Second batch of Su-35S delivered to the RuAF within just 20 days

Russian combat aviation received a new batch of serially produced fighters of the 4++ generation Su-35S. The handover of the aircraft from the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC] to the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] took place yesterday, July 13. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the second batch delivered yesterday is the second in just 20 days. The delivery of the first batch of Su-35S for 2023 was carried out at the end of June.

Russian Air and Space Forces (VKS) received a new batch of Su-35S
Video screenshot

The Russian corporation UAC does not disclose at the moment the quantity of delivered aircraft from the second batch. The handover of the equipment was made again at the test site of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant.

The delivery of the second batch in such a short period is actually important news. This delivery confirms the words of the General Director of UAC Yuriy Slyusar that the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Plant invested the received state funds some time ago in expanding production and increasing the production capacity of the company entrusted to him.

Last month, during the handover of the first batch of Su-35S, Mr. Slyusar emphasized to journalists that at the time of the handover of the first batch, the plant was already working on the production of the second batch. Although the exact number of delivered fighters from the second batch is not known, it is clear that the plant really has improved production facilities, as it managed to deliver more newly produced Su-35S fighters in a short period [20 days].

Russian Air and Space Forces (VKS) received a new batch of Su-35S
Video screenshot

Su-35S are actively used

The Russian Federation’s Armed Forces are making extensive use of Su-35S aircraft in the Special Operations Zone, a term coined by the Russian government for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

On June 2, the Russian Ministry of Defense shared a riveting video showcasing the strategic agility and precision of these impressive Russian military fighter jets. The primary role of the Su-35S is to safeguard Russian Air Force bombers and strike aircraft, along with army aviation helicopters when they are engaging with the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ machinery and equipment.

Russian Air and Space Forces (VKS) received a new batch of Su-35S
Video screenshot

Interestingly, the Su-35 is not just confined to Ukraine, Moscow also deploys it in Syria. In the past month alone, Washington has expressed concerns twice about the “dangerous maneuvers” executed by Russian Su-35 pilots against US Air Force drones.

Meet Su-35S or Flanker M

Meet the Su-35S, the T-10BM’s production designator for the Russian Aerospace Forces. According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, “S” represents Stroyevoy, meaning “Combatant” in English. The aircraft is also known by its NATO reporting name, Flanker-M.

The Flanker M, an advanced version of the Sukhoi Su-35, is internally known as the Su-35BM, which stands for “big modernization”. This state-of-the-art multirole air superiority fighter, developed from the Su-27, boasts high maneuverability [+9g] with a high angle of attack. It’s equipped with cutting-edge weapon systems that greatly enhance its dogfighting capabilities.

The Russian Air Force made a hefty order of 48 Sukhoi Su-35S jets in August 2009, with deliveries running until 2015. Sukhoi started manufacturing the necessary components for the assembly of the aircraft in November 2009. The aircraft has been upgraded with an integrated information management system and a new phased array radar system that significantly improves its aerial target detection range.

The first Su-35S was delivered to the 929th State Flight Test Center [GLITS] for flight tests in August 2011. By December 2012, the Russian Ministry of Defense had received six Su-35S production aircraft from Sukhoi. China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force ordered 24 Su-35S aircraft in 2015, and the Indonesian Air Force followed suit in February 2018 with an order for 11 Su-35S fighter jets.

Ruling the sky

The Su-25 aircraft from the 1980s, part of Ukraine’s fleet, are ill-equipped to match Russia’s high-tech Su-35s. These advanced Su-35s, armed with state-of-the-art radars and missiles, pose a considerable threat to the aging Ukrainian planes.

A Su-25 pilot known as “Pumba,” or Oleksyi, frequently encounters Russia’s formidable Su-35 fighters. In an interview with CNN, he relayed his unnerving experiences, confessing the number of Ukrainian aircraft succumbing to these robust interceptors. “We lose many aircraft to these interceptors,” he concedes, his voice heavy with the grim reality of their situation.

Following a year and a half of warfare since Russia’s invasion, Oleksyi and his fellow pilots have endured numerous losses. Each day serves as a stark reminder of their fallen comrades and their continuous skyward struggles. Pumba solemnly recalls, “I watched as my squadron leader and my wingman fell in battle. They are true Ukrainian heroes.”

Video Screenchot

Currently, the Russian Air Force undisputedly dominates the skies over the battlefield. Recently, a high-ranking Ukrainian official expressed his alarm over Russia’s formidable Su-35s, describing these superior fighter jets as a tool that allows Russia to gradually assert control over the disputed airspace above eastern Ukraine. 

Su-35 fired a BVR missile to shoot down the Mi-8 at the border
Photo credit: Twitter

He expressed his concern over Ukraine’s obsolete Soviet-era aircraft, which are woefully inadequate to effectively counter this daunting aerial force. 

“Spas,” a deputy battalion commander from the 128 Separate Territorial Defense Brigade, vividly describes the persistent aerial attacks by Russian aviation. He compares them to the relentless tides of conflict seen in historical war zones like Vietnam and Afghanistan. 

Su-35S will meet F-16…soon

The incessant flurry of helicopters and airplanes crisscrossing the sky underscores the pressing need for solid aviation support. 

According to a CNN report, Ukraine’s air fleet has been bolstered, courtesy of NATO and European allies, who have provided a total of 45 Su-25s and MiG-29s. However, the plight of the Ukrainian Air Force extends beyond a mere numbers game. 

F-16 fired a 5th-gen missile with upgraded circuit guidance cards
Photo credit: USAF

In a frank discussion with a US-based media outlet, a MiG-29 pilot known as “Juice” suggested that Western nations could offer Ukraine a substantial advantage by providing the highly sought-after F-16s. He highlighted the crucial role of advanced fighter aircraft in strengthening Ukraine’s aerial power.

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