Tag Archives: Su-35

‘Russian Su-35s in Syria lead to Turkish tense’

In  what could be at best another propaganda foil or at worst a change in strategy in Syria, Russia reportedly has send its most advanced air defense aircraft to Syria. Four Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets are said to have joined Russian Air Force aircraft in Syria. It would mark the first time Russia sends this jet abroad.

Independent confirmation of the four fighter jets’ actual arrival is still needed. Pictures of the Flankers flying at altitude appeared on social media on Sunday, as the jets were said to be making their way to Syria. In truth, the pictures could have been snapped anytime.

If the jets actually are in Syria, it means Russia is beefing up it air-to-air capability in the area. The apparent move comes just as Turkey warned Moscow about another Russian jet moving into Turkish airspace while operating over Syria. In November, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 for that reason. Relations between Ankara and Moscow have since been tense.

Fighter escort

By sending the Flankers, Russia is not seeking to improve relations any time soon. Things will probably get even more tense. The Russian jets could be used for escorting Su-24s, Su-30 and Su-34s during bombing missions. Those types are already operating in Syria.

Operational test

However, the move could also just mean an operational test for the Russians. The wargames over Syria have given the Russian Air Force the opportunity to test its latest equipment and newest tactics. The Su-35 so far was not part of the weapons arsenal used. In fact, the type has never been used in anger before.

The Su-35 Flanker-E is Russia’s most advanced derivative of the Flanker. China recently became the first export customer, closely followed by Indonesia.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: The Su-35 Flanker E. (Image © UAC Russia)

‘Indonesia signs Su-35 deal’

Just days after China confirmed it is buying Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft, Indonesia reportedly is doing the same. According to sources in Jakarta on Friday 27 November, the Indonesian government has agreed to buy 12 of the state-to-art, Russian made fighter aircraft.

The Indonesian interest in the thrust vectored Su-35 Flanker E has been doing the rounds for some time already. The aircraft should replace ageing Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara; TNI-AU) F-5 Tigers and operate alongside former US Lockheed Martin F-16C/D aircraft currently being delivered.

US offer

The apparant deal likely means the offer for the F-16V to Indonesia is to be rejected, although exisiting Indonesian F-16 could still be modified to F-16V , which is Lockeed Martin’s latest version of the Fighting Falcon.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: The Su-35 Flanker E. (Image © UAC Russia)


Top of the shelf: China buys Su-35

China has become the first foreign country to buy Russia’s Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker E, the most advanced version of the Flanker to date. Negotiations on the deal were ongoing for several years before a deal for 24 aircraft was finally signed recently. The contract is worth over 2 billion USD.

China’s weapons arsenal

The move is good news for financially strained Moscow and undesirable for Washington, which saw relations with Peking worsen recently. The Su-35s form a lethal addition to China’s already considerable weapons arsenal. The deal is one of the largest to be closed between Russia and China.

For a long time, Indonesia seemed the first likely export customer for the Su-35. An Indonesian deal doesn’t seem far away, though.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: The Sukhoi Su-35S, Flanker-E according to NATO (Image © Sukhoi Company)

Russia: ‘Flankers over T-50’

Russia has changed course as far as the stealthy Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA goes. Instead of buying 52, deputy minister of Defense Yuri Borisov has stated Russia is just buying ‘one squadron’ while buying more Sukhoi Su-35s at the same time.

Earlier this year, Russia stated that its air force was ready to introduce the 5th generation T-50 into service in 2016. That may still be the case, but Moscow now also realizes that the Sukhoi Su-35 is way cheaper to operate, while offering high end capabilities.

The number of T-50s is to be reduced to just twelve, sources say. The news is a major setback for the T-50 development team, that also saw one the test airframes damaged by fire last year.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (above): One of the Sukhoi T-50 / PAK-FA prototypes on a regular test flight (Image © Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

Indonesia: “Su-35 to replace F-5”

The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) is seeking approval from the government to replace its remaining nine Northrop F-5E/F Tiger fighter-bombers with modern Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35s. Chief of the Air Force Vice Marshall Agus Supriatna made his request public to Antara News Agency during a meeting on Wednesday 5 February 2015, confirming earlier rumours.

Indonesia bought 16 F-5s Tiger II aircraft from the United States in 1982. They replaced CAC Sabres – ex-Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) copies of the legendary North American F-86. Although the Tiger IIs were upgraded in Belgium in the 1990s, they have very much become obsolete by now.

The Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara, or TNI–AU, is already operating 5 fairly new Sukhoi Su-27s and 11 Su-30MKs. One of the alternatives was to buy more and newer versions of the Lockheed Martin F-16, of which the Indonesian Air Force already operates 10 A/Bs and five C/Ds. Other options like the Eurofighter Typhoon and the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen were never considered to be serious candidates by experts with insight in the TNI-AUs selection process.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The Sukhoi Su-35S (Image © Sukhoi Company)

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