New Russian 5th Generation Sukhoi LTS Checkmate Fighter Has Very Unique Feature Set
Sergey Chemezov: “Checkmate has a very unique set of characteristics”
The original text in Russian can be found at https://ria.ru/20210720/chemezov-1742024013.html
The main premiere of the 15th MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, which opened at Zhukovsky Airport near Moscow on Tuesday, was Russia’s latest light tactical fighter jet, called “Checkmate”. The single-engine aircraft for export is developed by Sukhoi (part of the United Aircraft Corporation of Rostec).
Rostec chief Sergey Chemezov was interviewed by Dmitry Reshetnikov of RIA Novosti on various technical characteristics of the new fighter, its export potential, its ability to interact with drones and other plans to create an unmanned fighter based on this particular design.
– Could you present the aircraft that was unveiled today?
– This is a fifth generation fighter with stealth capabilities and high flight performance. The model is equipped with advanced avionics and the most spacious weapon bays in its class. In its stealth configuration, Checkmate is capable of carrying up to five air-to-air missiles of varying ranges, as well as other aviation weapons. We actively used supercomputer technologies during the creation process, which significantly saved us the time and money spent on development and testing.
The aircraft has a very unique set of flight and combat characteristics, while maintaining an affordable price and a relatively low operating cost per flight hour. For example, it has a maximum combat payload of 7,400 kilograms and a flight range of 2,900 kilometers without additional fuel tanks. These are remarkable numbers for a light single-engine aircraft.
I want to clarify that this is not only a fighter plane, but a high-tech intelligent aviation platform, with open architecture and adaptable: it can be assembled in several configurations, in depending on the customer’s specific requirements. It also has great potential for modernization.
The key concept of the project is summed up by its name, Checkmate. The role of the airplane is similar to the chess knight piece: maneuverable and able to perform unexpected movements that decide the course of the game.
– The aircraft has a prototype ready for testing. How does its design differ from the older Su-57 or Su-35 models?
– The Su-57 and Su-35 are both unique aircraft in their own right, you might call them part of the “major league”. However, their capacities are limited and unsuitable for particular missions. Checkmate is a “lightweight” platform, optimal for solving urgent tasks with minimal financial costs. It has a very high level of combat efficiency considering its relatively low cost and cheap flight hour. Its modern and advanced avionics allow it to engage in aerial combat and attack ground attacks with active phase array radar, providing effective targeting capabilities even under strong electromagnetic interference. At the same time, its own electronic warfare equipment allows the aircraft to avoid detection and evade enemy weapons. Checkmate can use a full range of weapons to combat all air, land and sea targets, as well as counter the most advanced air defense systems.
– How would you assess the aircraft’s export potential, on which markets is it focused?
– Without a doubt, Checkmate has a high export potential. He is able to solve a wide range of objectives facing different clients, effectively destroy land and sea targets, and fight for air supremacy against a numerically superior enemy. The combination of a high combat payload, modern equipment and a low cost per flight hour makes the aircraft extremely cost effective considering its combat capabilities. The flexible use of various configurations allows it to be precisely customized to meet the needs of almost any potential customer. We offer the platform equipped with a wide choice of modern avionics and weaponry. Each customer can choose exactly what they need. Currently, potential customers include countries in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
– How will the after-sales service system work?
– The Matryoshka automated logistics support system was specially created for this aircraft. It makes it possible to organize personnel training, to plan maintenance with great precision and to deliver the necessary components on time. The system will reduce after-sales service costs while increasing its efficiency and ensure a high level of combat readiness of the fleet, even during high intensity operations.
– What plans do you have to further improve this platform?
– Checkmate is the combat system of the future. It is possible to create an unmanned version of the aircraft based on a unified aviation platform. Future versions will be able to perform coordinated group operations with unmanned and unmanned vehicles, combined into a single system. Unmanned wingers will be able to exchange information, react instantly to a changing combat situation, and automatically dispatch and execute even the most complex tasks. This will significantly increase the overall knowledge of the platform, expand combat capabilities and allow the introduction of comprehensive tactics for combat operations.