PilotPhotog Podcast

Checkmate! Will it be the MiG-21 of the 21st Century?

September 20, 2021 PilotPhotog Season 1 Episode 31
PilotPhotog Podcast
Checkmate! Will it be the MiG-21 of the 21st Century?
Show Notes Transcript

Revealed to the world at the 2021 MAKS Air Show, the Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate is a planned single engine fifth generation stealth fighter for the Russian Air Force and as an export option for Russia’s allies.  Internally the fighter is designated as the T-75.

The model revealed at the air show is essentially an early engineering prototype; today we will take a look at what we know about the Checkmate including some interesting design inspirations, its reported capabilities, and which nations might consider adopting the Checkmate as their frontline fighter.

Video about the Checkmate:

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Pilotphotog (0s):
Let's take a look at Russia's newest planned fighter. The SU 75 checkmate Revealed to the world of the 2021 makr air show. The Sukhoi SU seventy-five checkmate is a plan single engine, fifth generation stealth fighter for the Russian air force and as an export option for Russia's allies internally, the fighter is designated as the T 75. Sukhoi intentionally chose the nickname checkmate for his fighter, since it feels that it can provide a competitor to the F 35 at fourth-generation prices, is this possible only time will tell the model revealed that the air show is essentially an early engineering prototype.

Pilotphotog (43s):
Today, we will take a look at what we know about the checkmate, including some interesting design inspirations, its reported capabilities, and which nations might consider adopting the checkmate as their frontline fighter. Before we go any further, keep in mind that this aircraft is still very much under development and the data presented here are from publicly available sources. If information changes or you have access to more current information, let me know in the comments below airframe, a prominent feature of the checkmate is the wraparound angular ventral inlet, which shares commonality with the divert list, supersonic inlet or DSI, which was used in the Boeing X 32. The DSI eliminates the need for a splitter plate, which would normally help control the airflow into the engine.

Pilotphotog (1m 26s):
The use of a DSI SEDI requiring less applications of radar absorbing materials, thereby reducing costs. Additionally, to help maintain the checkmates Delt profile. The engine fan blades are concealed from radar emissions by making use of a curve ducted designed for the air intake. Current speculation is that this curve is S shaped to allow for room for the internal weapons bay. Another feature of the checkmate is its use of rudder Vaders, which are similar to the ones that were used in the Y of 23 black widow. The use of renovators can also help keep costs low by eliminating the need for separate vertical and horizontal stabilizers with moving rudders and elevators. It is important to note that since the checkmate incorporates Rutter Vader's advanced flight control systems will need to be developed by Sukhoi has neither the SU 35 flanker E or S U 57 felon use this control set up the wings of the checkmate are large, which provide high lift efficiency and as similar in design philosophy to the SU 57, indicating that Russia's preference for super maneuverability seems to be incorporated into the design.

Pilotphotog (2m 30s):
And lastly, along with a single seat, checkmate Sukhoi plants to make a dual seat version and a pilotless drone version, which will be flown to some degree by artificial intelligence armament to maintain itself profile, the checkmate will carry its missiles in internal weapons bays. Currently the maximum payload is stated to be about 16,000 pounds, similar to the F 22 Raptor. The checkmate appears to have small weapons bays on the sides of the fuselage, which likely will have short range heat air to air missiles. Additionally, a larger bay is located underneath the fuselage, which can house medium to long range air to air missiles or air to ground ordinance, possibly even cruise missiles for non stealthy missions.

Pilotphotog (3m 13s):
External underwing hard points can be equipped and could Mount larger weapons such as anti-ship or even hypersonic missiles. And given its open architecture design, along with its intention of being an export fighter, the checkmate could carry non Russian weapons and integrate them into its fire control systems. The sensors are the exact details of the checkmates. Cockpit are still somewhat unknown reports indicate that the cockpit layout is similar to that of the SU 57, which features a glass cockpit and two 15 inch multi-function LCD displays. Additionally, a wide angle 30 degree by 22 degree heads up display or HUD is incorporated. The use of a HUD is interesting.

Pilotphotog (3m 53s):
Many have already compared the checkmate to Lockheed's F 35 lightening. However, the F 35 does not incorporate a HUD instead of helmet mounted display system or HMDs is used, which allows lightening pilots to view flight and combat data at all times when it comes to radar, the checkmate is designed with an active phase array radar to control costs, a low cost actively electronically scanned array or AESA radar is also in development designers at Sukhoi say that this radar system will be able to simultaneously track up to 30 targets and engage six of them. Additionally, the checkmate will reportedly make use of the 1 0 1 KSB infrared search and track, or I R S T system since IRS T systems do not emit radiation on their own, they are passive.

Pilotphotog (4m 38s):
And as a result are more difficult to detect, to keep maintenance costs low. The Montreal OSCA automated logistics support system will use AI based planning for repair and maintenance functions. This system is similar to the <inaudible> ode in maintenance system. It is interesting to point out that the Russian system is named after the famous wooden nest, the dolls, which apparently also symbolize the modularity of the checkmate engine. Few people realize that one of the more difficult parts of fighter development and construction is the aircraft engines. It takes massive amounts of engineering, material, science, and quality control to produce a high performance jet engine. In this regard, Russia and China have both struggled with advanced jet engine designs.

