PANAGYURISHTE ($1=2.03 Bulgarian Levs) — The Russian Su-75 Checkmate program is now pursuing a single goal – finding a foreign customer. However, this will prove almost impossible because of Ukraine.
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The existence of the Su-75 Checkmate project is becoming increasingly impossible. India and Vietnam were [and perhaps still are] the only options to acquire this Russian “unknown” aircraft. Rumor has it that even a Middle Eastern country is showing serious interest [the UAE, we believe].
Lack of combat experience
However, with its actions on the battlefield since February, Ukraine “removed” the Russian Su-75 Checkmate from the international market of military equipment, and not only it. Even a cheap [allegedly] Su-75 may not sell because it has no combat experience. And the war in Ukraine showed that there are no untouchables, including the Su-27 Flanker, Su-35 Fullback, and Su-35 Flanker E.
Today, buying a brand new fighter with no combat experience is a bigger risk than not having one in the Air Force. Drones and loitering munitions change the rules of the game. Again, Ukraine is an example of this. The failure of the Russian Air Force may lead potential Su-75 customers to prefer the purchase of ground-based or air defense systems to a “new and unproven” idea of air supremacy.
The second problem – is spare parts. With the imposed international economic sanctions, the Su-75 at this stage and at this time is impossible to exist. Russia will have to guarantee the maintenance and supply of spare parts.
Even if the war ends now, the cost of the fighter will rise beyond what was promised. This means an increased supply of components, spare parts, and training. Import restrictions will be the obstacle that Moscow will have to contend with.
The absolute azimuth
Everyone perceives the Su-75 as a stealth fighter. Logical, given today’s modern demands for warfare. But at what point did the marketing and advertising materials, PR mention the word “stealth”?
And what engine will power the fighter? Saturn 30? It is possible since this engine is expected to be the future of the Su-57 Felon. This raises the next question – will the Su-75 even be a fifth-generation fighter.
Let’s assume that the Russians have solved the stealth technology and engine problem of the Su-57 Felon. However, they still haven’t solved a major problem in the avionics of this aircraft, most likely the Su-75 Checkmate as well. The absolute azimuth.
So far, we know that such technology is integrated only in the American F-35 fighter jets. There is no confirmed information that the Su-57 has a full set of sensitive azimuth sensors. This technology is advanced avionics and Russian R&D has not yet reached its full potential.
If the Su-57 did not solve this problem, how can we expect the engineers and scientists to solve it for the Su-75?
In Bulgaria, we say: “you can’t carry two watermelons under one arm”. This is exactly what the Russians have been doing in recent years, this is exactly what is happening with the idea of the Su-75 fighter.
Not a single working prototype has yet been created, the date of the first flight is not yet known, and you have not yet secured your first potential customer [the Russian Ministry of Defense], but Moscow has ordered the construction of an unmanned version.
That means problems multiplied by two. More costs, more spare parts, more money that is now missing anyway.
Is the Su-75 valuable?
If we abstract from everything listed up to now and with a magic wand remove the problems before the Russian Ministry of Defense for the future of the Su-75 Checkmate, the answer is – yes! The Su-75 can be a very valuable fighter not only for Russian aviation, but also for any other aviation.
Speed of Mach 1.8, new engine [one], advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, guided bombs, and means of electronic warfare. The Su-75 will be a multi-role fighter, which will allow it to carry out strikes on the ground. The fighter will be able to track up to six targets at once and will carry seven tons of ammunition.
However, the war in Ukraine reveals the impossibility [for now] of the Su-75 appearing in the inventory of the Russian Air Force. The war in Ukraine reveals the Russians’ problem with time – they are almost always late to the deadline, and this often means an increase in the cost of any project.
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