At the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon Russia showcased its newest stealth fighter it calls Checkmate. The event was held in Zhukovsky, just outside of Moscow. The stealthy fighter jet was designed for export arms sales with a price tag of between $25 million and $30 million and is made by Rostec, a state-owned aviation conglomerate. Rostec said it hopes to sell the jet to countries such as Argentina, Vietnam, the UAE, and India.
The Checkmate is a one-engine fighter jet that can reach mach 2, has a range of 1,864 miles, can carry a payload of 16,300 pounds, has stealth characteristics as well as artificial intelligence. "Our aim is to make the cost per flight hour as low as possible, to make it economical not only to buy but also to operate," said Yury Slyusar of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation.
Russia’s larger and more advanced Su-57 has not been offered for international sales and the Su-30 and Su-35 which are sold internationally have seen sales decline significantly against a growing sales from U.S. and European fighter jet makers. India has typically been a Russian arms sales customer but recently has been turning to the U.S. for military weaponry, India’s border disputes with China have been increasing with tension continuing to ride and is believed to be buying U.S. arms sales in hope of gaining a soft U.S. military alliance against China.
India recently joined the “Quad”, a joint alliance made up of Australia, Japan, India and the United States, who’s aim is to curb China’s growing military power projection.