Russia will present a mock-up of the 'Checkmate' Light Stealth Fighter along with the Orion surveillance drone at the upcoming Dubai Airshow.
Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade told Defense Ministry-owned TV channel tvzvezda.ru that the country will put on a static display of the prototype of Checkmate jet at the event, and showcase Orion UAV, Ka-226T and Mi-171A2 helicopters.
What the minister referred to as 'prototype,' could be a scale model, perhaps even a full sized one, similar to the one displayed at the launch of the Checkmate project at the MAKS show in Moscow, Defenseworld.net understands from various sources.
Within the framework of the Dubai Airshow, flights of the Russian MS-21-310 with Russian PD-14 engines, the medical version of the Ansat helicopter and the Mi-28NE and Ka-52E combat helicopters are planned to be displayed.
Russia considers countries of Africa, India and Vietnam as potential customers for the fifth-generation Checkmate single-engine fighter. It comes with an attractive price tag of around $25-30 million. As per Russian media reports, there will be further reduction in the jet’s cost after unification with the Su-35s and Su-57s.
Developed by Sukhoi, the Checkmate is capable of traveling up to 3,000 km, can reach Mach 2 speeds and can carry 7400 kg of combat load. It will be able to simultaneously attack up to six air, sea and ground targets, including attack drones and foreign fifth-generation aircraft.
Checkmate may be equipped with the Second Stage Izdeliye 30 (Item 30) engine that will soon power all Sukhoi Su-57 stealth jets, the top official added.
Yuri Slyusar, head of state-owned United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), told local media that the aircraft will make its first flight in 2023. Serial deliveries will begin in 2026.
Russia’s deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin told Mubarak Saeed bin Ghafan Al Jabri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Support and Defense Industries at the UAE Ministry of Defense, at the Army 2021 Forum that Russia was “ready not only to supply equipment and weapons, but also to share technologies [and] to localize production” in the UAE.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Middle East has been the fastest growing market for arms sales in the past five years, driven by regional strategic competition among countries in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest arms importer – increased its arms imports by 61% in 2016–20 compared to 2011–15, while Qatar spent 361% more over the same timeframe.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also keen to develop their indigenous military manufacturing industries, something which provides another potential opportunity for Moscow.
With the U.S. restricting arms sales to the two countries over their involvement in the Yemen War, Russia might want to make up most of this opportunity. The previous Trump administration brokered a peace deal between the UAE and Israel, and then agreed to sell F-35 fighters and Reapers. Biden has reportedly decided to go ahead with the $23 billion contract, a move that has worried lawmakers.