China’s air force is set for a big boost to its range and capability with its last batch of Su-35 fighter jets on track for delivery at the end of this year, military observers said.
The Russian government confirmed on Monday that the last 10 Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighters would be delivered on schedule.
News service Sputnik reported that Russia would supply the jets as well as missiles and other logistical support.
China became the first foreign country to purchase the Su-35 – an upgrade to the Su-27 – when it agreed in November 2015 to pay US$2.5 billion for 24 planes. They are China’s first fighter jets powered by thrust-vectoring engines for super-manoeuvrability.
The first four were delivered in 2016 and another 10 last year.
The Su-35 is powered by two AL-117S turbofan engines and fitted with thrust-vectoring nozzles enabling it to perform post-stall manoeuvres at low speeds.
The Su-35 also features a multifunctional radar capable of tracking up to 30 targets simultaneously – and purportedly able to engage with up to eight – as well as a newly integrated receiver for China’s Beidou satellite navigation system.
Long-range air-to-air missiles carried by the Su-35s could reach American aerial refuelling tankers in the Pacific. (end of excerpt)
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