Sukhoi is developing a new single-engine stealth fighter, referred to by its builders as ‘Checkmate’.
The aircraft is reportedly to debut at the MAKS airshow in Moscow next week.
Here it is the Sukhoi LTS "CheckMate"
(Images via @Сообщений / Paralay-Forum) pic.twitter.com/xKhyGS8lsM
— @Rupprecht_A (@RupprechtDeino) July 18, 2021
It is not known yet whether this aircraft will be primarily designed for export but should it enter Russian service, it could complement the twin-engine Su-57, pictured below.
This might be a viable option for Russia, according to David Axe writing in Forbes here:
“The Su-57—a heavy, complex plane—apparently is expensive. How expensive is unclear, but it’s worth noting that the smaller F-35, which Lockheed Martin produces at a rate of around 140 a year, costs around $100 million including the engine.
Moscow has ordered 78 Su-57s, but production has been slow and just a handful of the jets are in service. Checkmate, in theory, could complement the Su-57 and help the Russian air force to field a “high-low” mix of twin- and single-engine stealth fighters. That’s what the U.S. Air Force is doing—acquiring hundreds of F-35s to complement 180 or so twin-engine F-22s.”
Plane spotters have had glimpses of the new aircraft, which is kept at the Zhukovsky International Airport, the venue of MAKS. The aircraft could be be seen hidden under a black tarpaulin.
A new image of the Sukhoi LTS "CheckMate".
(Image via Ugolok_Sitha) pic.twitter.com/Naq0CAMhsp
— @Rupprecht_A (@RupprechtDeino) July 17, 2021