Rostec has released images of the Sukhoi Su-57E and ‘Checkmate’ fighter jets together in Russia. This is a photo shoot made for a website that published an interactive article detailing some information about the aircraft.
The photos of the two fighters side by side are quite timely for comparing features of both, some of which are shared by the planes. The Sukhoi Su-57E is the export version of the twin-engine jet, the first with stealth capability to enter service with the Russian Air Force.
The “Felon”, as it is also called, was developed over a decade ago and only in recent years has it started to be operated in the country, even so with a very small fleet, made up mostly of pre-series aircraft.
Russia ordered 76 fighter jets, the first of which was delivered last year. The lack of resources, however, has made Rostec offer the Su-57 to other countries, but there is still no order closed.
The Checkmate fighter is still an early project, unveiled in July at the MAKS 2021 airshow. It uses only one engine, something that hasn’t happened since the MiG-23/27 in the late 1960s. Like the Su-57, the new jet is supersonic and has a low radar signature, guarantees the UAC, the holding that controls to Sukhoi.
The comparison between the two fighters reveals common points such as the design of the wings and the use of the Izdeliye 30 engine. Rostec, however, claims that the new fighter plane benefited from several other systems of the Su-57.
“Checkmate was developed with the help of scientific and technical bases obtained during the creation of the export version of the Su-57E aircraft. In particular, the aircraft inherited the cabin, on-board systems and a few other elements. This makes it possible to reduce the cost of the aircraft and simplify its maintenance,” stated the company.
Almost half of the fighters are single-engine
In fact, Checkmate, which should be given the Su-75 designation, is an export-focused project. It is expected to be low-cost, but equipped with several modern systems such as a WAD (Wide Area Display) cockpit, AESA radar and an internal weapons compartment.
To justify the decision to return to single-engine fighters, Russia argues the large number of aircraft of this type, which would represent 44% of the approximately 8,000 fighter jets active in the world today.
It weighs against Checkmate the long way to becoming operational. The first prototype is expected to make its maiden flight only in 2023 and enter service from 2026. But the Russians are certainly not good at sticking to schedules.
The joint appearance of the Su-57 and Checkmate will not be restricted to the photo shoot. Rostec has already confirmed that the full-size mockup of the new plane will be present at the Dubai Airshow from November 14th.