PARIS --- Egypt purchased Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft because they outperformed competing US-made fighters, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” reported on Monday, adding that the Egyptian government finalized the deal despite the threat of US sanctions, including cutting off bilateral military-technical cooperation and even an ultimatum by US President Donald Trump.
However, Cairo was not deterred, primarily because it wanted to buy a fighter that can outperform American-made F-15 and F-16 fighters operated by the US and Israeli Air Forces, as well as other regional powers.
The Egyptian order is the largest yet export deal for the Su-35. Egypt has ordered an initial batch of 26, with additional orders to follow, whereas the largest previous order to date, for 24 aircraft, was signed with China in 2015.
According to “Komsomolskaya Pravda,” the Su-35 has a very long unrefueled range, far superior to that of the F-15 and F-16 fighters operated by Israel, and is an advanced system fitted with “excellent radar and powerful weapons.”
The Su-35 is also fitted with advanced information management system; its radar is an Irbis-E multi-mode, hybrid passive electronically scanned array radar, and its engines have a plasma ignition system.
When delivered to the Egyptian Air Force, the Su-35 will replace the old, French-made Mirage V fighter-bombers still in service.
Strangely, while commenting on the Egyptian Air Force’s mainstay of ‘old’ F-16 fighters, the Russian paper made no mention of the Dassault Rafale, the most advanced fighter operated by Cairo.