In a well-attended presentation, UAC officially unveiled the Sukhoi Su-75 “Checkmate”, the first Russian 5th gen lightweight fighter.
The single-engine aircraft had been spotted several times before the opening of the MAKS 2021 Air Show and was no longer keeping a secret, but the country’s aerospace giant did not fail to promise quite bold aspects of the new fighter.
According to CEO Yuri Slyusar, the aircraft, also known by the acronym LTS (light fighter in Russian), will enter service in 2026 and should make its maiden flight in 2023. Until then, the supersonic jet will undergo ground tests.
UAC plans to produce 300 fighters within 15 years, a goal Slyusar considered realistic. The chief executive highlighted the export nature of the aircraft, which would have aroused interest in several countries.
Sukhoi has revealed little about Checkmate’s technical details. The single-engine fighter must be equipped with an Izdeliye 30 afterburner engine, the same one used in the Su-57, but the information has not been confirmed.
The UAC, however, stated that the new fighter jet will have the most capable internal weapons bay in its class, including all missiles that equip the Felon.
Low acquisition cost
The Su-75 will have artificial intelligence and can be manufactured in two-seater or unmanned variants. Another aspect pointed out as unbeatable is the thrust-to-weight ratio, unique in its class, says the company.
The instrument panel is a panoramic display that concentrate the main information available to the pilot. The jet will be able to reach a speed of 1,900 km/h and offer a combat radius of 3,000 km.
There was, however, no mention of a possible order by the Russian Air Force, which currently receives the first series-production Su-57s.
According to Sergey Chemezov, head of Rostec, the Sukhoi fighter was an initiative of the state-owned company, even without any order so far.
But that certainly shouldn’t be a problem in the future as Checkmate (provisional name) will have a very low acquisition cost of around $25-30 million, promises UAC.