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A watershed year for Russia's Sukhoi combat aircraft on the global arms market

An overview of Russian Sukhoi warplanes' prospects on the global arms market in 2016

MOSCOW, February 20. (TASS-DEFENSE). The current year seems to be a watershed one for Russia's Sukhoi fighters and bombers at the global arms market. As a high-ranking military-diplomatic source told at the Singapore Airshow 2016, a number of countries had already revealed their keen interest to Russian fixed-wing aircraft.

Russia may deliver Su-35S (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E+) fighters to China in late 2016, he said.

"Deliveries of Su-35S to China are likely to begin in late 2016 - early 2017. Su-35S is a sophisticated aircraft," he said adding, that export modification of the fighter will be supplied.

"Chinese adjustments were jointly designed, something was done by us and something by China. Adjustments were introduced to aircraft displays, in particular," the source said.

It was reported in November 2015 that Moscow and Beijing had agreed on supplies of 24 fighters, as well as ground equipment and spare engines. The deal was valued at not less than $2 billion. China has become the first international buyer of Russian Su-35S which are currently supplied to the Russian Air Force.

India may buy in Russia additional 40 Su-30MKI (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) multipurpose fighters` sets for local assembly, the source said.

"Indian Air Force faces a number of problems. The purchase of French Rafale fighters is in doubt and no serial production has been launched for Indian aircraft designs," he pointed out.

"The equipment of the national Air Force with new combat aircraft is vital, and the purchase of another 40 Su-30MKI fighters sets for local assembly will help India," the source said.

If agreement is reached the additional Su-30MKI sets delivery terms will be agreed in an appendix to the main contract.

India has ordered 272 Russian Su-30MKI fighters in total. The first contract for the purchase of 230 aircraft in Russia and their licensed production in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Corporation (HAL) was signed in the middle of the '90s. In December 2012, HAL signed another contract worth USD1,66 billion for additional 42 locally assembled Su-30MKI.

India assembles the fighters according to the license obtained by HAL. Since 2007, Russia has delivered 50 aircraft in flyaway condition. Then India has assembled 134 licensed fighters. The national Air Force plans to deploy 14 Su-30MKI squadrons by 2018. Therefore, at least 272 fighters should be delivered by this time.

A contract with Algeria for Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) front-line bombers delivery may be signed in  2016, according to the source.

"The related talks are ongoing and they have reached an advanced stage. The contract has yet to be signed. They have been willing to get Su-34s for a long period of time. Previously, the aircraft did not have the export certificate. Now the appropriate documents have been obtained. I believe the contract will be signed in mid-2016 or definitely by the end of the year," he said.

"There is a mutual interest in the deal. Everything will be done this year," the source said.

Previously, a source in the United Aircraft Corporation said the talks on the sale to Algeria of 12 Su-32 front-line bombers (Su-34`s export designation) have considerably advanced. In total, the North African country may acquire up to 40 aircraft of such type.

Russia plans to sign a deal for the multifunctional Su-35S fighters with Indonesia in May 2016, the source said.

"Talks with Indonesia are at advanced stage. There is a small technical issue. I believe it will be resolved by May and the contract for the delivery of Su-35S to Indonesia will be signed," he said.

"The contract for the delivery [of Su-35 fighter jets] is likely to be signed at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi (19-20 May 2015). The summit will be a momentous event," the source said, without specifying the exact number of Su-35 fighter jets Russia would deliver to Indonesia.

Indonesian news agency Antara reported that the national defense ministry had chosen Su-35S fighters to replace obsolete F-5E/F Tiger II. The contract may be for 16 Su-35S.


By Liubov Milovanova

The article was published on the 'Russia’s Defense Technologies' newswire.

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