MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. The units of the fourth army of the Southern Military District’s Air Forces and Air Defense Forces will be equipped with Su-35 fighter aircraft, army commander Lieutenant General Viktor Sevastyanov told TASS on Tuesday.
"There are plans to deliver them Su-35 fighter aircraft to the units as part of the Russian Defense Ministry’s activity by 2020. We are ready to put them into service and learn to use them. We’ve got a lot of experience," the commander said.
That said, Sevastyanov noted that, regarding that the fourth army of the Air Forces and Air Defense Forces is highly equipped with advanced facilities, "there is no dire need for Su-35s."
As for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft, "the aviation units are eagerly waiting for the Su-57s and with curiosity." "Pilots are excited to have a go in a fifth-generation plane, but it is too early to speak of deliveries to our army," the army commander reported.
In July, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Russia had to enhance the battle capabilities of the Southern Military District by taking similar measures to neutralize national security threats during his speech at a defense ministry board meeting. He reiterated then about a military build-up by some countries, including NATO member states, near our country’s borders. Earlier, at a similar event held this past January he pointed out the need to activate forces in the specified area due to the Ukrainian crisis and activities by international terror organizations.
The Su-35 is a modernized super-maneuverable multirole fighter that outshines its rival analogues by cutting-edge technologies. The plane’s radar visibility is several times lower than in fourth-generation aircraft.
The Su-57 (the PAK FA) made its first flight in 2010. Research and development efforts are to be completed in 2019, according to earlier reports. The preproduction batch will consist of 12 planes, President of the United Aircraft Corporation Yury Slyusar, then-Aerospace Forces commander-in-chief, said in August that the aircraft deliveries may start in 2018.