MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia will provide to China the first batch of four Sukhoi-35 jets by December 25, 2016, a source within the system of military-technical cooperation with other countries told TASS.
"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.
In November, the deputy chief of the federal service for military-technical cooperation, Vladimir Drozhzhov, told TASS that Russia had started acting on the first phase of its contractual liabilities to China to provide the Sukhoi-35 jets.
Russia and China in November 2015 concluded a contract for 24 Sukhoi-35 fighters. Under the $2 billion deal Russia is also to provide ground equipment and spare engines.
As a source within the military-technical cooperation system told TASS earlier, the contract will be effected in three years’ time.
The governor of the Khabarovsk Territory, where the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft building plant (manufacturer of Sukhoi-35 planes) is located, earlier said the first four planes will be provided to China by the end of this year. A short while later, though, the head of Rostec corporation, Sergey Chemezov, said that no Sukhoi-35 planes will be delivered to China in 2016.
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.