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Deino

Lieutenant General
Staff member
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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.


Can we slow down a bit ??? That THING is not even confirmed a real aircraft, it hsn‘t even flown, India has NOt decided on it and you are already speculating the consequences for or with the J-20! …. Can we stop with these what if scenarios please until be know a few more facts?
 

siegecrossbow

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Can we slow down a bit ??? That THING is not even confirmed a real aircraft, it hsn‘t even flown, India has NOt decided on it and you are already speculating the consequences for or with the J-20! …. Can we stop with these what if scenarios please until be know a few more facts?

To be fair based on the photos we’ve seen it is looking more and more like a flying demonstrator instead of a mere mockup.
 

james smith esq

Junior Member
Registered Member
Can we slow down a bit ??? That THING is not even confirmed a real aircraft, it hsn‘t even flown, India has NOt decided on it and you are already speculating the consequences for or with the J-20! …. Can we stop with these what if scenarios please until be know a few more facts?
Couldn’t we have said the same things about the WS-15, J-20? There was a WHOLE lot of chatter, here, about that which has amounted to ZILCH!
 

Inst

Captain
To be fair based on the photos we’ve seen it is looking more and more like a flying demonstrator instead of a mere mockup.
The Russian media presentation seems to be targeted at India and Vietnam. The timeline is unknown, but it looks very much like a potential 'better than F-35' stealth design. China should have been working on its own F-35-killer platform, but the level of stealth this aircraft demonstrates suggests that the quality of the platform has to be increased further.
 

Bob Smith

Junior Member
Registered Member
The Russian media presentation seems to be targeted at India and Vietnam. The timeline is unknown, but it looks very much like a potential 'better than F-35' stealth design. China should have been working on its own F-35-killer platform, but the level of stealth this aircraft demonstrates suggests that the quality of the platform has to be increased further.
The F-35 program costs as much as the annual GDP of Russia. You haven't even seen the aircraft yet and you're claiming it to be potentially better than the F-35. The Su-57 doesn't give me hope that Russian aviation is coming close to America's within my lifetime. But hey, we'll see Tuesday.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
@ougoah

If you're looking at export markets, mid-thrust single engine 5th gens ARE viable, for the simple reason that most nations don't actually need large 5th gen payloads for strike. They need payloads, yes, but the F-35 is capable of "beast mode", a SLWF 5th gen should also be capable of beast mode and do most of its striking in a non-stealth configuration. The stealth payload is only there for the "knock-down the door" work as well as air-to-air.

Yes, a mid-thrust single engine 5th gen probably will not be competitive with a F-35 in terms of stealth strike payload for cost. However, it won't matter because you'll be stealthier to begin with and thus qualitatively superior in the A2A role, and for less money.

Sure perhaps mid thrust single engine 5th gens have a space but this Russian one isn't. It is a mid weight fighter, a high thrust single engine fighter. It would be far more versatile and useful than a SLWF. Beast mode of mid weight beats beast mode of light weight and so on. My point is that mid weight fighters are the minimum of what would sell well and certainly more useful than a light weight. The light weight may be more cost effective but I would imagine the Russians would rather put the Izd.30 or Al-41/117/S engine which they will be making rather than rebuilding and modernising the Cold War era RD33 into a 4.5/5th gen engine. It is cheaper and faster to design their mid weight fighter around a much more suitable and superior engine that is/ will soon be available. Beats rebuilding RD33 in every single way.

In this sense, I do not believe the Russians have developed a light weight 5th gen here. What I think they have is a mid weight 5th gen with high thrust engine, most likely super high thrust (if we distinguish between the WS-10, F-110, AL-31 class and F-119, F-135 classes) by using either variant of AL-41 or Izd.30. Why wouldn't they?? Why would they bother with RD-33? It actually won't save costs at all unless the procurement of those former engines are simply many times more.

This would make the fighter more capable and thus more competitive. 5th gen acquisition is as much about politics as it is about price. The nations this fighter (export version) will be aimed at is not going to be considered or allowed in F-35. VVS has always preferred long range, large payload, heavy weight fighters. The Su-57 is the primary 5th gen and it's unknown whether they'd even bother with this. Maybe it would be useful like the Mig-29's role for shorter range missions and positioned on the frontlines in eastern Europe. There is no sign the FC-31 program has become available for export once the PLA has taken it onboard to develop into whatever we're speculating for PLANAF and possibly also PLAAF. So the only truly export available 5th gen remains the F-35 and eventually this Checkmate fighter, since Su-57 isn't yet available for export and it's clear this Checkmate is intended for that while FC-31 was and still is I suppose but it is an uncompleted prototype and the Chinese J-xy will not be exportable.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
1626494934556.png

This rendering might be somewhat close to what's under the tarp. No horizontal stabilisers, single high thrust engine and extremely forward positioned intakes. Looks a lot nicer than the F-35 and without the horizontal stabilisers, would be stealthier if other factors equal.

Question is how developed the program is. Is it a flyable demonstrator like 2010 PAKFA andn 2011 J-20 flight test prototypes? Far less developed or far more ready? Definitely an interesting new fighter. Sukhoi is smashing it.

BTW @Inst if you look at photos, it is clearly at least F-35 sized overall and about J-10 length. Definitely larger than the light weight fighters. It needs to accommodate decently sized internal bays. I say light weight 5th gen is a bad idea because of payload and range limits. No one has bothered developing a light weight 5th gen. The smallest are high thrust single engine or mid thrust twin engine. If this is available for purchase soon and priced well, it's going to be popular because there are no alternatives. J-xy isn't for sale. Su-57, J-20, F-22 are not for sale... well Su-57 isn't yet. FC-31 requires user to complete according to their specs and would cost a lot more and more time. J-xy (China's development out of FC-31) isn't going to be available. Don't listen to Pakistani guys saying it surely is. Only unfinished FC-31 is available, not PLAN's carrier J-xy.
 
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