Russia will finance the development of its newest Russian fighter aircraft, ‘Checkmate’ on its own without foreign investments.
“We have a budget for this completely laid out. It absolutely does not depend on foreign customers,” said the minister of industry and trade, Denis Manturov during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok today.
“As for foreign participation, foreign colleagues often ask for a two-seat solution,” RIA Novosti quoted Manturov as saying.
Manturov noted that foreign customers can finance the creation of a two-seater version of the aircraft - a large number of applications for it are received from abroad.
A prototype (some reports say mock-up) of the fifth-generation fighter jet was unveiled this past July at the MAKS-2021 air show.
Manturov’s statement appears to contradict that of Rostec chief executive, Sergei Chemazov who had said “The (Checkmate) jet was developed on the specifications of a foreign customer,” Chemazov had said while speaking to reporters after the Checkmate’s official launch on the first day of MAKS 2021 this year.
Chemazov did not elaborate if the customer for whom the jet was being developed had paid or agreed to pay for the development. He also did not specify how many aircraft would be ordered by the unidentified customer.
The Checkmate is being touted as Russia’s answer to the American F-35, a single-engine stealth-capable fighter jet that has its order-book full from contracts with the US and allied air forces.