Su-75 Checkmate: Did Russia Use ‘Untested’ Fighter Jets Against Ukraine? Ukrainian Air Force Official Explains

A top Ukrainian Air Force official has claimed that they have not recorded any major instance of the Russian military deploying its cutting-edge Su-57 and Su-75 fighter jets on Ukrainian territory.

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Colonel Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force, disclosed this information at a press conference held at the Ukraine-Ukrinform media center, according to local media reports.

The Air Force spokesperson claimed the Russian military possesses two advanced aircraft – the Su-57 Felon and Su-75 Checkmate. He added that these advanced planes, dubbed “super-planes,” are considered sixth-generation fighters and have been showcased at exhibitions.  

He further claimed that although Russian media reports have alleged that these aircraft have been used in military operations, the Ukrainian Air Force has not detected any deployment of these aircraft in aggressive maneuvers against Ukraine.

Ihnat also raised the possibility that the Russian military may have operated the Su-57 and Su-75 remotely, as the “occupiers’ aircraft” are merely detected as blips on the radar during air defense operations. 

The Air Force spokesperson emphasized that the Russian Federation possesses various advanced aircraft and helicopters, such as Su-30SM, Su-35, Su-34, Su-25, and Ka-52, primarily used in frontline operations. 

These aircraft are technologically superior and outnumber their Ukrainian counterparts. 

The Ukrainian military official further noted, “The air forces of all the countries of the world are not currently betting on what Russia is boasting about at airshows (performance of some maneuvers).”

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As a major combat aircraft manufacturer, the US prioritizes advanced technologies focused on detecting and engaging enemies before they can respond. The focus is on the concept of “who sees who first and uses weapons [is the one who will] destroy the enemy first,” Ihnat added. 

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This approach, according to him, differs from Russia’s focus on showcasing aircraft performance at airshows and instead emphasizes utilizing cutting-edge technology to achieve a decisive advantage in combat.

Is The Su-75 Currently In Operation With The Russian Military?

Although Ihnat claimed that the Su-57 and Su-75 are sixth-generation aircraft, they are actually classified as fifth-generation aircraft. Currently, the Russian Air Force operates the Su-57 fifth-generation aircraft, while the Su-75 is still on the drawing board. 

Yet, it is not entirely clear why a high-ranking Ukrainian official believes that the Russian military is currently operating the Su-75 aircraft.  

While Russian media has previously claimed the deployment of the Su-57 fighter jets in operations targeting Ukrainian positions, there have been no reports from state media of the Su-75’s involvement in the ongoing conflict. 

The ongoing conflict is reported to have delayed the scheduled timeline for the development of the Su-75, also known as Checkmate. 

EurAsian Times had previously reported on how the ongoing conflict in Ukraine could make it difficult for the Russian aerospace sector to develop the Su-75 project smoothly.  

File Image: Su-57-& Su-75 (Checkmate)

Regarding the Su-57, Russian military officials have asserted that the Felon has performed effectively during the ongoing conflict. 

In a previous interview with the state-run Rossiya-1 TV channel, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the Su-57 Felon has performed exceptionally well during Russia’s “special military operation.”

Shoigu boasted about the Su-57’s ability to defend against air defenses and its offensive armament. He specifically highlighted the onboard protections of the aircraft and its usefulness in combat situations.

In 2018, Moscow claimed that the Su-57 participated in the Syrian Civil War on behalf of the Assad regime, marking its first-ever combat deployment. But there is no evidence to support this claim.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, there were claims made in May 2022 by Russia that the Su-57 had seen combat within the first two to three weeks of the invasion. 

At the time, Russian state media, citing sources, reported that the Su-57s operated by Russia launched missiles at targets in Ukraine from stand-off distances.

Russia is currently believed to have less than 10 Su-57s in its air force, making it cautious about deploying the aircraft in combat and risking their loss. As a result, the country may avoid answering specific questions about the Su-57’s status while still claiming its successes in battle. 

Many Western experts believe that with plans to acquire 76 more such aircraft by 2028, Russia could continue to rely on propaganda and unverifiable claims rather than actual deployment of the Su-57 in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.