Russia deployed another batch of 12 Sukhoi Su-35S multi-role fighters to Dzemgi Airbase in the Khabarovsk Region, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed.
They join the 34 aircraft already on the base in Russia’s Far East. Before the end of 2015, another 14 are expected to be delivered. Basing the fighters at Dzemgi is a clear defensive strategy against China and an offensive move to help project the Russian might to disputed areas with Japan.
The Sukhoi Su-35S is a heavily upgraded version of the legendary Su-27, with capabilities matching or better than today’s developed fighters in Europe and the USA. The aircraft have thrust-vectoring, to give it better maneuverability in the air, and they can engage multiple bogeys at the a time.
A dozen hardpoints, a payload up to 8 tons and a 30 mm internal canon make the Flanker-E a worthy opponent for any air force. It’s maximum speed is reported to be twice the speed of sound (Mach 2.25). It has a range of 1940 nautical miles (3,600 km) and a service ceiling of 54,000 feet.
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger with additional information from Sukhoi