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Inst

Captain
Like I said with a FC-27 / Stealth JF-17 proposal, there is a market out there for a stealth fighter that's extremely lightweight and small enough to be extremely stealthy. Being extremely lightweight means that it'll be cheap, and being extremely stealthy means that it'll provide a strong counter for the F-35.

On the other hand, you have to wonder how good Russian sensors are. You can be as stealthy as you want, but if you can't see the enemy, you're just a glorified bomber-drone.

Hopefully, the Chinese will be more ambitious with their F-35-killer product if such a thing comes into play. NGAD is nearly ready, and a platform capable of defeating NGAD at short ranges will be quite useful.
 

Inst

Captain
We do have a few problems, though, mainly because the Indians will want to buy it.

One: if Checkmate is stealthy enough to counter the F-35, it'll pose a major threat to the J-20. The J-20 will have to rely on laser pods to gain a decisive advantage.

Two: if Checkmate isn't stealthy enough to counter the F-35, the J-20s will only have trouble if the Indians have them in massive numbers, but Checkmate won't allow the Russians to counter the F-35.

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One other way to think of it is that the J-20 and Su-57 were intended to counter the F-22, but the F-35 has significant advantages over the F-22 in certain realms (stealth, sensors, strike). Stuff like Checkmate (and perhaps the FC-31) are intended to counter the F-35. The FC-31 though, in being twin-engined, seems to be intended at a purely qualititative as opposed to quantitative counter to the F-35. Checkmate might be both, but it all depends on Russian stealth design and Russian sensors. If the Russians can't get Checkmate stealthy enough and have sufficient sensor quality, it's just skeet.

On the other hand, the fact that the Russians aren't hobbled by engines like the Chinese are mean that they can get a design like this out early. If you look at the scale of the aircraft, there is a strong chance that this is powered by a Russian upgrade of their RD-33s, not a single Item 30. It's tiny.
 

Inst

Captain
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Looks like it's a Russian YF-23 analogue, with delta wings instead of trapezoidal wings. So it is going to be stealthy, and pretty much a disaster if the Indians pick it up.

The standing question is still, what's the engine size? If they've literally managed to stuff a 5th-gen equivalent of the RD-33 in, we're pretty screwed on the stealth front.

But I'd say it's the first true F-35-killer if the Russians can get it cheap enough.
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
Looks like it's a Russian YF-23 analogue, with delta wings instead of trapezoidal wings. So it is going to be stealthy, and pretty much a disaster if the Indians pick it up.

eh. The Russians are not great at RAM. Their material science - outside of metallurgy - has fallen pretty far behind the West, Japan, South Korea and China. Shape is only 1/3 of the stealth sauce.

The standing question is still, what's the engine size? If they've literally managed to stuff a 5th-gen equivalent of the RD-33 in, we're pretty screwed on the stealth front.

I question the reliability of the engines. MTBF - historically - has not been good. China does a better job than average in preventive maintenance and their own designs appear to be more reliable.

But I'd say it's the first true F-35-killer if the Russians can get it cheap enough.

A few bits.

1. The Russians will have to buy a number so people feel this is a legit aircraft. How many Mikoyans didn't get exported because the Russians didn't buy many. That cast doubt on the aircraft.

2. The Russians will have to scale up their manufacturing for 5th gens. The Su-57 has not exactly moved at a brisk clip.

3. They really do need to make it significantly cheaper. The F-35 is coming down significantly in price. The Swiss did - in no small part - select the F-35 on price. smh.
 

Inst

Captain
eh. The Russians are not great at RAM. Their material science - outside of metallurgy - has fallen pretty far behind the West, Japan, South Korea and China. Shape is only 1/3 of the stealth sauce.



I question the reliability of the engines. MTBF - historically - has not been good. China does a better job than average in preventive maintenance and their own designs appear to be more reliable.



A few bits.

1. The Russians will have to buy a number so people feel this is a legit aircraft. How many Mikoyans didn't get exported because the Russians didn't buy many. That cast doubt on the aircraft.

2. The Russians will have to scale up their manufacturing for 5th gens. The Su-57 has not exactly moved at a brisk clip.

3. They really do need to make it significantly cheaper. The F-35 is coming down significantly in price. The Swiss did - in no small part - select the F-35 on price. smh.

This is what I mean by RD-33-sized engine. An RD-33-sized engine implies that this is an analogue to a stealth JF-17, not a F-35. If you're an analogue to a stealth JF-17, you're smaller than the F-35 to begin with, which should offer maybe 10-20% in benefits in terms of RCS. Moreover, the smaller airframe (as in, around 10,000 kg empty) means that you're likely to be much cheaper than F-35, in the same way a JF-17 is cheaper than a J-10CE (30 million vs 40 million).
 

Inst

Captain
Do we have any measurements on the aircraft? I'm getting stuff in the 10-14 meters range in terms of length. Incidentally, that's Gripen/JF-17 class. What I really want to know is what the engine is. From rear shots it's unclear as to whether it's a heavyweight engine or a mediumweight engine. If it's a mediumweight engine, the hypothesis of a F-35-killer-via-mini-me is pretty cinched.
 

Temstar

Senior Member
Registered Member
Do we have any measurements on the aircraft? I'm getting stuff in the 10-14 meters range in terms of length. Incidentally, that's Gripen/JF-17 class. What I really want to know is what the engine is. From rear shots it's unclear as to whether it's a heavyweight engine or a mediumweight engine. If it's a mediumweight engine, the hypothesis of a F-35-killer-via-mini-me is pretty cinched.
Here's someone's measurement. Based on the fact that the aircraft tug seem to be a Schopf F59 which is known to be 3.5m long and 1.73m side:

115020sk2urzaa4fldea9j.jpeg
115019fpmt9h8hbqh58990.jpeg
 

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