After an aggressive advertising campaign by Rostec, a Russian state corporation, Russian aircraft makers on Tuesday unveiled a prototype of a new fighter jet that features stealth capabilities and other advanced characteristics, at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, which opened in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow. It will be offered to foreign buyers. Export hopes are for India, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Vietnam and other countries.The prototype, advertised under the tag Checkmate, is set to make its maiden flight in 2023 and deliveries could start in 2026. It can fly at a speed of 1.8-2 times the speed of sound, has a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) and a payload of 7,400 kilograms (16,300 pounds).
Rostec said the jet was designed to reduce service costs and to be easily adaptable depending on the customer’s needs. Industries and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that the prospective fighter was being developed to compete with the U.S. F-35 Lightning II fighter that entered service in 2015, a new Chinese fighter, and other designs. The new plane is expected to cost $25-30 million. “What we saw in Zhukovsky today demonstrates that the Russian aviation has a big potential for development and our aircraft making industries continue to create new competitive aircraft designs,” Russian Predident Putin said in a speech at the show’s opening. He inspected the prospective warplane displayed, which belongs to the so-called fifth generation of fighter jets.