Su-75 Checkmate: A Russian Military Project Plagued by Challenges

The Su-75 Checkmate and a cheap Chinese copy were presented with pomp at the MAKS 2021. This announcement, framed in the grandiloquence typical of Russian defense events, has vanished in thinner air than the one these fighters fly. Shengyang FC-31JAS-39 Gripen, the F-35 Lightning II, promoted itself as a low-cost competitor against aeronautical giants like Vladimir Putin under the watchful eye of

Su-75: A list of unrealizable wishes

Su-75 Checkmate: A Russian Military Project Plagued by ChallengesSu-75

In a show of excessive ambition, the Kremlin promised the production of some 300 Su-75 in fifteen years. However, this figure seems more like a delusion of grandeur than a feasible plan, especially considering the delays suffered by international sanctions. The irony of Russia facing a “checkmate” on its own program could not be more palpable.

In a desperate attempt to keep the project afloat, Moscow sought collaboration in Aero India 2023, but India‘s response was lukewarm at best. Attempts at an alliance with the United Arab Emirates suffered a similar fate. These diplomatic failures only underline the fragility and lack of attractiveness of the Su-75 program on the international scene.

The Su-75, a derivative of the Su-57, boasts of incorporating cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence systems and an open architecture designed to attract potential clients. Its ability to carry a significant payload and attack multiple targets simultaneously sounds impressive on paper, but in practice, it is little more than an unfulfilled wish list.



Su-75 design: A material representation of the definition

At the design level, the Su-75 aims to fit into the category of fifth-generation fighters, with features such as diverter supersonic intakes and radar-absorbing coating. However, the modifications made since the presentation of the prototype, such as changes to the flaperons and wings, suggest a lack of clarity and coherence in its development. These alterations, far from accelerating the progress of Checkmate, could be symptoms of deep uncertainty and technical disorientation.

The Su-75 Checkmate appears to be more of an engineering fantasy than a tangible reality. Its development has been plagued by setbacks, lack of international interest and design alterations that suggest a lack of clear vision. Instead of being a key player in the export fighter market, the Su-75 risks become a mere mirage in the field of aeronautical innovation.

The fairy tale of Sukhoi, in which a Su-75 “Checkmate” transformed into three variants—single-seater, two-seater and an unmanned version—sounds like just another science fiction novel than a coherent aeronautical development plan.

Yury Slyusar of the United Aircraft Corporation, in his attempt to maintain Long Live the Illusion, declared in the Army 2022 that they were already working on an unmanned version of the Checkmate from the first design phases. However, this optimism seems more like an attempt to disguise the harsh reality of a project that is teetering on the edge of viability.

Su-75: The Russian project that is nothing more than a model


The announcement by Rostec about the construction of four prototypes and tests scheduled for 2024 only adds another layer of doubt about Russia’s true capacity to carry out such plans. The words of John V. Parachini, senior international defense researcher, resonate with devastating clarity  than tangible military engineering Is vaporware, a product more of marketing-75

The promotional initiative for the Su-75, including perfume bottles and themed chess sets, is nothing more than a distraction from reality. These types of marketing tricks, far from awakening genuine interest in the aircraft, only highlight the absence of a real and functional product. What does a perfume have to do with the effectiveness of a tactical fighter? It is a distraction tactic that fails to hide the project’s deficiencies.

This supposedly low-priced fighter’s lack of backlogged orders is another telltale sign. An aircraft that is presented as an affordable and effective solution should, in theory, generate considerable interest in the international market. However, the absence of significant demand suggests that the Su-75 does not live up to the expectations created by its exaggerated publicity.

Su-75: A failed attempt at public relations

Finally, Russia’s inability to produce its much-lauded Su-57 for its own armed forces raises a critical question: How can the Checkmate, an even more ambitious project riddled with uncertainties, materialize for export clients? The Su-75, so far, appears to be the most recent example of military vaporware, an unrealizable dream in the current panorama of air defense.

Rhetoric and marketing gimmicks cannot compensate for fundamental deficiencies in design, development and production. In short, the Su-75 Checkmate appears to be more of a public relations fantasy than a tangible reality in the world of combat aviation.

What are the aspirations of the Su-75 compared to fighters like the F-35?

The Su-75 “Checkmate” was presented as a low-cost competitor against prominent fighters such as the F-35 Lightning II. It sought to stand out in the market for its efficiency and advanced technology, although various setbacks and a lukewarm reception in the international market have challenged these goals.

What impact have the sanctions had on the Su-75 project?

International sanctions have caused significant delays in the development of the Su-75, removing the possibility of achieving the ambitious goal of producing 300 units in fifteen years. These sanctions have been a key factor in the challenges facing the project.

How has the international market responded to the Su-75?

The international response to the Su-75 has generally been lukewarm. Russia’s attempts to form alliances, such as at Aero India 2023 and with the United Arab Emirates, have been unsuccessful, reflecting the program’s lack of appeal on the global stage.

What is the current reality of the design and development of the Su-75?

Despite its promises of advanced technology, the Su-75 has displayed a list of impressive features only in theory. The modifications in its design suggest a lack of clarity and coherence in its development, which calls into question its viability and effectiveness.

What does the Su-75’s marketing strategy reveal about its viability?

The Su-75’s marketing strategy, which includes products such as perfumes and chess sets, appears to be more of a distraction than a representation of the fighter’s effectiveness. These tactics highlight the absence of a real, functional product, suggesting that the project is more of a public relations fantasy than a tangible reality in combat aviation.