The wraps have finally, officially, come off the mock-up of Russia’s new light fighter, the Sukhoi Checkmate, also known as the Light Tactical Aircraft, or LTS in Russian, with a formal unveiling at the opening of the MAKS international air show at Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, today. Observers who had been given a succession of tantalizing, and mainly unofficial, glimpses of the new jet over the last few days now have the chance to examine the aircraft from all aspects. The actual ceremony ended up being delayed by several hours, perhaps to accommodate the visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was shown inspecting the mock-up after opening the show.
The end result is very much in keeping with the observations that The War Zone has been gathering based on initial, leaked, imagery, much of it that came when the aircraft was still literally under wraps. The United Aircraft Corporation and Rostec, for their part, which are responsible for the Sukhoi design bureau, seemed to actively encourage this process, harnessing it as something of a PR coup.
You can read our full assessment of the jet here, based on its first fleeting appearance “in the flesh,” as well as our analysis of the single-engine concept and the potential sales prospects of such an aircraft.