New fifth-generation Russian jet likely aimed at export market, says GlobalData

Following the news that a new claimed gen-5 military aircraft codenamed ‘Checkmate’ will be unveiled today (20 July), on the first day of the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon;

William Davies, Associate Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments:

“Sukhoi’s claimed fifth-generation platform is likely intended to compete with the US manufactured F-35 in the competitive export market. Russia has not constructed a single-engine fighter jet since the Cold War, supporting the view that the ‘Checkmate’ aircraft will be made primarily for export purposes.

“The jet is likely aimed at countries such as Algeria, the UAE, Vietnam and potentially India. It will likely encounter issues with some of these markets, the UAE for example is already proceeding with a deal to purchase 50 F-35s from the US, while India’s push for indigenization in recent years would mean that sales would struggle without at least an element of local production.

“The GlobalData report, ‘Military Fixed-wing Aircraft market 2021-2031’, suggests that the Indian market is valued at $7.3bn in 2021, while Vietnam and the UAE have markets totalling $369m and $1.06bn, respectively. It is understandable that Russia attempts to benefit from a growing interest in fifth generation aircraft. If the platform lives up to expectations, we will see several major contracts in the near future.

“Russia’s state arms producer Rosoboronexport has invited delegations from 65 countries to the aircraft’s launch. The single-engine fifth generation platform is lighter and expected to therefore be more affordable than globally available alternatives.”

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