One concern that I have with the maneuverability outlook for the Checkmate is the positioning of the intake. Modern military avionics relies on negative stability for higher maneuverability. That means the flight surfaces don't tend to settle on a preset 'local minimum' profile, as with commercial aircraft but rather tend to veer away, almost like car wheels out of alignment. The overall weight and thrust distribution along the axis (specifically longitudinal) is also important.
I would say its manouver potential looks no worse than for the F-16 which is rather good... with all round vision systems and thrust vectoring missiles like R-73 and R-74 and presumably 9M100, getting on someones tail before launching is not likely to be so critical as it once was...
The MiG model looks similar but with canards, so perhaps they put more emphasis on ability to point the nose...
With an intake so far to the front, the Checkmate might lose some of its longitudinal instability. My guess is that Sukhoi might have prioritized stealth over performance here.
Not sure what the intake has to do with stability or otherwise of any aircraft... the engine exhausts of course make sense, but the intakes?
Well they advertize it as a 8g aircraft when other 4.5 gen fighter are 9g abd can even go to 12g if really needed.
But who care it will be good to launch missiles against f-15/typhoon/f-18 in bvr without being detected at long range, still more manoeuvrable than f-35 and can drop pgm for the price of 20 million $.
That's still exeptional.
I would say reduced manouver performance requirements and top speed requirements will likely be the foundation of the reduced costs to buy and to use the aircraft... so probably well worth it.
Nobody is likely to be dodging modern missiles, but then you wont need to waste time and fuel getting on to the tail of an enemy aircraft for a launch in the first place anyway.
IIRC, longitudinal static stability has to do with the position of the center of gravity (more forward = more stable), rather than the position of intake and thrust, no?
Cg and thrust would be relevant I would think... but assuming it does not get suffocated in a high AOA manouver, the intake is not so important in stability terms AFAIK.
Well, what is required here is the opposite - instability. That way, the aircraft will always be 'on edge', tending to roll or pitch. This makes it highly agile. In older generation aircraft it would be too much work for the pilot to constantly compensate with manual controls and thus was not implemented. But with computerized flight and envelope control, it has successfully been used on fighter jets.
I remember reading about it in the 1980s... one western expert described it and holding the handle bars of a bicycle while sitting on the bonnet of a car with the bicycle rolling backwards and you having to make hundreds of tiny corrections to keep it going straight... would be impossible for most humans at any decent speed, but it means if you need to turn the turn will start immediately without having to overcome its natural stability which in effect is wanting to continue to fly the way it is flying.
In theory it should give advantages in a turning fight but as speed bleeds manouver performance based on conventional control surfaces degrade and slow down whereas thrust vectoring forces remain effective and responsive...
Rather, most of the weight itself should be concentrated as close as possible to the CoG. And that center should be midway between intake and exhaust, not the geometrical center of the plane.
There are lots of factors involved I suspect... especially with swing wing aircraft, but the cg can move depending on altitude and flight speed as well...
Other factors include fuel weight and distribution and weapon payload location before and after an attack... no point achieving ideal combat manouver performance after you have dumped all your fuel and weapons...
Lets see it in the air before we make any judgements... it might surprise us, but even if it doesn't... the MiG-21 was not a super manouverable fighter either.