Russia to Ink Deal to Supply China with 24 Su-35 Fighter Jets

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PARIS — Russian aerospace giant United Aircraft Corp. plans to ink a deal this year to supply the Chinese military with two dozen Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter jets, an official said.

When asked for the status of the talks between the two countries on the sale, Yuri Slyusar, the head of the Moscow-maker of civilian and military aircraft confirmed the pending agreement this week at the Paris Air Show, held outside the city at the historic Le Bourget airfield. Sukhoi is a subsidiary of United Aircraft.

“The question should go to the federal service on military cooperation, not us,” he said during a briefing with reporters. “Our position is that we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft this year.”

China recently conducted the first test flight of the J-11D, an upgraded version of the J-11B that’s based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-27. But the People’s Liberation Army Air Force still wants the twin-engine Su-35, reportedly to go up against Japan’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and India’s Su-30MKO and T-50 aircraft.

In information distributed at the show, United Aircraft said the Su-35 “4++” generation fighter is one of the company’s “top priority programs.”

Recent flight and weapons testing showed the Su-35 not only meets specifications, but also performs better than other fourth-generation fighters, including the U.S.-made F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft — even the new F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to a fact-sheet. “Thus, it is a potent rival to the F-22A aircraft,” it states.

The Su-35 is being outfitted with new engines, avionics and other systems from Russia’s own fifth-generation fighter program, the T-50 PAK-FA.

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Valvatorez

    Too bad the USAF brass is afflicted with NIS syndrome and too stupid to buy foreign fighters like unlike the PLAAF.
    Of course the F-35 is inferior to fourth gen fighters. It was never about competing with peer nations. It’s about bleeding tax payer dollars.

    • NathanS

      How so? With combat load, the F-35 has better acceleration and turning ability to the F-16 or FA-18 that it replaces.

      It does not have the kinetic performance of a SU-35 (which is a very nice fighter), yet the F-35 can destroy the SU-35 over a hundred miles further than the SU-35 can even see it.

      I just see more cannon fodder.

  • citanon

    I love how the article call it a “fact sheet” when its in fact packed full of the purest fiction. It’s as if they hired Baghdad Bob to write their sales materials.

  • Adman

    Although the author of the “fact sheet”, maybe be full of “sheet”, it still makes me with the F-22 line was still rolling strong.

    • Adman

      *wish

    • The one armed man

      As do we all.

  • Benjamin

    I think the better question is how will it do against an F-15 or F-16? There still are large quantities of those aircraft in service. Most of which have not been upgraded enough to be on par with the Su-35. I imagine that we could rather easily develop improved versions of the engines and radars on those aircraft rather cheaply that would make a big difference if a pilot is in a life or death struggle.

  • miles

    So I guess China’s Vaunted 5th Gen fighters are inferior to the second and third 5th gen fighters, (F-35/PAK-FA) and so they have to pay the Russians to slap together a 4th+++ gen fighter to compete.

  • miles

    I meant 4+++ gen fighter.

  • Laker8

    The Russians were smart to only sell them 24. You know they are just going to take them apart and build their only like they did when Russia sold them Su-27’s.

    • ronaldo

      No worries Laker 8, the Russians wanted to sell them more than 24 planes. And of course they know that the China is going to build their own version of the ’35. Do you think they have something else in mind ?

      They have a better grasp of the situation than you do and their strategy is certainly different.

  • Curt

    But wait, isn’t the J-20 better than anything available, even a F-22 or F-35? And it will be available yesterday and be FREE! Why would they need these?

  • Lance

    The T-50 got its avionics from the SU-35. The Su-35 is a SU-27 with upgraded weapons systems and avionics. Over I do not make it as far superior to the F-15 or the F-22 but more on par with one.The same goes the on upgraded weapons and avionics on the MiG-29 which became the MiG-35.

    I do think brass needs to get there head out of the Iraq war mind set we need heavy air superiority fighters updated F-15s and more and a lot more F-22s. The JSF is Obama’s boondoggle and is far inferior to any predecessor or current contender but due to politics its being forced on the Air Force.

    That’s a SU-27 on the picture not a SU-35 a SU-35 has canards in front of the wings. More fear mongering by the author, yes. But does it show we need real attention to our heavy fighters more upgrades and production…. YES!

  • Bill G

    Gentlemen, it would be a great day for all of us who live on this planet if we could agree to call all this macho competition a draw and use the money and engineering talent to build better schools and hospitals. We all have part of the power to make it happen. Bill.

  • BlackOwl18E

    The Su-35 is probably better than all other 4 gen plus aircraft in terms of raw air-to-air combat performance. Again, there are classified capabilities to nearly all tactical strike aircraft now adays, but from what’s available the Su-35 looks like a beast. Russia just doesn’t have the funds to make enough of them to be a threat beyond their own borders so they’ve turned to foreign sales to lower the price. This is typical of them and it’s a risky, but sound move.

