Russian ‘Checkmate’ Single Engine Light Stealth Fighter (LTS) that was unveiled today already has a launch customer and was looking to expand the customer base to India, other Asian countries and those in Africa.
The aircraft had been developed for the international customer, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said. He did not elaborate on who the foreign was and the nature the order.
LTS ‘Checkmate’ Fighter Jet is expected to Cost $25-$30 million Apiece, said Rostec head Sergei Chemezov.
The $25-$30 million price would make it one of the cheapest fighter jet in the world and could cause a disruption in the global fighter jet industry if it performs as per expectation. The price could bring in within that of the Pak-Chinese JF-17 which has tasted success in the international market.
He stated that the plane will receive a first stage engine from the Su-57 (AL-41F1 engine, a modification of which also powers the Su-35). “That is why we managed to develop a new aircraft so quickly,” Chemezov said during a press conference at the MAKS 2021 show in Moscow.
First flight in 2023
The first flight of the fighter is expected in 2023 construction of prototypes during 2024-2025 followed by the launch of the pilot batch in 2026, he said.
The new Russian Checkmate fighter is targeted at the African, Vietnamese and Indian markets; the demand for it is estimated at 300 aircraft, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov.
"The aircraft, first of all, will be focused on African countries, India, Vietnam. The demand for these aircraft is quite high and is estimated at least 300 aircraft in the near future," Borisov told reporters at the MAKS-2021 air show on Tuesday.
“It all depends on how quickly we will bring the aircraft to the international market,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. Earlier on Tuesday, Borisov told Interfax that Russia has an anchor customer for the new Checkmate light fighter. “We already have it, we are doing it for him (foreign air force),” Borisov said at the MAKS-2021 air show.
Internal weapons bay
Also, the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, told Interfax that the Russion Ministry of Defense could also be a customer of the new ‘Checkmate’ fighter.
Earlier a Rostec presentation said that the ‘Chekmate’ will be able to accelerate to twice the speeds of sound, the mass of the combat load of the fighter will be 7400 kg, the range of the fighter will be 3 thousand km. Placement of modern weapons would be in the (internal) weapon bays, the presentation said .