What Are the Missiles Inside Russia's Checkmate Aircraft?

At the 15th Moscow International Aerospace Exhibition, Russia unveiled its latest medium-sized fifth-generation aircraft, named “Checkmate.”

Aviation enthusiasts and military experts were impressed by the Checkmate’s main bomb bay, which can hold two air-launched missiles with folding wings. Let’s explore these unique missiles further.

Kh-58UShKE: The Anti-Radiation Missile

What Are the Missiles Inside Russia's Checkmate Aircraft?

A Legacy of Excellence

The Kh-58UShKE missile originates in the Soviet Union’s aerospace program from the 1970s. Over time, it has evolved to become the latest version, the Kh-58UShKE. This missile is specifically created to target ground radar stations that operate at frequencies between 1.2 and 11GHz. Its primary focus is on continuous A-band pulse emission mode.

What Are the Missiles Inside Russia's Checkmate Aircraft?

Precision in the Sky

The Kh-58UShKE is designed for precision targeting with its advanced passive radar seeker and navigation system based on the Strapdown Navigation System (MIU). Its targets are radar stations commonly used for anti-aircraft missiles, including the Hawk, Nike-Hercules and Patriot systems.

Versatile Deployment

The Kh-58UShKE missile is highly versatile due to its compatibility with both the AKU-58 external ejection rack and the UVKU-50 internal ejection rack. The UVKU-50, located in the Checkmate’s built-in bomb bay, increases the missile’s range compared to the previous model, the Kh-58E. This missile can be used to target preset radar targets or quickly respond to threats detected by fighter jets.

UVKU-50: The Precision Enforcer

Impressive Specifications

The UVKU-50 is an essential part of Checkmate’s arsenal. Its performance metrics are nothing short of remarkable:

  • Maximum range at altitudes between 200 and 20,000 meters: 76-245 kilometers
  • Minimum range at 200 meters altitude: 10-12 kilometers
  • Maximum flight speed: 4200 km/h
  • Carrier aircraft launch speed: M0.47-M1.5
  • High probability of hitting within 20 meters of the target radius: > 0.8

Precision in Every Aspect

The UVKU-50 is a compact but powerful weapon in Checkmate’s arsenal. It measures 4.19 meters in length, 0.8 meters in wingspan, and 0.38 meters in diameter. With a 149 kg high-explosive warhead, it is a formidable precision instrument engineered for utmost accuracy.

Grom-E1: The All-Weather AGM

What Are the Missiles Inside Russia's Checkmate Aircraft?

Weathering Any Storm

The Grom-E1 missile is designed to perform well in all weather conditions. Its “E” designation likely indicates that it can be exported. It has a conventional aerodynamic design with retractable swept wings and a rounded arch section.

Targeted Efficiency

The missile’s joint guidance system includes an inertial navigation system and the GLONASS/GPS global satellite positioning system, ensuring precise course corrections and target acquisition.

Range and Payload

The Grom-E1’s capabilities shine through:

  • Maximum range: 120 kilometers
  • Minimum range: 10-12 kilometers
  • Medium flight speed: 300 meters/second
  • Operating altitude: 500-12,000 meters
  • Carrier aircraft launch speed: Maximum M1.5
  • Total weight: 600kg
  • Horizontal target positioning angle: Maximum +-180°

Additionally, it has a significant 315kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead, ensuring a devastating impact on the target.

In conclusion, the Checkmate aircraft’s bomb bay is home to two remarkable missiles, the Kh-58UShKE and the Grom-E1, each bringing its own set of capabilities to the table. These weapons showcase Russia’s commitment to staying at the forefront of aerospace technology. As we look to the future, one thing is clear – Checkmate is a force to be reckoned with in the world of modern aviation.