The Chinese ministry of defense has confirmed
the the $2 billion purchase of Su-35 fighters from Russia. China's plan to also purchase the S-400 missile defense system is also going ahead smoothly according to Colonel Wu Qian and will generate another $3 billion in revenue for Russia. While arms sales between China and Russia are nothing new, the sale of Russia's most developed military technologies to China represents a policy
shift within the Kremlin primarily brought on by financial necessity.
Indonesia has announced
that it will order 12 Su-35
fighters following the the $2 billion sale of the aircraft to China last week. The fighters will replace the 16 F-5 Tigers which have been in service since 1980. The Su-35 saw competition from the Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper. The Indonesian Air Force also operate the Su-30 in its fleet and already have an existing maintenance system that will be compatible with the new Su-35.
The Russian Su-35 was something of a mystery for many years. Pictures from Russian firms showed different fighter jets carrying that label, even as the aircraft remained a prospective design and research project, rather an active program of record.
Revelations after 2007 began to provide answers. This article explains the sources of the widespread confusion regarding the Su-35’s layout and key characteristics, reviews what is now known about the platform, and tracks its development. Those developments are likely to have broad consequences. The aircraft now has a home customer in the Russian Air Force, and the Su-35 is being positioned to replace most Su-30MK variants as Russia’s fighter export of choice within the coming decade. Will its succession bid succeed?
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