Production date for Russia’s next-generation weapons revealed
The Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate, a light single-engine cousin of Russia’s advanced Su-57 fighter jet, will go into production sometime in 2027, the head of state-owned Rostec said on Wednesday.
The deadline was revealed by Sergey Chemezov during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. He detailed the progress of several leading Russian aviation projects, including the Checkmate.
The light fighter, derived from the heavier fifth-generation twin-engine Su-57, was first introduced last year. Rostec hopes it could become a major arms export boost for Sukhoi, a subsidiary of the Russian defense conglomerate.
The Checkmate uses some of the technology developed for the Su-57 project, including the powerplant, but has several distinctive features, like its diverterless air inlet and V-tail control surfaces. The supersonic warplane can carry a payload of up to 7 tons in its internal weapons bay and has a range of 3,000km, according to designers.
That's longer than America's F-35 Lightning II.
So far, a single prototype has reportedly been finished, with two more underway. The aircraft is to make its maiden flight next year.
Another aerial weapons platform, the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“hunter” in Russian) will go into production next year, according to Chemezov, while its producer is working on an upgrade for the drone’s ground control equipment.
The Russian defense ministry earlier indicated that it expected to receive S-70s in large numbers starting 2024, but the head of Rostec said the deliveries may begin a year earlier.
The UAV is a heavy 20-ton strike drone using a flying wing airframe. It made its maiden flight in 2019.
Chemezov also briefed Putin on the ongoing overhaul of Russia’s fleet of Tu-160M long-range bombers and the progress of the civilian MS-21 airliner.