MOSCOW ($1=59.63 Russian Rubles) — The Russian Air and Space Forces [RASF or VKS in Russian] have received a new batch of Su-35 fighter jets. Produced by Sukhoi at the Komsomolsk Aircraft Plant on Amur in the Far East, this is the third delivery to the RASF. After the new delivery, Russia already has 128 units of the Su-35, writes Military Watch Magazine.
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30 fighters constitute the third batch. However, it was delivered in two parts – the first at the end of 2021, and the second now in September. In recent years, the RAF received two deliveries, respectively 48 fighters in the first and 50 fighters in the second delivery.
When Russia agreed to arm its aerospace forces with this type of fighter, plans were for a total of 100 units in the inventory. Sukhoi had planned to produce at least that many more for export. But plans have changed in recent years. The war in Ukraine and the rejected orders from Indonesia and Egypt will apparently force Russia to buy the fighter jets planned for these countries.
Experts, mainly Russian, suggest that the delay in serial production of the Su-57 is one of the reasons why Russia is buying “obviously unnecessary” Su-35s today. The Su-35, in principle, is not the “desired child” of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Moscow’s plans were to go directly from the Su-27 to the Su-57. But this did not happen, and Russia decided to make a smooth transition between the aging Soviet Su-27 and the expected stealth fighter Su-57. Thus, the appeared Su-35 qualified as generation 4++.
The differences between the Su-27 and the Su-35 are several: the Su-35 has thrust vectoring, more powerful engines, is more durable, has integrated dual AESA radars in the wing roots, as well as four times the detection range against airplanes.
Most likely, after the acquisition of the “ready for export” fighters, Russia will stop the production of the Su-35 and concentrate its efforts on the acquisition of the Su-57. The last customer of the Su-35 is China. Although Beijing has a large fleet of Russian Su-27s, only 24 Su-35 fighters are in service with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. China is already seriously producing various categories of combat aircraft, including fifth-generation stealth fighters. The chances of Beijing buying fighters from Moscow again tend to zero.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that by the end of August, four new Su-57 fighters were built by Sukhoi for 2022. This was stated by the executive director of United Aircraft Corporation Yuru Slyusar to TASS. “Four serially produced Su-57 fifth-generation multirole fighters were built today under a government contract with the Ministry of Defense of Russia.”
Russia’s last hope is Iran’s stated desire to buy the Su-35. Even if this deal happens, the Su-35 is gradually closing its production lines.
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