UAC Seeks To Accelerate Production Of Checkmate

DUBAI–During the first foreign demonstration of the new Russian Sukhoi LTS Checkmate fighter at the Dubai Airshow, a program official confirmed that the Light Tactical Aircraft (LTS) presented is a nonflying demonstrator intended for on-ground synchronization of construction components and equipment.

The LTS-M on display has no engine, and it will not be installed, said Mikhail Nikitushkin, the LTS deputy project manager. The flight test aircraft is still under construction. 

Nikitushkin also confirmed that the Checkmate will be powered by the “izdeliye 117 engine,” or the AL-41F1 also used on the Su-57, but “appropriately adapted to the requirements of a single-engine aircraft.”

The show was held Nov. 14-18.

The company also revealed Checkmate’s dimensions and weight. (See chart)

United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar, who introduced the aircraft, said the corporation intends to accelerate the program so that production could begin earlier than previously announced. “We’re working to start series production in late 2025” instead of 2026, he said. The first flight is to take place in 2023, as previously declared. Slyusar said “the plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has begun work on the production of several copies of the fighter.”

Speaking about the extremely rapid development schedule, Slyusar emphasized the importance of designing with the use of supercomputers. Compared to classic experiment-based development, supercomputer simulation allows for the creation of a more rational design in less time and for much less money. 

Alexander Kornev, head of the supercomputing technology center at the Sukhoi Design Bureau, described how Sukhoi achieved these results in a corporate magazine in April. In 2010, the government launched a program at the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics, the main task of which is the design and production of nuclear charges, and a government program for the “development of supercomputers and grid technologies.” The project aimed to create a family of supercomputers of various classes and software for them, and to train specialists. Sukhoi was the subcontractor of this project in the aviation industry. 

The program resulted in the creation of computer models for the design of new aircraft. For the first time, elements of such design were used during the work on the Su-35 and then on the Su-57, except that it concerned only individual elements of the aircraft. For example, said Kornev, “when designing a fire protection system for one of the aircraft, mathematical modeling with the use of supercomputing technologies allowed shortening the work time and spending several dozen times fewer financial resources.” Sukhoi developed computer models of the aircraft’s behavior at high angles of attack, nonstationary aerodynamics at the deflection of the aircraft’s control surfaces, and models of dropping various weapons. Sukhoi currently creates an integrated mathematical model that describes all the components of the aircraft in their interaction. 

Kornev said this model is simplified for the time being. “It is currently not possible to describe all the components of the aircraft simultaneously due to the lack of computing resources.”