MOSCOW --- Russia has launched the production of its advanced Su-35 fighter jets under a contract with Egypt, a military diplomatic source told TASS on Saturday.
"The Gagarin Aircraft Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has launched the production of Su-35, intended to be delivered to the Egyptian Air Force under the contract signed in 2018," the source said.
"The timeframe for first batch’s delivery to the Egyptian side has not been set yet, due to restrictions imposed by the novel coronavirus outbreak," he added.
TASS has been unable to officially confirm the information by the time of the publication.
Russia’s Kommersant daily reported in March 2019 that Egypt had decided to purchase several Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets for about $2 billion. The signing of the deal has never been confirmed by official sources.
China has become the first foreign country to buy Su-35 when it signed a $2.5-billion deal with Russia for 24 aircraft. The deal also envisaged supplies of ground equipment and spare engines. The delivery of the aircraft to China was completed in 2019.
The Su-35S is a heavily upgraded generation 4++ supermaneuverable multipurpose fighter jet developed on the basis of fifth-generation technologies. The Su-35S is distinguished by its new avionics suite based on the information control system, the new radar, plasma ignition engines of the increased capacity and thrust vectoring. These engines meet the requirements for the powerplant of fifth-generation fighters as they allow developing supersonic speed without using an afterburner.
The Su-35S supersonic fighter jet performed its debut flight on February 19, 2008. The fighter jet is a derivative of the Su-27 plane. The Su-35S weighs 19 tonnes, has a service ceiling of 20,000 meters, can develop a maximum speed of 2,500 km/h and has a crew of one pilot. The fighter jet’s armament includes a 30mm aircraft gun, up to 8 tonnes of the weapon payload (missiles and bombs of various types) on 12 underwing hardpoints. The Su-35S has been in service with the Russian Army since 2015.
-- May 18, 2020 @ 16:15 CET: Corrected headline to clarify that the article concerns the Su-35S fighter.