Russia has initiated the groundwork for manufacturing the Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ stealth fighter aircraft, marking a crucial step in the production process for its single-engine fifth-generation fighter jet.
The announcement of this development was made on November 13 by the press service of the Rostec State Corporation, Russia’s government arms production organization, on the eve of the Dubai Airshow 2023 exhibition.
Russia officially debuted the Su-75 ‘Checkmate’ during the Moscow Air Show 2021. Subsequently, Moscow showcased the ‘Checkmate’ light tactical aircraft on the international stage for the first time at the Dubai Air Show 2021.
Since then, efforts have been underway to fine-tune the project’s cost, introduce individual technical solutions, and gather feedback from potential customers, according to Rostec.
The undertaken efforts have led to modifications in the project, including adjustments to the timing of the inaugural flight. The design documentation has been handed over to the manufacturer, marking the commencement of preparations for the production of the initial samples.
The introduced changes have enhanced indigenous single-engine aircraft’s competitiveness and commercial appeal. Furthermore, these adjustments have mitigated the technical risks associated with its development.
In July, The EurAsian Times reported that Moscow had modified to the initial design of the single-engine Su-75 Checkmate stealth fighter aircraft. Efforts are underway to explore the development of additional variants.
Checkmate fighter aircraft are characterized by their stealth capabilities, economical flight hour costs, open architecture, and strong cost-effectiveness indicators.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, anticipates the potential unveiling of a prototype for the Russian fifth-generation light fighter Checkmate by 2025 end.
“I expect this to happen before the end of 2025,” he remarked in response to inquiries about the timeline for creating the Checkmate fighter prototype.
Russia Seeks To Emulate F-35 Success With Checkmate
From the outset, Moscow has actively promoted the Su-75 Checkmate aircraft to attract potential customers. During its international debut at the Dubai Air Show 2021, officials from Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau even presented limited-edition Checkmate perfume bottles.
Yet, the success of this aircraft in the global market relies on securing adequate foreign orders to finance its production.
While no country has openly committed to purchasing this fighter jet, Russian officials consistently assert that some nations have shown interest.
In 2021, a high-ranking Russian official hinted at an “anchor customer” without disclosing the identity, indicating a focus on marketing to African nations, Vietnam, and India.
Earlier reports indicate that Russia has extended invitations to Middle Eastern countries to collaborate in developing advanced weaponry, with a particular emphasis on a fifth-generation fighter derived from the Checkmate light tactical aircraft.
On November 13, Denis Manturov affirmed that foreign customers had expressed interest in the Russian fifth-generation light fighter, Checkmate. Adjustments to the project have been made to accommodate their preferences.
Manturov added that inquiries from interested parties over the past two years have led to specific modifications, including changes to the layout, control systems, and aviation weaponry.
Although the Russian Minister did not disclose the specific countries involved, he acknowledged that significant work has been done to align the project with the needs of those interested in a single-engine aircraft.
In addition to potential foreign orders, Manturov highlighted ongoing discussions about possible collaboration with foreign companies on the Checkmate project.
“First of all, today, we see production in Russia soon. But as I said, taking into account the improvements required to adapt the client’s request as much as possible,” he stressed.
Despite facing challenges in producing the Su-57 in significant numbers for its Air Force, Russia envisions mirroring the success of the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet through the Checkmate project.
A Russia expert previously highlighted the appropriateness of collaborating with foreign countries on this project, drawing parallels with Lockheed Martin’s approach to the F-35.
The strategy involves international cooperation for production, keeping key technologies at home while outsourcing certain parts and assemblies to different countries.
This engages those countries in production and transforms them into a market. The approach efficiently distributes expenditure and involves future customers in the production-purchase process, proving commercially justified.
Regarding its potential characteristics, the Checkmate holds particular appeal for the Arab world as a lightweight fifth-generation fighter.
Russia’s extensive competencies and proprietary technologies in this field make it an intriguing prospect. The willingness to share these technologies suggests the potential for additional funds and opportunities for further development.