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Su-75 Stealth Checkmate Fighter: Mass Production to Begin in 2025

Checkmate Stealth Fighter
Image: Russian Government

The mass production of Russia’s Su-75 Checkmate fighter jet— a single-engine, fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft under development by Sukhoi for export and for the Russian Aerospace Forces—is slated to start 2025 or 2026, according to Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov.

“As far as I remember, flight tests will start in 2023, the serial production in case of demand—hopefully, there will be demand because this plane has a number of features of a fifth-generation jet … will start in 2025-2026, I think this is a realistic time frame,” he told the media during a recent Oil and Gas Forum in the western Siberian city of Tyumen.

Borisov also noted that Russia’s Defense Ministry may consider the purchase of the fighters under a future state program for armaments.

“Under a future state program for armaments the Defense Ministry and the Aerospace Force may consider the possibility of purchasing this fighter,” he said.

“This is a major export potential factor. Foreign customers are always keen to know if the country’s national armed forces use the military technologies that are on offer for export,” he continued, adding that the Defense Ministry and the Aerospace Force had been “historically cautious” regarding single-engine fighters, with them often preferring twin-engines due to reliability issues.

Big Hopes for Checkmate

It was in July, with President Vladimir Putin on hand, when Russia officially unveiled Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 air show in Moscow. As reported in Popular Mechanics, the fighter jet comes with an “unusually pointy nose and an engine intake below the cockpit,” in addition to an “internal weapons bay designed to preserve its anti-radar shaping and can carry both air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance, including both infrared- and radar-guided air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles, guided and unguided bombs, and unguided rockets.”

This particular aircraft is also known to boast a combat radius of more than nine hundred miles and a top speed of nearly twelve hundred miles per hour. The first Checkmate is expected to take flight in 2023, but it comes with a hefty price tag of $25 million to $30 million.

Taking Aim at F-35

According to the same publication, “Sukhoi, in a dig against the F-35, says the Checkmate is capable of ‘continuous supersonic flight’—a nod to last year’s revelation the F-35 can only fly supersonic for fifty seconds before possibly damaging the plane. Sukhoi claims its aircraft is capable of 8G maneuvers.”

The Sukhoi Su-57, developed by a Moscow-headquartered aerospace company, is a stealth-capable fighter jet that is the outcome of the Russian Air Force’s PAK FA fifth-generation fighter jet program. It is known to make broad use of a variety of composite materials that enable it to efficiently evade detection on most enemy radars.

Checkmate Stealth Fighter

Image Credit: Russian State Media.

Checkmate Stealth Fighter

Image: Russian Government.

Meanwhile, the F-35 is known as the most lethal and versatile aircraft of the modern era. Former Defense Secretary James Mattis once even called the F-35 “critical” for America’s air superiority and applauded its ability to integrate seamlessly with allies who have purchased the jet.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.



  1. Slack

    September 17, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    Good development. US is forever like a shark just waiting to swallow every available prey.

    But the US is a predator that can’t sustain its momentum if the prey thrashes an inordinate amount of time. Thus mass production is good as it allows growth of an attrition fleet that can outlast the harsh and ruthless but relatively short duration attack of the Great Predator.

  2. Ziv Bnd

    September 18, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Looking at the air intakes makes you think that this thing will have a radar return nearly the size of an SU-35. Russias attempts to reduce RCS in the past have been pretty fleeting, this probably will require as much work to keep the RCS low as the SU-57 required. The Su-57 appears to have an RCS of around 1 M2, the SU-75 may have an RCS half that, better but not good. In other words, no matter how maneuverable it is, it is just a target. The SU-57 is not selling so they are trotting out a smaller, cheaper version hoping it will do better. It may, but it probably won’t sell that much better.
    Russia builds beautiful aircraft that are formidable against third world opponents, but they wouldn’t last a day against the US, or China for that matter. You need some degree of stealth to survive for long in todays air to air battle. Stealth isn’t an either/or proposition. Reducing the SU-75 RCS to approximately 0.5 M2 is helpful, but it isn’t enough to keep an opposing force stealth fighter from spotting it at beyond visual range and locking on their missiles before it even knows they are there. Long range AAM’s combined with state of the art DAS/EOTS are a non-stealthy fighters worst enemy.
    Which is why the F-15EX is such a questionable buy.

