Sunday, June 26, 2022

Russia’s Checkmate vs US’ F-35: All you need to know about Russian fighter plane‎

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President Vladimir Putin inspected a prototype of a new Sukhoi fifth-generation fighter jet ‘Checkmate’ that Russia unveiled at its annual MAKS air show with an eye on export markets and challenges the United States’ F-35.

The warplane, given the project name “Checkmate”, is likely to be touted as a rival to the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter, said Oleg Panteleyev, head of the Aviaport analytical agency.


The warplane is expected to take to the skies in 2023 with a first batch due to be produced in 2026, Yury Slyusar, head of the United Aircraft Corporation told reporters.

Russia plans to produce 300 of the aircraft over 15 years once serial production begins, he said.

Russia has successfully produced prototypes of new weapons systems in recent years but has sometimes struggled to move to serial production.

Under Putin, it has invested heavily in military aircraft and new armaments, both for its own armed forces and also to boost export revenue from weapon sales. Many of its new weapons are still based on Soviet-era technology from the Cold War.

What is Checkmate?

The Checkmate has an internal weapons bay designed to preserve its anti-radar shaping and is capable of carrying both air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance. This includes both infrared and radar-guided air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles, guided and unguided bombs, and unguided rockets.

Checkmate has been developed as a short takeoff-and-landing fighter jet that also allows it to operate from aircraft carriers and can travel up to 1,500 kilometers in a single sortie, while loaded with weapons and payload. Capable of continuous supersonic flight, the aircraft flies at 1,180 miles per hour at its top speed and can share data with other fighters in the air.

Low cost as compared to US’ F-35 

Rostec, Russia’s state aerospace and defence conglomerate, was quoted as saying by a Reuters report that the plane was hard to detect and would have low operating costs.

Rostec’s chief, Sergei Chemezov, said it would cost $25 million to $30 million, the RIA news agency reported. Moscow expected demand from nations in the Middle East, Asia Pacific region and Latin America, he said.

Read More: CHINA UNVEILS ITS J-20 FIGHTER JET AT AIR SHOW

The cost is extremely low when compared to F-35, which comes at a price of over $75 million.

Our aim is to make the cost per flight hour as low as possible, to make it economical not only to buy but also to operate,” said Slyusar.

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