    I remember reading somewhere that the Russians think the F-35 is a joke. If China would rather buy the Su-35 to counter the F-35 than focus on developing the J-20, that says a lot about the avionics in the J-20. They must not be even close to competitive with Russian or American counterparts.

  • Gen King

    People in the Russian aviation industry claimed many times in the past 6 or 7 years that the Russian government had allowed them to sell Su-35 to China. How many times the Russian side made similar unilateral announcement that a Su-35 sale had been approved for China, maybe at least 5 times in the past 6-7 years? Whether the Chinese side will buy is an entirely different story. I will believe it when the Chinese side confirms it. Remember, as time goes by, the probability of an actual sale of Su-35 to China decreases.

  • RunnningBear

    AIM-120D Speed: Mach 4+/ Range: > 95 miles/ Turning: 12+ Gs

    You can run, but you can’t hide! :)

  • William Cobb

    To the poster who thinks that’s an Su-27, it is but only by degree. The current version of the Su-35 is a remake of the Su-27, referred to in some sources as the Su-27BM for Bolshoi Modernizatsiya, or Big Modernization. The original Su-35 of the 90s did have canards and flat topped vertical stabilizers, the current one looks more like an Su-27 without a radome pitot tube and ventral speedbrake. . It can supposedly supercruise and its maneuverability at airshow weight has to be seen to be believed. It also has thrust vectoring nozzles and current avionics. All in all it is a great solution to the Russian dilemma they are facing with the T-50, should they update current equipment, or go for the latest tech. The Su-35 allows them to do both to a degree, by being the interim solution until the T-50s problems are sorted out.

  • David

    China must need more craft to reverse engineer.

  • more information

    Thankyou for the information

  • LionKing

    T14 Armata Russia tank is best tank in the world! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23WTkiooT2k

  • The great Jessmo

    F-35 Unscathed by Hostile Fire in Green Flag
    18 Jun 2015 Amy Butler | Aviation Week & Space Technology

    “Not a single F-35 was “shot down” during the joint-force Green Flag exercises testing the jet and its pilots’ prowess operating it in a contested air-support role in the Western U.S. this month, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cameron Dadgar, head of the exercise and leader of the 549th Combat Training Sqdn. at Nellis AFB, Nevada. This is notable because A-10s and F-16s were defeated in the same conditions, operating in an environment with hostile aircraft and …”

    Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-un … green-flag

    You people are ignorant. F-35 and supporters win, you lose, what you say doesn’t matter any more

  • The great Jessmo

    To Make matters worse:

    1. I’m going to mock you every chance I get.
    2. When the plane hits FRP and the skies are darkened with the shadows of F-35s
    All the detractors will be laughed out of our small blogesphere of a community.
    3. We get to mock you we win

  • jonbad2

    It seems there are always people on this board that ALWAYS believe the word coming from the Chinese and Russian military/governments. Do you not know how they inflate their abilities and resources?

    Not that I absolutely trust my own military/government.

  • Godzilla

    This Su-35 deal has been talked about for years now. It’s never went anywhere.

    Supposedly the main interest the Chinese have in this plane is because they want to get their hands on the propulsion technology. From what I heard they wanted to buy only a couple of these planes are TONS of “spare” engines arguably to use on their J-20. The Russians actually want them to place a substantial order before selling them the plane which they know the Chinese will try to eventually reverse engineer in order to get the most cash out of the Chinese while they can.

    The Su-35 uses the same Al-41F engines the Russians use on their T-50 prototype. These are high thrust-to-weight engines which can do supercruise and that have 2D TVC. As for the avionics the Chinese supposedly can get better avionics than the Russians on basically every single item including the radar. Allegedly the Chinese have AESA GaN radar prototypes with a lot more T/R modules than the ones on the Russian T-50 radar prototypes. They have had access to Israeli radar technology in the past so I would not discount the possibility of these rumors actually being true.

  • Leo Johnson

    well at least in today’s picture someone put the engine covers back on.

  • Jim

    The Chinese are buying primarily for the engines b/c the Russians won’t sell only the engines. So to get the engines the Chinese have to purchase the entire plane. So far they have not been able to reverse engineer the metallurgy required for the high internal temps needed to produce high performance engines.

  • FWGuy

    I am surprised Russia would allow China to steal its technology on such a cheap / low price sell of only 24 jets. Putin and the Russia Military must be in desperate need of foreign cash considering the very low oil prices currently.

    • bart ninja

      with ww3 on the horizon it is more important for Russia to have a strong ally in China than the economics of technology transfer.

  • letslobrob

    you got to be kidding….