Sukhoi Su-75 Is Russia’s Answer to the F-35 but Is Currently Nothing More Than a Crude Mockup

The Sukhoi Su-75 has limited funding, and Russia is notoriously slow to mass produce its latest aircraft – so it is unlikely the Su-75 will see the light of day.
Vladimir Putin in MAKS Airshow 2021

The Sukhoi Su-75 is Russia’s answer to the F-35 Lightning II. It’s a cheap, relatively simple jet that was designed as an alternative to the American flagship jet… But now, it looks like the Su-75 may be headed for the scrap heap.

Russia has been struggling to keep up with the United States regarding military technology – and this new jet is not very likely to help them catch up. 

The new Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate

Sukhoi S-75 Checkmate mockup side
Sukhoi S-75 Checkmate mockup side by Mztourist. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

The Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate is a new Russian fighter jet that made its debut at the Dubai Air Show.


The fighter jet is designed for air-to-air combat. It is equipped with various advanced features, including digital flight controls, active electronically scanned radar, and missile approach warning systems.

The Su-75 is also believed to be equipped with an infrared search and track system, which would allow it to track and engage targets even in low visibility conditions.

With a top speed of Mach 1.8, the Sukhoi Su-75 will be a fast fighter jet. In addition to its speed and agility, this aircraft is also designed to be highly maneuverable, making it a formidable opponent in dogfights.


Su-75 is not ready for production yet

But despite all these great features that look great on paper, Russia has historically exaggerated quite a bit about the quality of its aircraft – and in reality, they are rarely as powerful as they claim.

Also, Russia has not been able to successfully produce the previous stealth aircraft, the Su-57. It’s been plagued by delays ever since. So, expecting a new top fighter is too optimistic. In addition, the performance of Russian aircraft in Ukraine has not been positive, and Russia’s reputation today is not at its best to attract foreign investment to this ambitious project.

However, if it is produced, the Su-75 could still pose a threat to NATO forces as it would have stealth technology and some advanced features previously never seen on Russian made aircraft.


So far, it seems that the Sukhoi Su-75 is not living up to its potential. It is not clear if it will be able to meet Russia’s military needs. If the Su-75 is a bust, it could be a major setback for Russia’s military modernization efforts.

Time will tell if the Su-75 is a success or a failure. But for now, it looks like Russia’s cheap alternative to the F-35 is already in trouble.

Sukhoi Su-75 vs Lockheed Martin F-35

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II by Public Domain.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 now has not only a Chinese replica but also a Russian version. However, it is still too early to make a meaningful comparison since this aircraft is still only a project that hasn’t even been financed.


This aircraft is unlikely to be ready any time soon while the F-35 continues to evolve and get better features.

For this reason, the Sukhoi Su-75 is hardly a better option. Although for countries with a tight budget, it could become a viable option since the F-35 tends to be quite overpriced, with costs that can exceed 100 million dollars per unit.

Sukhoi Su-75 specs

Sukhoi S-75 Checkmate mockup rear
Sukhoi S-75 Checkmate mockup rear by Mztourist. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

  • Role: Stealth light multirole fighter
  • Manufacturer: Sukhoi
  • Introduction: 2027 (planned)
  • Status: Under development
  • Crew: one
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
  • Ferry range: 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles)
  • Cost: $30 million

The Russian military aviation’s image is not in stellar

Russia is looking for foreign investment to help it implement its project. But the performance of Russian aircraft in the war in Ukraine has not been the best, and US sanctions have not helped either.


So, developing such an ambitious project when they haven’t even finished producing the Su-57 seems a bit out of touch with reality.

Featured image credit: Vladimir Putin in MAKS Airshow 2021 by The Presidential Press and Information Office. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

Recent Posts

Follow Us