Russian state-backed media outlet TASS has published a detailed infographic on the new Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate fighter.
Mikhail Strelets, the Checkmate’s chief designer, told TASS that the Su-75 project had its roots in the Russian military’s experience during Moscow’s intervention in the Syrian civil war. Russian leaders concluded that the strike role played by the Su-35 in Syria could have been filled by a cheaper fighter with a smaller footprint.
“An analysis of the use of airstrikes in Syria revealed that the capabilities of heavy twin-engine aircraft systems proved too excessive to perform most tasks,” Strelets said, according to TASS.
Strelets also confirmed that the Checkmate takes its design language from the fifth-generation Su-57 air superiority stealth fighter. The Checkmate also has a degree of component overlap with the Su-57, including the cockpit and avionics suite.
“The trend to harmonize aircraft inventory is on the rise,” he said. “Due to a high level of harmonization between projects, joint operations of the Su-57, Checkmate and unmanned aerial vehicles can form a perfectly balanced fleet for various tasks with minimum operating cost and potential of high combat.”
Yury Slyusar, general manager of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia, said the Checkmate is designed as “a platform for an entire family of aviation systems.” Slyusar reaffirmed Moscow’s plans to design both an unmanned Checkmate variant. It had previously been reported that manned and unmanned Checkmate aircraft could operate in the same squadron.
“The jet will be able to share information and provide target designation to other aerial platforms and unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said. “Using the unmanned modification of the new aircraft will introduce a new tactical method,” he added.
The Checkmate fighter was unveiled by Russian defense industry giant Rostec at the MAKS-2021 airshow in Russia. The TASS infographic confirmed that the fighter will boast a top speed of 2,200 kilometers per hour and a maximum flight range of 2,800 km. The standard Checkmate variant has a combat payload of 7,400 kg spread over five hardpoints in internal weapons bays and six external pylons. In keeping with its multirole design, the Checkmate is compatible with a wide range of armaments, including the RVV family of air-to-air missiles, the Kh-59MK2 guided missile and the Kh-35UE anti-ship missile, as well as many guided missiles. / unguided bombs and unguided rockets of the S-8 series.
Rostec executives initially suggested that the Checkmate could have a cost per model as low as $25 million, but the infographic says the fighter will start at $30 million before any customer-specific modifications. Russian defense industry officials believe the Su-75 is well positioned to compete favorably with the Dassault Rafale and JAS-39 Gripen due to its aggressive pricing model, robust weapons loadout and features. fifth generation. Three hundred Checkmate models are expected to be produced for export, with India, Vietnam and several African states identified as potential customers.
Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National interest.