Aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi presented on Tuesday for the first time to Russian President Vladimir Putin its new light fighter plane, the LTS “Checkmate”, official news agency Tass reports.
The presentation took place on the first day of the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS). According to experts interviewed by the official Russian news agency TASS, the aircraft was designed to compete with the American F-35 aircraft on the foreign market.
The plane was jointly developed by the Russian military-industrial conglomerate Rostec and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which groups the country’s leading manufacturers of civilian and military aircraft.
“LTS is a fifth-generation single-engine fighter jet that bears no resemblance to Russia. It combines innovative solutions and technologies, such as the use of artificial intelligence,” said the state-owned corporation Rostec.
Suhoi’s chief designer, Mihail Strelet, said in the presentation of the aircraft that the new aircraft has an “open architecture” at the front, which allows it to turn into a drone or a two-seater aircraft.
The manufacturer Suhoi expects the “Checkmate” to make its first flight in 2023, and over the next two years, several copies will be manufactured for testing.
Iuri Sliusar praised the “adaptability” of the device to the needs of a “private customer” and “its low operating costs,” according to the statement. That also hints that the plane already has potential foreign customers.
Few additional details have been made public about the device, and a Rostec spokesman told AFP that no test flight is scheduled for Tuesday.
“Everything we see today (Tuesday) in Zhukovskoye clearly shows that Russian aviation has great potential for development. And our aerospace industry continues to create new competitive aircraft,” Putin said at the opening ceremony of the MAKS 2021 Show.
Title image: Sukhoi LTS “Checkmate” at the 2021 MAKS Air Salon outside Moscow on July 20, 2021. (source: Facebook capture)