has offered a really good design of the Russian new fighter.
The United States still does not pay attention to the technical characteristics of the fighter and rightly so. This is a prototype that has yet to prove its capabilities, to meet the requirements, and only when the state tests pass the world will comment on the functionality of the fighter.
What does Russia promise?
The aircraft will be the fifth generation. Yes, it will be and it is normal to be of the fifth generation because the market requires to satisfy the demand for fifth-generation aircraft. For reference only – the Russians are doing quite well in the market of 4th generation fighters. The Su-30 and Su-35 are selling well.
Russia promises low prices and high quality. Yes, but he promises it now. In reality, the aircraft will have to go into production in 2025. Until then – so many things will change, including among competitors.
The Su-75 Checkmate must compete with the F-35. Okay, but where? In which market? The F-35 may be more expensive than the Russian “still drawing” fighter, but the F-35’s customers are Italy, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Poland, Singapore, and others. These are countries where the Russians have no chance to sell their Su-75 Checkmate. Ie there is no way to compete in exactly these markets, but they can compete in others.
There is another fact – it’s time again. By the time the first Su-75 Checkmate is produced in 2025, and by the time production begins for the first Western customer, the United States may have conquered other markets that have come under Russian scrutiny.
The economic logic is correct, but …
The logic of the Russians is correct. A fifth-generation single-engine fighter must be available on the market at a lower price. That’s right and marketing is thinking in the right direction. But …
Russia must buy this fighter. If it does not, no country in the world will be the “first risky customer”. And here comes the problem. Russia has announced that it will buy the new Su-75 Checkmate fighter. But Russia did the same with the Russian T-14 Armata tank and ordered … 20 units?!?
Ie the logic follows the same trodden path. There is a lot of noise about new weapons such as the T-14 Armata and Su-57 Felon, but in reality, the state makes minimal orders, which speaks of distrust in its products. Ie “buy first, and we will follow you,” which is the wrong logic.
The Su-57 should reach double digits, and the problems had already begun before it went into series production. For example, with the engine that refused both China and India to participate in the project. The T-14 Armata is the same – 20 ordered tanks. From “the coolest tank in the world”, it has become a “tank without a single order”.
Too many questions
Russia repeats the same mistake as the Su-57. It offers a fifth-generation fighter (Su-75 Checkmate) with a fourth-generation engine. Yes, the AL-41 is a really good, excellent engine. But if you’re going to do “something better,” you have to offer something better.
There are other dubious statements. Such as the Su-75 Checkmate “has excellent stealth and flight technology characteristics.” How did the Russians find out? How did I get the information and data to make it public?
If Russia wants to sell fifth-generation aircraft that are competitors and a threat to Western manufacturers, it must start making such aircraft.
Because the Su-57 is not yet a fifth-generation fighter. And the T-14 Army remained just a “scary barrel.”
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