At the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2021, Russian state aircraft manufacturer Rostec unveiled a prototype of a new fifth-generation Sukhoi fighter jet, dubbed Checkmate.
Featuring stealth capabilities and other advanced characteristics it will likely be offered to foreign buyers as a rival to the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter. It belongs to the “fifth-generation” of Russian fighter jets, a definition that assumes stealth characteristics and a capability to cruise at supersonic speed.
Checkmate was created jointly by Rostec and the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which recently combined Sukhoi and MiG together as the main military aircraft manufacturers.
The aircraft is designed to be smaller and cheaper than Russia’s latest Su-57 two-engine stealth fighter, also built by Sukhoi. While the finer details of the Checkmate are not yet released, its makers claimed that the fighter jet could fly at a speed of 1.8-2 times the speed of sound, has a range of 3,000 km (1,864 miles), and a payload of 7,400 kg.
Yury Slyusar, head of the United Aircraft Corporation, told reporters during the presentation that “Checkmate” is expected to make its maiden flight in 2023, and deliveries could start in 2026.
Rostec also said that aircraft includes artificial intelligence features to assist the pilot and other innovative technologies. They also said that the design could be converted to an unpiloted version and a two-seat model.