Russian Su-57E and ‘Checkmate’ Stealth Jets Targeted at Different Buyers


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Defenseworld.net interviewed Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy of Rostec State Corporation, Viktor Kladov on the international sale prospects of the Su-57 and the recently unveiled  ‘Checkmate’ fighter jet, impact of sanctions and other issues concerning the Russian defense sector.

1. Now that the Su-57 has entered serial production, what are the export prospects for this aircraft.

Rosoboronexport is currently working on applications for a fifth-generation fighter Su-57E from approximately 5-7 countries within the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and Europe.

The fifth-generation fighter Su-57E has a number of unique combat and operational properties. It has a low level of visibility in different wave ranges, particularly due to the internal placement of the state-of-the-art aircraft armament; it can fly at supersonic speed in cruising mode for a long period of time.

Besides, Su-57E is super maneuverable, and this is a property retained at supersonic speed, it has high jamming resistance of airborne equipment and armament complex, as well as pilot intelligent assistance and combat employment automation systems.

2. The ‘Checkmate’ fighter aircraft has aroused great interest globally. What are the factors that will make it attractive over the F-35 to potential customers. 

The combination of high payload, modern equipment and low cost per flight hour make the aircraft the most profitable in terms of price to combat effectiveness. The use of various configurations allows you to meet the needs of almost any potential customer in the most precise way.

The Matryoshka automated logistics support system was created for the aircraft. It allows for the organizing of personnel training, maintenance planning with high precision and the supply of components in a timely manner. The solution will reduce the cost of after-sales service, increase its efficiency and ensure a high level of combat readiness of the fleet even in high-intensity operations.

3. Will the ‘Checkmate’ compete with or complement the Su-57?

The LTA Checkmate is designed based on proven solutions and the latest technologies that have been developed, and which are used today in our Su-57 flagship. This, among other things, makes it possible to achieve a high tempo in the Checkmate production. Although these two aircraft belong to the fifth generation of fighters, they are machines of different categories, and there will be a different buyer for each of them.

And, since you mentioned the competitors, the Checkmate’s flight hour cost is estimated to be 7 times less than that of an aircraft such as the F-35, and comparable to the cost of a flight hour of the Gripen NG, with the combat capabilities of the Checkmate being substantially better.