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Russia unveils next-generation fighter designed to compete with US F-35

At the Moscow International Aviation and Space Show, the prestigious Russian manufacturer Sukhoi presented a new 5th generation stealth fighter, assisted by Artificial Intelligence, designed to compete with the American F-35.

Despite the global pandemic, the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, brought together nearly 250 companies in the aviation and space sector from 50 countries. On this occasion took place the first public presentation of the last stealth supersonic fighter of the Sukhoï company, the Su-75. Its trade name for the global market is Checkmate (“checkmate”) and a website with a video apparently geared towards the general public has even been dedicated to it. The hunter was thus presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a ceremony broadcast by Russian television.

Yuri Slioussar, CEO of OAK, the aircraft manufacturer which brings together the main brands of Russian civil and combat aircraft, including Sukhoi, told reporters during the presentation that the aircraft manufacturer had chosen to fill a gap in the segment. 5th generation hunters available on the international market, at an affordable price.

“The original idea was the economy. In our opinion, there are a lot of single-engine fighters on the market today … But there are no fifth-generation single-engine fighters at an acceptable, economically justified price that would be within the reach of most customers of multirole hunters [comme le Rafale ou le F-35]», Explained Yuri Slioussar.

He added that the Checkmate was capable of destroying “fifth generation foreign aircraft” and was “designed to withstand sixth generation systems that may appear in the coming decades.”

The Russian company hopes to reach nearly 300 orders in the next 15 years, mainly in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, for a price lower than the American F-35.

The director general of OAK clarified that this aircraft would be offered not only to Moscow’s partners in the field of military-technical cooperation, but would equip the air forces of the Russian Federation.

An operational fighter for 2026

The Checkmate will be able to carry out missions at a speed of nearly Mach 1.8 with a range of up to 2,800 km while being able to carry 7 tonnes of payload in armament. The aircraft is expected to make its first test flight in 2023 and all work on the aircraft is expected to be completed within four years. In the future, an on-board drone will be able to complete the device.

“Our goal is for this device to be offered as standard to customers from 2026,” said Yuri Slioussar.

“It combines innovative solutions and technologies, such as artificial intelligence assistance for the pilot. It has a low radar signature and high flight performance, ”enthusiastic Sergei Tchemezov, boss of Rostec, the state military-industrial conglomerate, of which OAK is one of the subsidiaries, in an interview conducted by the English-speaking version of RT, on the sidelines of the exhibition. He revealed that its unit price would be $ 25-30 million, much less than other models like the F-35, which costs nearly $ 90 million, or the Rafale, which costs around. 60.

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