The new Russian fighter Checkmate would already have a first export customer

The presentation of new single-engine fighter from Sukhoi, designated Checkmate, during the MAKS 2021 exhibition near Moscow, caused a lot of ink to be spilled and raised many questions. Among them, the positioning of the aircraft on the export market as well as its possible adoption by the VVS, the Russian air forces, were the most significant in terms of the potential future of this program which obviously has great ambitions. for the aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi. Part of the veil was lifted by Yuri Slyusar, director of the United Aircraft Corporation to which Sukhoi belongs, during ainterview given to the Russian site and to the Interfax news agency.

We thus learn that the first prototype is being produced in the Yuri Gagarin KnAAZ factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and that its specifications were defined at the request of the device's first export customer. During a visit by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to the same factory, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov affirmed that the Russian authorities aim to deliver 300 Checkmates in the years to come, to African countries, India and Vietnam. As for the president of Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, he reaffirmed that the price of the aircraft should be between $25 and $30 million, and that he was counting on an order from the Russian air forces. Knowing the privileged relations that the latter maintains with Vladimir Putin, we can obviously think that this will be the case.

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The Indian DRDO is developing, alongside the Tejas Mk2, the Omni Role Combat Aircraft program intended to produce a twin-engine onboard fighter with a first flight in 2026 and entry into service in 2032. Many believe that this timetable is inaccessible to the Indian aeronautical industry.

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