Last Updated: July 23 2021

Russia, which has given the world the likes of MiG and Sukhoi, has unveiled a new fighter aircraft named ‘Checkmate‘. The aircraft will compete against US’ F-35 in the international market.

Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi on Tuesday introduced a prototype of the new fighter jet at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow.

The jet is expected to take to the skies in 2023, with the first batch due to be produced in 2026. Moscow plans to produce 300 units of the aircraft over 15 years once serial production begins.

Features of ” Checkmate”

The new warplane is a single-engine, fifth-generation fighter jet with a top speed of Mach 1.8 to 2, a range of 3,000 kilometers and a payload of 7,400 kilograms. The aircraft has an unusually pointy nose and an engine intake below the cockpit.

Checkmate has a combat radius of 1,500 kilometers, the largest thrust-to-weight ratio, shortened takeoff and landing, more than seven tons of combat load, which is an absolute record for aircraft of this class. Capable of continuous supersonic flight, the aircraft can fly at 1,180 miles per hour at its top speed and can share data with other fighters in the air.

Checkmate is designed to be smaller and cheaper than Russia’s Su-57 two-engine stealth fighter jet, costing only $25-30 million.

Checkmate seems to have a superior stealth capability to the Su-57, allowing it to better avoid radar detection. It 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.

Domestically, the Russian air force could use it to replace older aircraft, and on the international market, the new plane will put up fierce competition against the US’ F-35 stealth fighter jet.

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