HANOI, ($1=22,758.00 Vietnamese Dongs) – Owning a fifth-generation fighter until just five years ago was a luxury that rich countries with huge military budgets could afford. The market was also too small and only the F-35 Lightning was offered. But even if you had the money and could afford to support such complex stealth and computer technology, you had to first get permission from the United States to sell it to you.
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You understand that there are not many countries in Asia that would receive such a permit. But the market has changed. Several countries are currently producing their versions of a fifth-generation stealth fighter, and in the next 10 years, the choice will be much greater. China, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, a consortium of European countries, even India – so many opportunities are clear.
As we have said, some Asian countries have fifth-generation fighters. Russia and China have released their developments, Singapore is expected to receive four F-35s by 2026, Japan and South Korea already own F-35s. I.e. the great powers in the region seek to own a fifth-generation fighter, cooperate, or develop independently.
Will Vietnam invest in the Su-75 Checkmate?
Vietnam does not need a fifth-generation fighter for at least the next five to seven years. However, the country’s ambitions are for the Vietnamese army to become modern and armed with modern weapons systems in the next 20 years.
The complex geopolitical situation in the region and the financial constraints in the defense budget does not give Vietnam a great choice to choose a fifth-generation fighter supplier. Vietnam has repeatedly taken an interest in the Su-57 or Su-35. Although the Su-35 is a 4 ++ generation fighter, this Russian masterpiece can successfully handle the F-35 or F-22.
So in the middle of the year, Russia introduced the Su-75 Checkmate and seemed to offer Vietnam a really good alternative. The media in Vietnam have not stopped praising the new Russian fighter because they see in it an open door from Sukhoi to Vietnam. And Hanoi has long been looking for a new generation light fighter at an affordable price – what is a real Su-75.
Why can Vietnam fully own a Su-75?
First: Even before presenting the Su-75 Checkmate at the MAX 2021 military exhibition in Russia this year, Sukhoi hinted in the presentation video of the fighter to which countries it intends to offer the new fighter. And there in the video, along with Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, and other pilots, there was a pilot from Vietnam.
Relations between Moscow and Hanoi are excellent. Russia sells and will sell weapons to the Asian country, so the first problem – geopolitical relations has been overcome.
Second: if the combat, technical and computer characteristics are correct, Vietnam will have a fully functional fifth-generation fighter that will be able to handle several fighters at once. Moreover, many Vietnamese military experts and aeronautical engineers claim that Sukhoi made the Su-75 in a “mold” according to Vietnamese demand.
Third: price-quality and maintenance. Sukhoi shocked the world by announcing that the Su-75 would cost between $25 million and $30 million. This, of course, maybe a price for the Russian Air Force, and higher for foreign customers. But this is not a problem for Vietnam either, because a possible price increase is part of the country’s budget framework.
Vietnam is ready to invest.
Vietnamese military analysts have already claimed in the Vietnamese media that their country is ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the development and production of the Su-75 Checkmate together with the Russians.
If that happens, Vietnam will become a VIP customer and gain a significant advantage in pricing, armaments, and maintenance.
Of course, analysts have one thing in mind. Some say it is risky to invest in the Su-75 Checkmate, but given the country’s lack of opportunities to acquire a fifth-generation fighter, the outlook is very good.
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