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Potential foreign customers eye Russia’s cutting-edge Checkmate fighter

The Air Forces of many countries have the need for aircraft of this type, CEO of the state arms seller Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev noted
Checkmate fifth-generation single-engine fighter Sergei Karpukhin/TASS
Checkmate fifth-generation single-engine fighter
© Sergei Karpukhin/TASS

LIMA, October 28. /TASS/. Potential foreign customers show a keen interest in Russia’s latest Checkmate fifth-generation single-engine fighter, CEO of the state arms seller Rosoboronexport (part of the state tech corporation Rostec) Alexander Mikheyev told TASS in the run-up to the SITDEF 2021 international arms show in Peru on Thursday.

"We see quite a high interest in this new aircraft," the chief executive said, responding to a question about whether the company had received any requests for the Checkmate fighter from Latin American countries after its presentation at the MAKS 2021 air show in Russia.

It is early to speak about any orders for the latest Checkmate fighter, he said. "The aircraft first has to take to the skies and cover the way from a prototype to a serial-produced aircraft," Mikheyev said.

There is a need for the latest Checkmate fighter on some arms markets, he said. "The Air Forces of many countries, including in South America, have the need for aircraft of this type," he explained.

About the Checkmate fighter

Russia’s state tech corporation Rostec unveiled the latest domestic single-engine fighter dubbed Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 international air show that ran in the suburban town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 20-25. The new plane created by Rostec at its own initiative, is a derivative of the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter.

The new 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.

Russia’s latest, cutting-edge fighter is expected to compete with America’s F-35A Lightning II and Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen. The Checkmate incorporates the latest systems, including its open architecture configuration to meet the customer’s requirements and unique artificial intelligence technologies.

Defense technology show in Lima

The SITDEF 2021 international defense technology show will run through October 31 on the premises of the Peruvian Army’s headquarters in Lima. The defense show has been held every two years since 2007. Russia’s Rosoboronexport is a constant participant in the Peru defense show.