Within hours of being officially unveiled, Russia’s new single-engine fighter was revealed in a video posted on the internet.
The aircraft, referred to by the name “Checkmate”, is in fact the mockup that partially appeared in a December photo, which shows Sergei Chemezov, head of the Rostec State Corporation, at his desk.
The image (see below) only showed the front of the fighter, with a very advanced ventral air intake that now showed up clearly in the video.
The fighter jet has been confirmed as a Sukhoi design. The “Checkmate”, even, seems to have similarities with the Su-57 as in the shape of the wings and the canopy.
UAC has updated the teaser video and now shows some details of the aircraft still in computer generated images.
The Russian plane brings solutions to reduce the radar signature such as internal compartments for armaments and fuselage with less acute angles.
The option for the ventral air intake, however, can expose the engine to radars, which would require some type of internal inlets to control the air flow.
Because it was conceived as a low-cost fighter, capable of being exported, it is quite likely that the “Checkmate” does not reach great supersonic speeds and makes use of several existing components like the Izdeliye 30 engine that powers its ‘brother’, the Felon.
However, the TASS agency’s description of the fighter months ago included speeds above Mach 2, super maneuverability characteristics and vectorable thrust, with a maximum takeoff weight of 18 tonnes, far less than an F-35A, which it seems to share the same concept.
The stage of development of the new fighter is not yet known, however, it is almost certain that the model that will be presented at MAKS 2021 on Tuesday will be just a mockup.