Monday, March 4, 2024

Will the Russian state take control of the Checkmate program?

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A few weeks ago , shortly after the presentation of Sukhoi's new light fighter called Checkmate, Yuri Slyusar, director of the United Aircraft Corporation and Sergeï Chemezov , president of Rostec, both gave details on the program, its genesis and its ambitions. We thus learned that the fighter had been developed with Rostec's own funds, and that a first export customer had already come forward, while the assembly of the first prototype would have already incorporated the latter's requests. On the other hand, nothing was indicated regarding a possible involvement of the Russian state itself in the program, even if Sergei Chemezov has several times suggested that he hoped for an order from the Russian air forces. The situation seems to have evolved a lot since then, if we are to believe the statements of Dmitry Shugayev , the director of international technological cooperation, at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) this Friday.

Indeed, according to him, the Checkmate program will be entirely financed by Russia itself, the necessary provisions having been made in this regard. In addition, and categorically, the latter denied any international collaboration , nor even any negotiation around the program with a foreign partner, in complete opposition to the statements of the leaders of UAC and Rostec. This turnaround left many observers perplexed, especially since Dmitry Shugayev, as usual, was hardly verbose beyond these two announcements. However, this denial appears to be consistent with the strategy applied by Moscow in recent years in terms of international negotiation and development concerning weapons systems.

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IMG 3632 Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Defense institutional communication
The marketing staging around the presentation of the Chekcmate at the Russian MAKS-2021 exhibition is, in many aspects, in opposition to the low noise strategy applied by Moscow for several years in this area.

LOGO meta defense 70 Defense News | Fighter aircraft | Defense institutional communication

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