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Checkmate fighter’s designers took into account Lockheed F-117A’s weaknesses — patent

Source : TASS

Checkmate fighter’s designers took into account Lockheed F-117A’s weaknesses — patent
Checkmate fighter © Roman Azanov/TASS

The developers of Russia’s cutting-edge single-engine Checkmate fighter took into account and corrected the weaknesses of the United States’ stealth aircraft Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk, as follows from the text of the patent (obtained by TASS), published by the Federal Intellectual Property Service.

The patent compares the Checkmate plane with its US counterpart Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk, which possesses low radar visibility features. “This aircraft has a number of disadvantages such as poor takeoff and landing characteristics, as well as insufficient stability and controllability in flight,” the patent reads.

The Checkmate developers’ task was to eliminate the shortcomings of other known aircraft of this class.

“The invention’s technical result was the achievement of the aircraft’s better stability and controllability without compromising radar invisibility characteristics,” the statement reads.

Stealth planes’ profile

The F-117 is a US single-seat subsonic tactical strike stealth aircraft from Lockheed Martin. It was intended for covert penetration through the enemy’s air defense systems and attacks on strategically important ground targets. Its first flight was on June 18, 1981. A total of 64 planes were built. The last serial plane was delivered to the US Air Force in 1990. The plane participated in five armed conflicts. In 2008, all aircraft of this type were withdrawn from service for financial reasons. Its successor is the F-22 Raptor.

The F-117 owed its low visibility mainly to the specific angular shape of the hull composite and radar-absorbing materials and special coating.

The Checkmate plane, a product of the Sukhoi company (an affiliate of the United Aircraft Corporation Rostec) was for the first time presented at the MAKS-2021 air show. The fighter’s foreign presentation took place at the Dubai Airshow 2021 in the UAE. Its maiden flight is scheduled for 2023 and serial production is due to begin in 2025.

The Checkmate incorporates all most advanced technologies and ideas, including open architecture adjustable to customer requirements and unique artificial intelligence features. The new aircraft boasts low-visibility technologies and is equipped with an in-fuselage compartment for air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons. The payload exceeds seven tonnes. The fighter can hit up to six targets at once. The single-engine plane’s speed is Mach 1.8 and combat radius, 3,000 kilometers.

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