VLADIVOSTOK, September 3. /TASS/. No requests have come from foreign states yet for the purchase of Russia’s most advanced Checkmate light tactical fighter jet, Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Friday.
"No," he said in response to a corresponding question.
Head of the state tech corporation Rostec Sergeн Chemezov earlier said that Russia’s latest Checkmate fighter unveiled at the MAKS-2021 international air show was in demand on the world arms market.
"There is no need to look for a geopolitical aspect in our new light tactical aircraft. The true reason is much simpler: the aircraft of this type are really in high demand on the world arms market," the Rostec chief executive said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
As Chemezov said, the Checkmate will become "a truly workhorse solution" for those countries that cannot purchase the US F-35 Lightning II fighter for $120 million. In Rostec’s estimate, the new Russian fighter will cost around $30 million.
The new Russian single-engine fighter is based on stealth technology and is outfitted with an inboard compartment for airborne air-to-air and air-to-surface armaments. The fighter will carry a payload of over 7 tonnes and will be capable of striking up to six targets at a time.
The Checkmate fighter will be capable of flying at Mach 1.8 (1.8 times the speed of sound) and will have an operating range of 3,000 km. The aircraft will be outfitted with a highly efficient powerplant. The new fighter is expected to take to the skies in 2023 and Rostec plans to launch the combat plane’s serial production starting in 2026.