MOSCOW, ($1=62.13 Russian Rubles) — The Russian company Rostec has announced its intentions to begin mass production of the light stealth fighter of the fifth-generation Su-75 Checkmate in 2027. Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov stated the intentions of the company’s management during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We have plans for starting serial production in 2027,” he said.
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Chemezov told Vladimir Putin that the company did not use budget funds provided for national defense and was developing the Su-75 with the company’s funds. Chemezov confirmed that the prototype has been created and the designers are currently preparing the design documentation.
At the meeting, it became clear that the prototype of the Su-75 Checkmate uses certain equipment from the already created Su-57. Chemezov said the prototype integrated the onboard computer and the Su-57’s engine, but they had been reconfigured to meet the requirements of the Su-75.
Moscow has not yet decided whether to buy the Su-75 for the Russian Aerospace Services. At the meeting between Chemezov and Putin, the head of Rostec expressed hope that the Russian Ministry of Defense will purchase the Su-75 Checkmate.
Rumors or truth?
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls some interesting rumors in recent months about the Su-75:
– Sources claim that the United Arab Emirates has invested in the development of the Russian stealth light fighter. They relied on a speech in 2017 during the Middle East Exhibition for Defense and Security in Abu Dhabi – IDEX 2017. 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.
– A working prototype of the Su-75 [according to sources] has already been presented to the royal family of the UAE during the Dubai Airshow-2021. The Russian company Rostech then confirmed this news, adding in a press release: “a promising aviation complex is being demonstrated abroad for the first time. Several closed presentations for potential customers and an open display with the participation of the media are planned.”
– Sources in Asia say that Vietnam is showing the most serious interest in the Su-75. According to them, the Vietnamese government already has the technical characteristics and specifications of the fighter, and if Russia’s promises of a low price are met, the Su-75 could be the “sought-after budget solution” from Hanoi for the next-generation fighter. Such allegations send Su-75s to places like Argentina and India.
– Russian sources claim that Rostec will try to build the Su-75, to avoid mistakes from competitors. For example, it is rumored that the Su-75 will receive a vector jet nozzle. Also, according to the same sources, Russian designers will try to decide how to improve the performance of the Su-75 during landing and takeoff, including insufficient stability and controllability during flight.
Su-75 – features and weapons
On Air Show MAX 2021 the CEO of the United Aircraft Corporation Rostec [UAC] Yuri Slyusar gave some very interesting, somewhat sufficient information about exactly are the company’s intentions regarding the future of the Su-75 Checkmate. According to him:
1. Su-75 Checkmate is a single-engine stealth fighter. It is assumed that in 2022, before the first test flights, the fighter will receive an engine Izdelie 30. This engine is expected by all Russian aviation, as it is expected to become the main propulsion element of both Su-57 and Su-35 in the future.
2. The first flight will be performed in 2023. This means that in the next nearly a year and a half Russian engineers will test many procedures, as well as all possible systems, but on the ground, not in the air.
3. Su-75 Checkmate will develop speed up to Mach 2 and will have a low radar signature.
4. The armament of the Su-75 Checkmate stealth fighter will be similar to that of the Su-57. According to Yuri Slyusar, the Checkmate fighter can take over the entire range of weapons of the Su-57. This means bombs, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, anti-ship missiles, electronic warfare systems. Yuri Slyusar confirmed that for close combat the fighter will have a 30 mm automatic cannon. According to him, all armaments will be placed both in the inner compartment of the fuselage and on the hard points of the two wings.
5. The Su-75 Checkmate will have an unmanned version. “We hope that the Russian aerospace forces will show interest in this platform, <…> including [until] its unmanned version,” Slyusar said.
6. If the tests are successful, United Aircraft Corporation Rostec will begin mass production in 2026. As mentioned above, the UAC hopes the first customer will be Russia, which is very likely. According to Yuri Slyusar, the goal is for the company to produce 300 units of this fighter within the next 15 years. This figure is set at least in the business plan for the Su-75 Checkmate.
7. Su-75 Checkmate will be available on the international market. According to Yuri Slyusar, the company has carefully studied potential countries and regions that would be interested, or have given any signal for such, to buy this fighter. According to the company’s executive director, the desired number of 300 fighters includes international customers. It is also rumored [unconfirmed information] that the Su-75 Checkmate will be a budget fighter and a real competitor in the international markets of the American stealth fighter of the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II.
8. Su-75 Checkmate is not a version of the Su-57 but was developed from the mistakes made by the Russians in developing the Su-57. This was officially confirmed by Yuri Slyusar.
Hypothesis: as it became clear, the first flight is expected in 2023, while serial production is in 2026. This means three years, during which we at BulgarianMilitary.com assume that a second prototype will be made, which will receive complete armaments, avionics, and radar to be tested in real combat conditions in Syria [if the civil war is not over by then]. The second prototype (or built third) may receive an unmanned version to be tested.
It seems that the Russians’ expectations for the future and efficiency of the Su-75 Checkmate are high. At this early stage, there is no way to conclude or accept as authoritative the statements and comments of those involved in the development of the fighter. The first data and analyzes will come in stages over the next year and a half. Only then will conclusions and analyses of the technical characteristics be made.
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