Monday, March 4, 2024

The Russian Ministry of Defense could acquire the Checkmate on the next programming law

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Until now, communication from the Russian authorities around the new Checkmate 5th generation single-engine fighter program had only focused on industrial and export aspects. The acquisition of the device by the Russian armed forces had always been a subject carefully avoided by them, especially since the country is already fully engaged in a military programming law, or GPV, already very ambitious extending until 2027 , and focusing on the acquisition, in this area, of Su-57, Su-35 and Su-34 fighters and the S70 Okhotnik-B heavy drone to modernize the Russian air forces. Adding in these conditions the acquisition of a new unplanned aircraft was therefore out of place, especially since the budgetary effort already made by Russia in the field of defense equipment acquisitions already represents, in itself, alone, more than 1% of the country's GDP.

However, the Russian authorities know, and the example of the failure of the Mig-35 was there to remind them, that international customers are much more inclined to acquire an aircraft when it is actually in service in their country of origin. origin. This is not surprising, when we know the weight represented by the acquisition, maintenance and modernization of a fleet of combat aircraft. A reality recalled by Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Minister of Defense Yuri Borisov during discussions at the Tyumen Gas and Oil Forum, the latter having also declared that the acquisition of the new Checkmate by the Russian air force could be considered within the framework of the next military programming law, which is expected to be presented in 2025 or 2026.

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Although efficient, economical and well equipped, the Mig-35 had no export success, largely due to being shunned by the Russian air forces.

Although the Checkmate program was initially an initiative of Rostec and the Sukhoi design office, Moscow was quick to take control of its development , announcing at the beginning of September through the director of cooperation international technology company, Dmitry Shugayev, that its financing, and therefore its control, was ensured by the Russian Federal State. On the other hand, no statement has so far suggested that the aircraft could actually be acquired by the Russian air forces, the latter being dead silent on the subject. But the Kremlin today clearly sees the potential that the device represents on the export market , while, as Yuri Borisov himself says, the market will soon be largely under the control of the States. -United and China. To keep the Russian aeronautics industry able to establish itself on the export markets essential to its survival in the next 20 years, it is therefore essential to rely on aircraft with high export potential, and therefore to support the Checkmate program through a significant national acquisition, with all due respect to the military.

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