Putin gets sneak peek of 'Checkmate' stealth fighter jet

The aircraft is described as a fifth-generation light single-engine fighter jet that incorporates "innovative solutions". PHOTO: REUTERS

ZHUKOVSKY, RUSSIA (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin got a sneak peek on Tuesday (July 20) of a next-generation stealth fighter jet dubbed "The Checkmate" ahead of the official unveiling later in the day.

The new Sukhoi stealth fighter is due to go on display at an annual airshow outside Moscow on Tuesday, and Mr Putin was given a first look, the Rostec defence and technology giant said.

"The head of the Rostec state corporation, Sergei Chemezov, and the general director of United Aircraft Corporation, Yury Slyusar, showed Putin the new Checkmate fighter jet," Rostec said in a statement.

The aircraft was being kept in a hangar with the words, "The Checkmate," written in large white lettering in English, according to an AFP photographer at the exhibition.

Rostec describes the aircraft as a fifth-generation light single-engine fighter jet that incorporates "innovative solutions" including artificial intelligence.

The official unveiling is scheduled for 1500 GMT on Tuesday.

But the plane will not perform any flights, a Rostec spokesman told AFP.

Mr Putin praised Russia's aviation industry as he unveiled the annual MAKS air show earlier on Tuesday.

"Russian aviation has great potential for development, and our aircraft industry continues to create new competitive aircraft," Mr Putin said.

Mr Putin has made investing in the army and developing new weaponry a priority over his two-decade rule.

Russia has boasted of developing several weapons that circumvent existing defence systems, including the Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Burevestnik cruise missiles.

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