Updated– Rostec, the Russian state-owned parent of aircraft maker Sukhoi, unveiled its new single-engine stealth fighter jet, the SU-75 dubbed “Checkmate,” during its presentation at the MAKS 2021 air show. Rostec originally tweeted a photo of a covered jet reading, “Wanna see me Naked?” but a teaser video of the jet on the presentation floor is giving us an inside look at the SU-75 and how it aims to counter the F-35. The War Zone writes (abridged):
The biggest story going in the military aviation world right now is Russia’s new light-to-medium-weight fighter that has been hyped-up by what seems to have been an incredibly effective and glitzy media campaign. Now, for the first time, we have gotten a look at the design in an uncovered state prior to its official unveiling. You can read our prior analysis of Russia’s “Checkmate” fighter, which appears to be a Sukhoi product, by clicking here.
— Rostec Сorporation (@Rostec_Russia) July 16, 2021
A new video from the presentation area of what will likely be a dramatic unveiling ceremony at Russia’s big MAKS airshow outside of Moscow this coming week confirms a number of things about this new design and provide a few new details, as well. First off, we can confirm that the aircraft design has a single angular air inlet situated under its forward fuselage. Although we cannot definitively state it, it sure looks like a Diverterless Supersonic Inlet (DSI), which makes sense considering a couple of other clues that exist as to the existence of a Russian single-engine fighter concept in development that would leverage this technology. This configuration would help provide steady airflow to the engine across a wide operating envelope without complex mechanical systems and controls, but it would also work to help block the engine fan face from radar waves from most angles. You can read all about DSIs in this previous piece of ours.
— Rostec Сorporation (@Rostec_Russia) July 17, 2021
We also see the aircraft has a slide-back bubble canopy like the Su-57 Felon, the advanced heavy fighter that this design likely shares a lot of subsystem architecture and other technology with. The staple infrared search and track system housing is mounted in front of the canopy as it is on all of Russia’s modern fighters. We also see that the aircraft does indeed have a pair of tailerons splayed out at an angle instead of a traditional vertical and horizontal stabilizer arrangement. This configuration can offer high maneuverability, reduced radar signature, and helps in reducing infrared signature from many aspects. It’s worth noting that a number of fighter concepts looked to leverage this configuration, including the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) designs the United States explored in the 1990s that led to the Joint Strike Fighter.