Russia unveils fighter jet with stealth capabilities and AI to compete with US F-35 Lightning II

Russia has unveiled a prototype of a new fighter jet with stealth capabilities that can cruise at supersonic speed and will rival the US F-35 Lightning II fighter.

Vladimir Putin today inspected the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon.

Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi developed the new fighter under the LTS program, an acronym for Light Tactical Aircraft.

Sukhoi-Su35S fighter jets of the Russian Knights aerobatic team perform a demonstration flight at the opening of the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon

Vladimir Putin today inspected the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon.  Pictured: Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets during demonstration

Vladimir Putin today inspected the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon. Pictured: Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets during demonstration

Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets during demonstration

Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets during demonstration

Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi developed the new fighter under the LTS program, an acronym for Light Tactical Aircraft. Pictured: Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets during demonstration

Vladimir Putin (pictured) inspecting the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon today

Vladimir Putin (pictured) inspecting the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon today

The makers said the prototype will make its maiden flight in 2023 and deliveries could begin in 2026.

They said the new design could be converted to a non-driving version and a two-seat model.

The new aircraft is smaller than Russia’s latest Su-57 twin-engine stealth fighter, also built by Sukhoi, and has one engine.

It can fly at speeds of 1.8-2 times the speed of sound and has a range of 1,864 miles, according to the jet’s makers.

The Russian state-owned company Rostec, which also includes Sukhoi and other aircraft manufacturers, has advertised the new aircraft under the Checkmate tag, an approach apparently intended to underline its superior features.

Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters of the Berkuty (Golden Eagles) aerobatic team perform a demonstration flight at the opening of the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon

Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters of the Berkuty (Golden Eagles) aerobatic team perform a demonstration flight at the opening of the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon

Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets of the aerobatic team Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) perform a demonstration flight during the event in the city of Zhukovsky

Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets of the aerobatic team Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) perform a demonstration flight during the event in the city of Zhukovsky

It said the new fighter jet belongs to the so-called fifth-generation jet fighters, a definition that includes stealth characteristics and the ability to cruise at supersonic speed.

Rostec said the new design includes artificial intelligence features to help the pilot and other innovative technologies. It said the jet is designed to reduce service costs and can be easily adapted to different customer needs.

The future Russian jet fighter seems to be intended to compete with the American F-35 Lightning II fighter, which entered service in 2015.

Rostec ran an aggressive advertising campaign in the days before the air show, posting a photo of the new fighter hidden under a black tarpaulin with “Wanna see me naked?” written below.

Vladimir Putin today inspected the fighter plane known as Checkmate at the MAKS-2021 International Aviation and Space Salon

Russia has unveiled a prototype of a new fighter jet project named The Checkmate with stealth capabilities that can cruise at supersonic speed

Russia has unveiled a prototype of a new fighter jet project named The Checkmate with stealth capabilities that can cruise at supersonic speed

The new aircraft is smaller than Russia's latest Su-57 twin-engine stealth fighter, also built by Sukhoi, and has one engine

The new aircraft is smaller than Russia’s latest Su-57 twin-engine stealth fighter, also built by Sukhoi, and has one engine

Rostec ran an aggressive advertising campaign in the days before the air show and published a photo of the new fighter hidden under a black tarpaulin

Rostec ran an aggressive advertising campaign in the days before the air show and published a photo of the new fighter hidden under a black tarpaulin

It also posted a video of enticing customers from India, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Vietnam and other countries, reflecting hopes for exports.

Plane spotters flocked to Zhukovsky last week to snap photos of the new plane as it was taxied to a parking lot across the street from the massive airport that has served as the country’s premier military aircraft testing facility since the Cold War.

The Kremlin has made modernizing the country’s arsenals a top priority amid tensions with the West that followed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

the checkmate

Sukhoi checkmate fighter

Sukhoi checkmate fighter

Range: 1,864 miles

First flight: 2023

Top speed: up to 1,500 miles per hour

Aircraft maker: Sukhoi

Engines: A

American F-35 Lightning II

American F-35 Lightning II

American F-35 Lightning II

Range: 1,700 miles

First flight: 2015

Top speed: 1,225 miles per hour

Aircraft maker: Lockheed Martin

Engines: A

It has also strongly encouraged the development of new passenger jets to compete with those built by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing and European Airbus, which currently make up the bulk of Russian airlines’ fleets.

Russia’s aircraft programs have been delayed amid Western sanctions that hindered imports of Western engines and other key components. But the country managed to produce a new engine for the new passenger plane MS-21, which was also on display at the show in Zhukovsky.

“What we saw today in Zhukovsky shows that Russian aviation has great development potential and that our aircraft manufacturing industries continue to create new competitive aircraft designs,” Putin said in a speech at the show’s opening.

Putin praised the Russian aviation industry when he unveiled the biannual MAKS air show earlier Tuesday.

“Russian aviation has great development potential and our aircraft industry continues to create new competitive aircraft,” Putin said.

Putin has made investing in the military and developing new weapons a priority over his two-decade rule.

Russia boasted of developing several weapons that bypass existing defense systems, including the Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Burevestnik cruise missiles.

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