Russian Air Force to Purchase 48 New Combat Jets

August 11, 2015

The Russian Defense Ministry and the United Aircraft Corporation will sign a contract at the end of August for the purchase of 48 Su-35 aircraft, to be supplied until the year 2020.

Vedomosti reported Tuesday that the $1.5 billion contract will be the largest signed by the Russian Air Force since 2012. Konstantin Makienko of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies said that it is unlikely that the Russian Defense Ministry will spend a similar sum on future contracts.

The Sukhoi Su-35 has been dubbed "the most potent fighter currently in operation with the Russian Air Force."

Vedomosti reports:

The Su-35 (the third aircraft with this kind of name) is a radical modernization […] of the Su-27 fighter. The Su-27 fighter and its upgrades are the foundation of the Russian Air Force, and were the main products exported by the Russian military industry throughout the 1990s and 2000s. The Su-35 has a new high-powered radar control system, Irbis-E, a new 117C engine (created on the basis of the AL-31F engine), a redesigned airframe, and many other new systems. […] The Su-35 will be the most modern combat aircraft in the Air Force.

The Su-35 has been actively exported since it first began production. Libya was to be one of its first buyers. Negotiations with Libya reached an advanced stage, but after the intervention of the Western coalition and the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the transaction was dropped. According to a source close to the leadership of the system of Russian military-technical cooperation, the pre-contract negotiations for the delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft to China are in their final stages.

Russia will sign the contract for the Su-35 fighters at the MAKS-2015 international aviation and space show, which runs from August 25 to August 30.

Published under: Russia