A deal for the People’s Liberation Army to acquire 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia could be completed this week, China’s Global Times reports.
Discussions on the acquisition have been ongoing for some time and it remains unclear whether there are still points on which the two sides disagree on. It appears likely, however, that an outcome will be revealed at the MAKS-2015 international aerospace show to be held Aug. 25-30 at Zhukovsky, 40 kilometers southeast of Moscow.
According to Ivan Goncharenko, the first deputy director general of Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the contract is currently at an approval stage. “We are holding talks with our Chinese partners on agreeing a draft contract for the supply of fighter jets,” Goncharenko said Monday.
The Su-35, a twin-engine, supermaneuverable multirole fighter, has been marketed by Russia to numerous countries include Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Korea, though it appears China is set to be come the first country to import the aircraft.
The Russian Air Force ordered 48 production units of Su-35S jets — a revamped version of the Su-35 — in August 2009. Delivery of the aircraft commenced in 2011 and the last 12 remaining jets will all be delivered by the end of the year at a pace of two jets per month.
There are now reports that the Russian defense ministry could sign a new agreement to purchase another 40 Su-35S jets and that the deal could be signed at MAKS-2015 this week.
The Su-35 previously appeared at the Zhuhai Airshow in southern China’s Guangdong province in 2014, both as an exhibit and giving a flight demonstration. Chinese vice president Li Yuanchao was reportedly impressed with the fighter’s mobility, modern avionics and engine