MOSCOW, ($1=71.57 Russian Rubles) – The fifth-generation Checkmate light fighter will be shown for the first time at a foreign air show in the UAE, a source in the aircraft industry told Interfax, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. “It is planned to hold several closed presentations for delegations participating in the salon, as well as an open presentation for visitors and media representatives,” said the agency’s interlocutor. According to him, the aircraft will be presented to “a wide range of potential partners” at Dubai Airshow-2021 from 14 to 18 November.
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The fifth-generation Checkmate single-engine fighter developed by Sukhoi цpart of the UAC of the Rostec state corporation; was presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 20 at the MAKS-2021 air show. It is planned that the new aircraft will take off in 2023, and serial deliveries will begin in 2026. In the future, a two-seat and unmanned version will be created on its basis.
According to the developers, Checkmate is capable of traveling up to 3 thousand km, accelerating to two speeds of sound and carrying 7400 kg of combat load. It will be able to simultaneously attack up to six air, sea, and ground targets, including attack drones and foreign fifth-generation aircraft.
The head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, estimated the cost of the new aircraft at $ 25-30 million. To reduce the cost, Checkmate will be unified with the Su-35 and Su-57 fighters said the head of the RF Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.
The volume of deliveries of the fighter for the next 15 years is estimated at 300 aircraft. It will compete with the American F-35 Lightning II and the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen.
First of all, the aircraft will be export-oriented – in particular, to the countries of Africa, India, and Vietnam, said Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. According to him, Checkmate already has an anchor customer abroad. However, the developers are counting on the order from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Why exactly is the UAE the first visit?
The United Arab Emirates is part of the project. Yes. This rumor has been circulating in recent months in international aviation circles. But is it exactly a rumor?
If we go back four years, in 2017 at the international exhibition Index 2017 we will notice that then the Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates came out with a message that the two countries are starting work on a project for a fifth-generation stealth fighter, which should be ready in 2025. Too many matches, don’t you think?
According to MilitaryWatch Magazine, a Russian source in the defense industry and close to the publication’s editorial office has confirmed that Abu Dhabi is the “secret” partner of the Russians in the production of the Su-75 Checkmate. He shares that the UAE has the same role as Pakistan when it ordered its JF-17 from China – financing installments during certain periods.
The checkmate could take an advantage over the F-35 even before it began mass production. It is known that the United Arab Emirates ordered an F-35 from the United States in the last weeks of the Donald Trump administration.
At the beginning of his tenure, Joe Biden temporarily froze a deal to sell 50 F-35s to Abu Dhabi, but in April he signaled that he would notify Congress of the sale.
However, as it turns out, the UAE will receive a Russian Su-75 Checkmate in the future. Russia’s development and unveiling of a new fighter class for export without a confirmed client would be a major risk, which is why the report that the Checkmate is indeed the result of the Russia-UAE project makes sense. Of all the countries speculated to show an interest in the fighter, Abu Dhabi is best positioned to have financed and committed to the program. In addition, with no report that the Russia-UAE program was canceled, it would be highly unusual for Russia to develop the Checkmate for export highlighting the UAE as a leading client while at the same time developing another next-generation lightweight fighter jointly with the Arab country.
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?
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