Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?

The newly announced Russian Su-75 Checkmate is intended to compete with the American F-35 and Chinese J-31 in the fifth generation of fighters destined for allies and customers worldwide. So one can ask, Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?

The Su-75, Russia’s answer to NATO air power?

With the F-35 fast becoming the fighter jet of the free world, Russia faces a growing air power deficit. The situation has prompted Russia to accelerate the development of the Checkmate, a low-cost, light-to-medium-weight fighter.

According to Globalsecurity.org, production of up to 300 Checkmates is planned in 15 years. The Russian United Aircraft Corporation aims to build four prototypes and conduct tests by 2024. Because many Russian partners already use Su-27 and Su-30 fighters, a potential market exists for the Su-75.

Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?
Su-75

Checkmate, an ally of Russia or its partners?

Although the Su-75 appears primarily intended for Russian allies, it is likely also to support the Russian military. Globalsecurity.org writes: “Russia proposes to create a fighter of the future in broad international cooperation…”.

The Checkmate, introduced in 2021, resembles the F-35 in its single-engine configuration and rounded or mixed wings. However, its ability to compete with Western 5th-generation aircraft depends on several key variables.

Comparison of the Su-75 with the F-35 and F-22

The Sukhoi Design Bureau in Russia created the next-generation lightweight single-engine fighter aircraft, the Su-75 Checkmate. Competing with cutting-edge Western aircraft like the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor was a primary design goal. Let us look at the main differences and similarities between these three airplanes.

Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?
F-35A

First, let us consider how stealthy they are. Both the F-35 and the F-22 are known for their cutting-edge stealth technology, which prevents aircraft from being spotted by radar. Although it has certain stealth qualities of its own, the Su-75 Checkmate is not intended to be as stealthy as its Western equivalents.

The Su-75 is envisioned to be more agile than both the F-35 and F-22. The Checkmate is built to have superior agility and aerodynamics for use in air-to-air combat and complex maneuvers. While the F-22 is revered for its agile handling, the F-35 is lauded for its stealth and multirole capabilities.

Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?
F-22

The F-35 excels in areas such as sensor systems and avionics. Its state-of-the-art sensor package, including an AESA radar, allows for network-centric operations and superior situational awareness. The F-22 has state-of-the-art radar and avionics equipment. Although details on the Su-75’s sensor suite have yet to be released, cutting-edge avionics are expected to be included.

The function and capabilities of the aircraft in its mission are also essential. The F-35 is a fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft with an emphasis on strike capabilities and network-centric warfare. It is capable of performing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The F-22 is best used for air-to-air combat, where it can establish and maintain air supremacy. It is anticipated that the Su-75 will be a multi-role aircraft with an emphasis on air superiority and ground attack roles.

Additionally, financial considerations are crucial. The Su-75 is designed to be a cheaper, equally capable alternative to the F-35 and F-22. Factors including manufacturing volume, lifecycle costs, and maintenance needs might make it difficult to compare costs accurately.

While the Su-75 Checkmate is designed to take on the F-35 and F-22, no single aircraft can match the capabilities of the others. While the F-35 is known for its stealth and sensor integration, the F-22 is revered for its maneuverability and air superiority, and the Su-75 Checkmate is known for its speed and low price. In order to make an accurate comparison of these cutting-edge fighter planes, extensive performance evaluations and operational deployments are required.

The Checkmate has a maximum takeoff weight of 18 tons, much less than the F-35 (31 tons) and F-22 (41 tons). This could present a challenge to operate with a large arsenal in “bomb truck” mode.

There are key questions about the speed and maneuverability of the Su-75. Its speed is Mach 1.8, slower than the F-22 but similar to the F-35. Its detection, targeting and computing capabilities, and interoperability with 4th generation platforms remain to be resolved.

Is the Su-75 Checkmate Rival of the F-35 and J-31 in the international market?
Archive image: Su-57-& Su-75 (Checkmate)

Summary

The Russian Su-75 Checkmate seeks to rival the American F-35 and Chinese J-31 in the global 5th-generation fighter market.

Russia accelerates Checkmate development to address the growing airpower deficit compared to NATO. The plane bears similarities to the F-35, but its ability to compete depends on key variables yet to be resolved.