China buys 12 to 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia this year, an allegedly reliable source within the military industry told Russian press agency ARMS-TASS on 14 March 2014. The contract negotiations for the purchase are supposed to be in their final stages.
One of the discussion points seems to be the copying of the Su-35 by Chinese manufacturers, like what the Chinese did earlier to the Su-30MKKs they received. Russian state production company UAC rather not want to allow Beijing to authorise such duplication, the Russian Air Force reportedly doesn’t want the Chinese to have the fighters at all.
Which is not so strange, since the Sukhoi Su-35 (Су-35) is an upgraded version of the legendary Su-27, with capabilities matching or better than today’s fighters developed 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 a time.
The most advanced of the Flankers is the Su-35S, of which Russia is just basing 60 aircraft at Dzemgi Airbase in Russia’s Far East, a defensive strategy against … China.
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger