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Russia unveils new “Checkmate” fighter jet


Russian aircraft manufacturers unveiled a prototype of the stealth fighter dubbed “Checkmate” for the 68-year-old leader at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Show in Zhukovsky, ahead of its official unveiling later today, according to a statement from Rostec, the state military giant responsible for exporting Russian technology.

Rostec chief Sergey Chemezov and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) general manager Yury Slyusar presented the warplane to Putin at the Sukhoi company’s exhibition pavilion.

The fifth-generation lightweight single-engine fighter prototype is unique and has never been developed before in Russia, according to a presentation by state-owned UAC.

A UAC press release said the fighter jet “combined innovative solutions and technologies” and had “low visibility and high flight performance”.

Company chief Slyusar also touted the aircraft’s characteristics on Russian state television, describing the planes as “unique in their class” and adding that they had “a combat radius of 1,500 kilometers. , the greatest thrust-to-weight ratio, shortened take-off and landing, over 7 tons of combat load, which is an absolute record for aircraft of this class. “

Its first maiden flight is expected in 2023, Russian state media reported, citing a presentation given to the Russian president.

UAC also expects deliveries of the new single-engine fighter to begin in 2026.

Earlier today, Putin praised the Russian aviation industry in a speech at the opening of the air show.

“What we are seeing today in Zhukovsky clearly shows that Russian aviation has great potential for development, and our aviation industry continues to create new competitive aircraft,” he said.

Dmitry Stefanovich, a researcher at the Center for International Security, Primakov Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS) in Moscow, told CNN that the Sukhoi fighter jet would likely focus on export and cooperation military-technical with other countries. .

“It’s a game-changing offer in the market,” Stefanovich said. “It has been a long time since Russia introduced single-engine fighters. For a very long time there have been no new Russian light fighter jets on the market. And no fifth generation as such.”

Countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Vietnam and India could be the first to sign contracts with Russia for the new jet, according to Stefanovich.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had tested its Tsirkon hypersonic missile from the frigate Admiral Grigorovich in the White Sea, hitting a land target in the Barents Sea more than 200 miles away.

“It’s not a coincidence,” Stefanovich said. “Russia is demonstrating in practice that it remains a very serious force in the development and production of advanced missile systems.”

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