  3. Fighterforfreedom

    September 18, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Thank Biden for permitting operation of the pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany which generates the revenue enabling Russia to be able to afford production of the SU-75; and to think that if Hunter Biden did not have a 3rd laptop that had images of his association w/Russian drug dealers, he would not have been in the position of being extorted and then his daddy would not have been forced to lift the Trump moratorium preventing this pipeline from operating and then Russia would not have had the revenue to produce this aircraft.

  4. 1troublemaker

    September 18, 2021 at 11:24 am

    AT best the Su-75 is a gen4.5 aircraft. Rivets sticking out everywhere,the large non treated air intakes for the engine, round exhaust nozzle on said engine say that the Su75 is only partially stealthy. Any aircraft at its altitude and closing with it may not see it, but be above it, below it or behind it and track it like you could an F14.

  5. Johnathan Galt

    September 18, 2021 at 11:32 am

    @Ziv Bnd I was torn on the F-15EX choice as well. However (as much as I hate it as an ex Phantom phlier), the missile mule strategy makes sense. At the end of the day a force comprised only of first tier fighters would have less punch and versatility of blended forces, and sending in an F-35 on a mud run (and possible small arms mort) makes no sense when you have more expendable assets available.

    A BVR missile kill doesn’t care what airplane launched it as long as it receives good telemetry from Raptor, F-35, or AWACS. The cost to spin up more production of F-35s would be outrageous, while keeping the lights on for more mud Eagles is easy AND protects us from single point of failure by yielding multiple supply chains (in case parts for one aircraft suddenly become scarce, the other remains combat capable).

  6. TermLimits

    September 18, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    Good comment on Dumb Joe’s allowing the Trump-stopped NG pipeline to proceed. Also what Dumb Joe has done is make Putin a very happy man, being the dictator running a petro-state. Almost ALL of Russia’s revenue is from the sale of oil and gas on the international market, and with Trump in office the price per barrel moved down to the mid-40’s. It has been noted Russia needs $46 oil to keep afloat and Trump was killing Russia financially, meaning Putin wasn’t able to even consider much military investment. Now, with oil over $70 (thanks to Dumb Joe) Putin is swimming in cash and has announced multiple programs, most military.
    It is stunning to realize what damage Biden has done to the US and the world, essentially all in the name of reversing everything Trump.
    Oh, and BTW, with Keystone shut down, predictable Canada announce going ahead with the Transmountain pipeline to the BC coast, where it will export the oil that should have gone into the KXL. Again, thank you Dumb Joe!

  7. Brian Foley

    September 18, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    The question is “Is the Su-75 another project like so many other Russian projects…looks great but never goes beyond a few demonstrators due to costs ” ? The line for projects that went nowhere is long. The Russians make a big splash initially then go on to build very limited numbers, and sometimes only one. Some observers have pointed out mechanical issues that jeopardizes the Su-75’s stealth. By the time the Russians get the Su-75 into production in any significant numbers the Americans will have its 6th generation fighter in production, that and the current family of stealthy aircraft will keep the Russians far behind the Americans in quantity as well as quality.

  8. Pavel Sukhoi

    September 18, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    I thought I read “Mass Production to begin in 3025”… then realized that the year 3025 seems fairly reasonable for a Russian project… 😁

  9. Mark Hutchison

    September 19, 2021 at 2:13 am

    Where will they park all of these? Along w/all of the Su-57s? (Couldn’t resist! 😄 )

  10. Michael R Berger

    September 19, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Well,perhaps they’ll make more than a handful of prototypes.

    Not much more that target practice…

    The new F-15ex is a weapons truck.

    It stays behind and acts as a firebase.

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