Russia recently unveiled the new fifth-generation Checkmate Sukhoi fighter at Max 2021. Chekmat is a kind of chess mat that is done only with the horse bead, when the opponent’s beads surround their king in the corner of the screen.
The technical characteristics of Chakmit are average in size and not equal to the Su-57 Felon. Rather, it is a low-cost and customer-friendly jet for the international market that does not want to pay exorbitant costs for Flon! The wing is trimmed with the tip of a modified triangle, and extends the root of the wing forward like a thin strip around the cockpit. The canopy is like a 57-bubble Sukhoi with a sliding back. Instead of the traditional combination of vertical and horizontal tails, the vertical rudders are quite crooked like the YF23, but the horizontal rudders have been retained. Between the vertical rudders are the propulsion exhaust and the small horizontal rudders. In addition to high maneuverability, this unique configuration reduces radar reflection and helps reduce thermal radiation in many ways. According to the manufacturer, it has the ability to take off and land briefly (compared to the vertical landing and short take-off of the F-35B). The air intake under the nose is DSI (supersonic without border separator layer) like F35 and J20, which delivers air to the engine through the upper duct of the weapon’s main atrium. Chekmit is Russia’s first DSI experience, and it remains to be seen how mature they have become. Without complex mechanical and control systems, this inlet provides a constant flow of air to the propulsion system. The motor fan is also blocked from most angles by radar waves. Maneuverability is 8 times the gravity acceleration (slightly lower than the Sukhoi 35 heavy fighter with 9 times the gravity acceleration). Perhaps its design focuses more on range and reduced radar cross-section than maneuverability. However, the end result is probably closer to the Sukhoi 57, and the reduction in radar cross-section of the front hemisphere is very important.
It is more important than all-round stealth, which also reduces the price. Russia is not trying to compete with the US Stealth plans, but it does include reducing the radar cross-section where it matters most. The type of engine has not been announced, but it is said that it has a thrust of 14.5 to 16 tons, which is the same as the AL-41F1 Sukhoi 57 by changing the 3D thrust vector or the 30-Izdeliye engine. The details of the exhaust were not known at the time of unveiling, but in a Russian-released commercial, it had teeth like the 35-F exhaust to keep the rear view hidden. Whatever the engine, Russia has promised a high-performance fighter that can even land and land briefly. Interestingly, they did not mention the Super Cruise feature, but it probably can. The range is close to 3,000, the combat radius is 1488 km and the maximum speed is Mach 1.8.
Avionics and sensors, like all modern Russian IRST fighters, have an infrared camera (infrared detection and interception) on the front of the couch. The underside also has an electro-optical targeting system and a laser pointer inside the 35-F-style radar evasion coating.
The cockpit has a large color display in the middle of the dashboard, a small display above it, a center control knob and a wide head-up. It also has a system for receiving and responding to voice commands and network-based warfare capability. According to the Russians, the pilot will support artificial intelligence, but it is not clear to what extent.
Because Russia is not as advanced as the United States in artificial intelligence, autonomous flight and digital co-piloting. Radar is also active electronic exploration with the ability to engage 6 targets simultaneously in an electronic warfare environment. The Chakmit radar network is similar to the Sukhoi 57 and has a number of multi-piece antennas on the nose and wings. It also has powerful electronic warfare equipment and passive antennas in various parts of the body, which are derived from the Sukhoi 57. One of the main pillars of Chekmit is the sharing of many of its technologies and subsystems with Flon, which reduces development costs. The key equipment and technologies developed for the Sukhoi 57 were modified into a light fighter.
A wise move to offer an alternative to the Flon in the global market while retaining important fighter core technologies. The architectural approach still allows customers to choose the sensors they need for their specific size. Therefore, it has attractive solutions for various design challenges of the fifth generation fighter.
The Chakmit weapon has three weapon compartments, including a large middle atrium and two small atriums in front of the main landing gear, which are short-range for two infrared air-to-air missiles. Similar to the design of the Sukhoi 57, which had two small vestibules for two infrared missiles under the wings. The main atrium can also carry three R73M long-range air-to-air missiles, which are also available to foreign customers. The size and shape of the payload is similar to the 35-F and it can carry up to 2 anti-radar, cruise, anti-ship and guided missile missiles into the main atrium. Like the KH-58USKE anti-radar missile and the Kh-59MK2 cruise missile developed for Flone. Also, 2 250 or 500 bombs or a 1500 kg bomb can be carried. Chekmit focuses on direct weapons. In non-concealed mode, there are sometimes 4 pendants under the wings. The total internal and external load is 6.8 or 4.7 tons (according to various sources. The internal ball will probably be like the Sukhoi 57 caliber 30 mm.
Employing and selling Looking to the future, it is possible to use checkmate in the manned and unmanned team. The development of the type of navigator is possible according to the requirements of the Russian Navy and even the version of the Chakmit UAV.
Interestingly, officials expressed hope that Russia would use the UAV version. Coming there, as a complement to the Sukhoi 57, it performs a combination of 29,35, 21-MIG tasks as a fifth-generation, lightweight fighter with a focus on last-line air defense, and fights one layer behind the Sukhoi 57. Perhaps because of the production of the flu, which is the result of the inability of the Russian economy, the cheaper and simpler hammer will become their main fighter. The projected schedule includes the first flight in 2023, the construction of prototypes in 2024 to 2025 and the presentation of production samples in 2026 to 2027. But it all depends on funding to continue the project.
Russia’s main markets include India, Vietnam and Africa, and he forecast global demand for 300 aircraft, said Borisov, Russia’s deputy prime minister. Serious government support or a wealthy foreign client is needed to move on. The next challenge is business success. Especially since there are potential competitors from China, South Korea and Turkey. Moscow hopes to attract customers because of its low operating costs. In the released films, India, UAE, Vietnam and Argentina were introduced as customers who may be partners and investors in the project and in the future will account for the bulk of exports. But is it unlikely that the UAE will break the 35-F constraint because of its small size? The price has been announced for the project partners of $ 30 million, which is very optimistic.
Lockheed, meanwhile, failed to reach $ 80 million after producing hundreds of F-35As. Chekmit can reach $ 50 million to $ 60 million through training, infrastructure and arms purchases, which is still excellent and overshadows all low-generation competitors in the export market.
At this price, middle-class countries like Argentina will have a fifth generation fighter financially. Russia also refers to the logistics chain and after-sales support.
In the past, however, these factors have been a problem for Russian and Soviet jet users. So it will be interesting to see how they deal with the hammer.
It should be easy to operate and maintain, even when the support infrastructure is limited. This is not new to the Russians, but it is far from the design philosophy of the fifth generation fighter.