“The first four Sukhoi-35 are to fly over to China by December 25,” the source said.
Originally the deliveries were to begin as of next year, but eventually a decision was made to speed up the process and to provide the first batch in the last days of the outgoing year.
The Sukhoi-35 is Russia’s multirole highly maneuverable fighter (generation 4 ++) with a phased array antenna radar and thrust vectoring engines. It can develop a maximum speed of 2,500 kilometers per hour and fly 3,400 kilometers without refueling. The combat range is 1,600 kilometers. The fighter is armed with a 30-mm gun and has twelve bomb and rocket suspension units.
In August 2016, China made public that it set up a new state-owned aircraft engine maker to accelerate the development of new high-performance turbofan engines. China’s aviation industry is currently working on the WS-13 Taishan turbofan, a derivative of the Russian Klimov RD-33 turbofan, among other things.
Chinese-made military turbofan engines such as the WS-10 are under-performing, according to various reports. Even the PLAAF’s two fifth-generation fighter jet prototypes–the Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31–are reportedly equipped with older Russian-made jet engines–the Saturn AL-31 and the Klimov RD-93, first introduced in the early 1980s for the Sukhoi Su-27.
Whenever a final contract will be inked, according to Buzhinsky, China will not receive Russia’s most advanced Su-35 model: “We have export version and a version for our own use. The Chinese are very good at copying all kinds of stuff.”