A prototype of the Su-75 Checkmate is going to be assembled for static tests.
Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant (KnAAPO or KnAAZ; Russian: Комсомольский-на-Амуре авиационный завод) will build a prototype of the Checkmate fighter, destined for static tests, the Russian aviation21.ru outlet reports. According to the news piece published by the aviation21.ru website, and quoting Interfax, the Checkmate would be assembled at the KnAAZ facility, belonging to Sukhoi. The company is currently working on the assembly of a prototype destined for static tests.
Russian PM, Mikhail Mishustin is currently visiting the Far East of Russia, and information released in relation to his visit at KnAAZ – as aviation21.ru reports – suggests that the static tests prototype assembly is currently underway. The Russian outlet also claims that the information available suggests that the first demonstrator was assembled at KnAAZ as well. KnAAZ is currently engaged in primary Russian fighter projects, manufacturing the Su-57 and Su-35S airframes. The airframe showcased at MAKS was then most probably a mock-up. We can say so, considering the fact that the Russian industry has only started, according to the Russian media, to work on the static tests prototype. It is usually the first airframe that takes shape before the aircraft destined for flying is actually built.
The Sukhoi Checkmate (referred to as the Su-75 – although this is still not an official designation yet) was unveiled on Jul. 20, 2021, during the MAKS 2021 airshow in Moscow. The prototype is to make its maiden flight in 2023, while series manufacturing and deliveries have been scheduled to begin in 2026. The Su-75 would complement the Su-57 in the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi claims a two-seat and an unmanned variant will be produced too.
Aviation21.ru also provides some interesting information on the planned production of the jet: 300 airframes are expected to be delivered over the next 15 years. The Russian outlet additionally makes a direct claim that the new Sukhoi’s design would compete with the F-35 Lightning II, and the “low cost” JAS-39 Gripen. The export sales seem to be the main focus here, which is proven by the marketing strategy adopted by Sukhoi for its new aircraft as we have already noted in our previous reports on the Su-75 premiere.
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.