Pilotphotog (5m 22s):
Early reports indicate that the engine to be used in the checkmate will be the NLP. Saturn is daily 30, similar to the ones using the SU 57 M variant. These daily 30 is intended to be about 30% lighter than its predecessor with about 20% more output. The plan thrust range is 23,000 pounds of thrust, dry and 38,600 pounds with afterburner for comparison, the <inaudible> Pratt and Whitney F1 35 PW 100 engine puts out 43,000 pounds of thrust with afterburner. Continuing with Russia's emphasis on super maneuverability. The checkmates is DLA 30 engine will feature 3d thrust vectoring. One interesting note, the checkmate is Russia's first single engine fighter since the MIG 23 specifications.

Pilotphotog (6m 9s):
As of the making of this video, here are the reported specifications for the checkmate maximum speed, Mach 1.8 combat radius 930 miles ferry range 1,800 miles maximum load 16,000 pounds service ceiling 40,000 feet G limits positive eight GS first flight plan for 2023 test airframes plan for 2024 through 2025 initial entry into service plan for 2026 unit costs under $30 million, estimated production run up to 300 planes over 15 years export options.

Pilotphotog (6m 53s):
As mentioned previously, the checkmate uses a complete open architecture, which means that customers can install Russian, domestic and foreign systems in the fighter. As for which countries may be interested in the checkmate. According to deputy prime minister Yuri, Borisov at the max 21 international aviation expo quote, firstly, the aircraft will be oriented toward African countries, India and Vietnam and quote. Additionally, there appears to be interest from Turkey, Iran, and Argentina. It is speculated that Sukhoi would be willing to allow joined under licensed production, meaning that a customer who purchased a fighter in large numbers would be allowed to construct at least some of the components locally competition-wise given the reported price point.

Pilotphotog (7m 36s):
The checkmate would likely go up against sobs gripping or the Chinese Shan gang <inaudible> the carrier or Naval version of the checkmate would likely be of interest to India who is currently operating the MIG 29 K India also appears to be an early favorite to adopt the checkmate as they had previously invested in the SU 57 felon and are looking for an additional fighter in large numbers to augment their homegrown Tayjah multi-role fighter. India is the world's fourth largest air force currently operating over 670 active combat aircraft. Many of which are Russian jets, essentially Russia hopes. The checkmate can be the 21st century version of the MIG 21 fish bed and effective and affordable aircraft that other nations can operate in large numbers.

Pilotphotog (8m 21s):
And speaking of the fish bed over the years, India has acquired some 800 MIG 20 ones arguably forming the backbone of the Indian air force challenges while the mock-up and report is specifications of the checkmate are impressive. There is no guarantee that it will reach full production status. Success of the checkmate will largely depend on foreign customers placing and keeping orders for the aircraft. Thereby investing hard currency into the program currently Sukhoi is developing the checkmate with internal funds. Additionally, the composite materials needed to produce the checkmate are another question mark Sukhoi has stated that it would take at least a year to complete static testing of the aircraft structure. And this will present a challenge to Russia's composite materials industry, which is not as developed as those of the U S or Europe.

Pilotphotog (9m 7s):
Additionally, the Saturn is daily. 30 engine is not yet in production is still undergoing flight tests. The engine which has mentioned previously is also to be using the SU 57. Felon has been plagued by technical and material issues. In fact, Curtis you 50 sevens are being flown with the lower performing and not designed for stuff. Saturn a L four one F one engines. The AAL four ones are the same engines found on their fourth generation. <inaudible> this is important since if the checkmate is to be a true fifth generation stealth fighter, these daily 30 must be incorporated into the production versions from day one to satisfy potential export customers. One needs only to look at the continued delays in the SU 57 felon with repeated pushbacks each year as to when it will reach full production status.

Pilotphotog (9m 53s):
And lastly, as those of us who have followed the development and evolution of the <inaudible> cost, overruns and delays are highly likely anytime a new technology or design is implemented, there will be unforeseen obstacles to overcome the challenge for the F 35 was to be an air to everything dominance fighter platform. The challenge for the checkmate appears to be, to deliver fifth generation capabilities at fourth-generation prices, conclusions with a planned service entry in 2026. It will be interesting to see how the checkmate develops while not likely as advanced as the <inaudible>. The checkmate does offer some fifth generation capabilities to nations that could otherwise not afford to feel to stealth aircraft in large numbers.

Pilotphotog (10m 35s):
As we learn more about the <inaudible>, I'll be sure to produce ongoing update videos and track its progress. What do you think? Does the checkmate appear to be an effective fifth generation fighter? Well, the cost remain at $30 million per copy. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss any future episodes. You can also check out my YouTube channel. I'll leave the link in the show notes below. And lastly, you can find me on any social media platform at pilot photog be well, stay safe and see you next time.