The Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate - Only time will tell

By Willie Bodenstein

11.04.2024





Russia highly touted it's Sukhoi Su-75 "Checkmate" single-engine stealth fighter as a competitor of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and Shenyang FC-31. Developed by Sukhoi for export and for the Russian Aerospace Forces the Checkmate is in the same light to medium-weight category.



Sukhoi Aircraft first unveiled a mock-up of the Checkmate MAKS 2021 international air show outside of Moscow. The export model mock-up was introduced at the Dubai Airshow 2021 in the United Arab Emirates.


The Su-75 was among the aircraft that the Russian delegation presented at the February 2024 World Defence Show held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. According to the chief executive of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, the LTS Checkmate is expected to cost US $25-30 million each.


According to Sukhoi the Checkmate is designed to fly with a range of up to 3,000 km (1,864 mi), carry a payload of up 7,400 kg (16,314 lb), and reach speeds of up to Mach 1.8 to 2.0. The fighter will also feature an internal weapons bay able to accommodate air-to-air and air-to-surface armaments, while it could carry a payload of over seven tonnes and will be capable of striking up to six targets at a time.




Production of several prototypes of the Checkmate commenced in August 2022 at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant, the same plant where the Sukhoi Su-57 is built. The company planned to build four prototypes of the Su-75 Checkmate, with flight tests planned for 2023. This did not happen and it is now scheduled for this year, 2024, with initial deliveries now planned for 2026-2027.



Sukhoi and Rostec has from the initial announcement been actively trying to line up international partners with up to now no takers. The loss of funding from the United Arab Emirates due to sanctions, which initially has been sustaining the Su-75's development, as the UAE seeks instead to acquire F-35s, with potential support from Israel was a major blow to the project. Furthermore, sanctions against Russia because of the Ukrainian war will also have a negative impact on the development and production of the Checkmate.

Except for the Russian Airforce the only other possibility may be the acquisition of the Checkmate by the Indian Airforce. However, that seems to be unlikely as India is developing its own advanced combat aircraft via its Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program.

Only time will tell if the Su-75 Checkmate will live up the hype.





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