The first Su-30SMs for Belarus’s Air Force have been [spotted].
Over the weekend, an image of the first two Belarusian Su-30SM fighter jets emerged on Russianplanes.net, a plane-spotting website. The photo, taken by Alexey Korshunov, showed one of the aircraft outside a plant owned by Irkut Corporation, which manufactures the jet. Inside a hangar, another aircraft could be seen with Belarusian markings and the number 01.
Belarus expects to begin taking delivery of up to four of the fighter jets later this year. In 2017, Minsk inked a contract for the supply of a dozen jets, reportedly at a cost of around $600 million.
Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation told TASS Russian News Agency in May of this year that the deal was at the implementation stage, adding, “The aircraft will be delivered in strict compliance with the terms of the contract after advance payments from the Belarusian side are received.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had previously criticized the price tag, but the fact that the aircraft have been manufactured indicates that either payment has been provided, or Russia expects that the financial arrangements will be completed.