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Serial production of Sukhoi Checkmate to begin in 2026 — UAC

The plane should make its maiden flight in 2023

ZHUKOVSKY /Moscow Region/, July 20. /TASS/. Rostec’s United Aircraft Corporation plans to begin serial production of the Sukhoi Checkmate single-engine jet fighter ni 2026, UAC CEO Yuri Slyusar said during the presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo.

"The static trials of the new plane will be complete in one year. […] The serial plane will be available for clients since 2026," he said.

The plane should first take off in 2023. Before that, it will undergo a complex of ground tests.

UAC plans to manufacture 300 single-engine light tactical fighter jets within the next 15 years, Slyusar said. 

"300 planes are on out business plan. We hope it will be done within the next 15 years," he said, adding that the plan rests on the market analysis.

"When I say 300, it is not just a dream. It is a figure calculated by countries and regions. We analyzed the clientele. When we cite these figures, we do it responsibly," he added.

Project details 

The new Sukhoi single-engine jet fighter can carry up to five air-to-air missiles of various range, according to the Rostec presentation.

"The new light jet fighter can carry up to five air-to-air missiles of various range in its top version," the presentation says.

The machine is capable of carrying the entire spectrum of fifth generation missiles and bombs. During the presentation, the plane was accompanied by mock RVV-MD, RVV-SD and H-59MK missiles.

It can operate in a networking combat system and act as a part of a group of manned and unmanned aircraft, says Checkmate chief designer Mikhail Strelets said in an interview for TASS Tuesday.

"Both manned and unmanned versions of the Checkmate can operation in a networking combat system, which means acting as a part of a group of manned and unmanned aircraft," Strelets said.

"We plan to carry out such tests," he said.

The aircraft can carry all weapons of the SU-57 plane, United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar said during the presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo.

According to Slyusar, the new plane was designed on the Su-57 groundwork.

"This groundwork was basically enough to develop a single-engine version," Slyusar said.

"Its thrust-to-weight ratio is indeed unique in its class. The internal weapons bay is the largest among this type of planes, […] which makes it possible to deploy the entire spectrum of aviation weapons of the Su-57 fifth generation fighter," Slyusar noted.

A number of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons have been developed specifically for the Su-57. The plane can carry weapons in the internal bay, as well as on hardpoints. The Su-57 carries an auto gun for short-range dogfight.

The jet fighter will be able to attack up to six targets simultaneously, Strelets told TASS.

"The plane’s avionics with the built-in AESA radar can attack six and track 30 airborne targets. If we speak about ground and naval targets, the plane can track two targets simultaneously," he said.

The new Matreshka automated logistical support was developed for the Checkmate single-engine jet fighter, the Checkmate chief designer said.

"The Checkmate light tactical plane is indeed easy to maintain. The special Matreshka automated logistical support system was developed for this fighter. Using the newest methods of predictive analytics, the system will track the plane’s condition in real time throughout its life cycle," Strelets said.

According to the chief designer, this will make possible to plan maintenance and repairs, and will significantly reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of maintenance operations.

"Even today, the cockpit includes the intellectual crew support, which forms suggestions for the pilot for the most efficient actions during a fight, including in difficult situations."

"The Checkmate is equipped with artificial intelligence which acts as a co-pilot. It will diagnose all plane systems and assist the pilot in a rapidly changing combat situation. The pilot will focus on issuing commands, and the machine will perform all operations automatically," Strelets said.

He disclosed that the cockpit is equipped with unique panoramic sensor displays that display the status of all systems and provide excessive information about the route, targets and threats.

Unmanned version

Rostec’s United Aircraft Corporation works on the unmanned version of the Checkmate light tactical jet fighter, according to the Rostec presentation at the MAKS-2021 expo.

"The unmanned version of the plane is being developed," the presentation says.

UAC head Yuri Slyusar believes that the unmanned supersonic jet will interest potential clients, including the Russian Aerospace Forces.