Russian technology company Rostec plans to invite India to participate in the development program of the Sukhoi Su-75 “Checkmate” fighter, state news agency TASS reported.
According to the outlet, a Russian delegation will be present at Aero India 2023, which will be held next week in Bangalore. The goal is to open negotiations to explore the joint development of the new fighter with India.
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“A delegation of representatives of our aircraft-building companies will attend the Aero India air show. We plan to discuss cooperation in fifth-generation aircraft. In particular, there is the intention to invite our Indian partners to join the Checkmate light tactical fighter project,” a source told the Russian agency.
Unveiled in 2021 during an air show in Moscow, the Su-75 is the latest fifth-generation fighter project launched by the Russians. In addition to being quoted to equip the country’s air force, the aircraft is also proposed by Rostec as an export aircraft for nations with affinity with Russia.
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Yuri Borisov, said in 2021 that the Checkmate program already has a launch customer, but did not reveal the identity of the possible buyer. At the time, Borisov also stated that the fighter would be promoted in India, Vietnam and to nations in Africa.
Low cost stealth fighter
The Checkmate project showcases Russia’s latest achievements in aerospace science and engineering, inherited primarily through the advances seen today from the Su-57 “Felon”, which was Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter.
To obtain numerous orders, Rostec relies on two aspects of the plane that it considers “unbeatable”. The first aspect is the aircraft’s power-to-weight ratio, “unique in its class”, according to the company. The second point is the acquisition price of the new fighter, estimated at between US$25 million and US$30 million.
The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which controls the main Russian aerospace manufacturers, informs that the Checkmate is designed to carry a war load of 7,400 kg in internal compartments, fly at a maximum speed of 2,200 km/h and with a flight range of 2,800 km.
Last year, Yury Slyusar, CEO of UAC, revealed that the company plans to build four Su-75 prototypes and start the test flight campaign in 2024. The chief executive also commented that the company is preparing an unmanned version of the aircraft.
The UAC, however, is still cautious in disclosing deadlines for the entry into service of the Su-75, a situation that has become even more uncertain with the course of the war in Ukraine. On the other hand, the company says it intends to start serial production of the aircraft in mid-2027.