China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) received the final batch of Sukhoi Su-35 ‘Flanker-E’ multirole fighter aircraft from Russia.
Russia has completed the delivery of Su-35 combat aircraft to China in defiance of U.S. sanctions, Russia’s military and technical cooperation agency told state media Tuesday.
Russia and China signed a $2.5 billion deal on the delivery of 24 Sukhoi Su-35s in 2015, making it the first foreign buyer of the fourth-generation multirole air superiority fighter. The United States imposed sanctions on the Chinese military last September for buying 10 Su-35s in 2017 and missile systems in 2018 from Russia.
“In compliance with the contract, all the Su-35 planes have been delivered to the foreign customer,” the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation told the state-run TASS news agency.
The first batch of 10 Su-35s was delivered to Сhina in December 2016, followed by 10 more in December 2017, according to Tokyo-based The Diplomat news magazine. The last batch was expected to be delivered in December 2018.
China has been the first foreign buyer of Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft. Indonesia is the second foreign buyer of Russian Su-35 fighter jets.
The U.S. found China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD), the branch of the Chinese military responsible for weapons and equipment, in breach of a sweeping U.S. sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
The Su-35S generation 4++ 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.