Russian plane-maker Sukhoi has developed a new single-engine stealth fighter. The jet, which Sukhoi apparently refers to as “Checkmate,” reportedly will make its debut at the MAKS air show in Moscow next week.
Rostec, Sukhoi’s parent company, teased Checkmate in a video the firm released July 13. A few days later, photos circulated online depicting what appears to be a tarp-draped Checkmate demonstrator at Ramenskoye airfield, site of the MAKS show.
The teases have inspired frantic speculation about Checkmate’s design and capabilities. Samuel Bendett, an expert on the Russian military with the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., said Checkmate is an export fighter—a relatively inexpensive, low-observable warplane that Sukhoi can sell to countries that the U.S. State Department won’t allow to buy the F-35.
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