A few more images of what is believed to be Russia’s new fifth-generation fighter jet, which could “checkmate” the US F-35, have appeared on social media.
The mystery aircraft which many experts call ‘CheckMate’ is expected to be unveiled on the first day of the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, on July 20.
The images tweeted by aviation expert Andreas Rupprecht offer a clear view of the new fighter jet.
Sukhoi LTS "CheckMate"
(Video via T. Me/istorijaoruzija) pic.twitter.com/5KWhVWSfU7
— 彩云香江 (@louischeung_hk) July 18, 2021
“Here it is the Sukhoi LTS Checkmate,” read the tweet. The official Twitter account of Rostec, Russia’s state-owned defense and technology development group, tweeted an image of the nose of the aircraft on July 18, which said, “Guys, do you really think that we still have nothing to surprise you with?”
The emergence of photos of a mockup of the aircraft on July 15 and 18 caused quite a stir. It 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.
On July 13, Rostec company United Aircraft Corporation released a teaser video via YouTube, promoting what it described as a “fundamentally new military aircraft” developed under a project named ‘Checkmate’.
The promotional teaser and a tagline, “Turn the chessboard” depicted people in the United Arab Emirates, India, Vietnam, and Argentina receiving the message, “It’s coming”.
“Russia is one of the few countries in the world with full-cycle capacities for producing advanced aircraft systems, as well as a recognized trendsetter in the creation of combat aircraft,” a spokesperson from Rostec had said earlier.
“The new product developed by UAC specialists should arouse genuine interest not only in our country but also in other regions of the world, including our competitors abroad.”
The single-engine aircraft is going to be a single-seat featuring a delta wing and a ventral inlet (whose shape and position reminds one of the X-32 prototypes), according to experts. The image makes it seem like the aircraft has a side bay that might be similar to the side weapons bay of the Su-57 Felon.
Nestled within a digital camouflage, the registration RF-00075 with bort number 75 Blue seems to point towards the designation Su-75 for the new type. However, the UAC has ensured that the mystery is not revealed fully till the official launch of the aircraft, and all we can do is foresee.
The teaser alludes to a target export market that includes India, Argentina, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pronouncing the aim of exporting the aircraft further, the teaser was released in English rather than in Russian.
“So, now the new Russian jet was unveiled – and it turns out that, yes, it’s a sort of a scaled-down mix of Northrop’s YF-23 and Boeing’s X-32,” says aviation author Tom Cooper, writing for theaviationgeekclub.com.
Written by Anshruta Banerjee