Contrary to speculations that Russia requires funding from foreign countries to develop its new Su-75 ‘Checkmate’, Moscow has clarified that the country is going to finance the development of its single-seat, fifth-generation jet on its own.
The Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ was unveiled in July this year in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin who spoke highly of the development potential of Russian aviation.
“What we see now in Zhukovsky obviously demonstrates that Russian aviation has a high potential for development. Our aircraft industry also continues creating new competitive aviation equipment,” Putin had said. The aircraft is said to be a single-engine combat jet and has been called a “lightweight stealth fighter” by defense editor for Aviation Week, Stephen Trimble.
Potential buyers for the fighter jet include India, China, and African countries, according to Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. He added that the demand put forth by the countries was to procure an estimated number of 300 aircraft.
“First of all, it will really be focused on the countries of Africa, India, Vietnam. The demand for these aircraft is quite high, it is estimated at least 300 aircraft in the near future”, Borisov said at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021.
A brief promotional video of the Checkmate, which featured actors portraying fighter pilots from UAE, India, Vietnam, and Argentina suggested that Russia was planning to pitch the aircraft to foreign customers.
Experts have also described Russia’s Su-75 as the “killer of warplanes”. Western media termed Russia’s new stealth fighter as a very dangerous enemy for any fourth-generation aircraft such as the Swedish JAS 39E/F Gripen fighter.
“The Russian Su-75 fighter is too tough for any of the existing 4th generation fighters, it even claims to be the “Russian killer” of the Swedish Gripen fighters. In all likelihood, it will be able to deal with even such an enemy as the F-35”, said a Swedish analyst.
Two-Seat Variant Of Checkmate?
While Russia will go solo in the development of the Su-75 ‘Checkmate’, its two-seat version may be built using foreign investments. Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told Sputnik that Moscow will use the foreign investments for developing the two-seat version of the Checkmate.
“This is absolutely independent of foreign customers. Moreover, our budget includes all the necessary expenditures, including the programs of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as extra-budgetary funds of the Rostec and the United Aircraft Corporation”, Manturov said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.
“Foreign colleagues often ask for two-seat versions: we can attract foreign partners for that. But, once again, we can do that ourselves, this is a matter of relevance”, Manturov added. The sixth edition of the EEF, taking place from September 2-4 at the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, is aimed at developing business ties and attracting national and international investors to Russia’s Far East.
Denis Manturov said that the aircraft will be ready within four years. While the first takeoff is scheduled for 2023, its maker United Aviation Corporation (UAC) plans to begin serial production of the Sukhoi single-engine jet fighter in 2026, UAC CEO Yuri Slyusar said during the presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo.