Update: Russia teases ‘The Checkmate' fighter ahead of MAKS Airshow

by Gareth Jennings

Russia has teased the existence of a new fighter aircraft, dubbed ‘The Checkmate', ahead of the MAKS Moscow Airshow set to run from 20 to 25 July.

The official teaser video for ‘The Checkmate' posted by Rostec gave a very fleeting reflection of the fighter aircraft as the only clue to its appearance. Unofficial images posted ahead of the MAKS Airshow have cast more light on the new concept. (Rostec)

The official teaser video for ‘The Checkmate' posted by Rostec gave a very fleeting reflection of the fighter aircraft as the only clue to its appearance. Unofficial images posted ahead of the MAKS Airshow have cast more light on the new concept. (Rostec)

Rostec State Corporation posted a teaser video of the new aircraft on 13 July, containing, the organisation said, “allusions to the key features and unique properties of the project” that has been developed by United Aircraft Corporation (although not officially announced, it has been reported by Russian media that Sukhoi is the design house).

While the video itself gave little away as to the configuration or capabilities of the aircraft, it alluded to a target export market that includes Argentina, India, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In line with this new aircraft being aimed more towards the export market, the video is in English rather than Russian.

Of greater significance than the promotional teaser video has been the emergence of unofficial photos of either the aircraft or a full-scale replica at the Zhukovsky show site on the outskirts of Moscow. Although the aircraft is covered with a tarpaulin intended to disguise its outer mould line, from these photos and previously disclosed imagery it is possible to determine the aircraft's overall dimensions, as well as some of its key design features and possible roles.

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Russia has teased the existence of a new fighter aircraft, dubbed ‘The Checkmate', ahead of the MAKS...

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