16:20 GMT +320 February 2017
    A Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jet is displayed before a test flight ahead of the Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province

    In Demand: Why China Purchases Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets

    Military & Intelligence
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    China’s purchase of 24 new Russian Su-35 aircraft is essential for Beijing. The Chinese Air Force will not only get new jets that could affect the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait, but may also allow the Chinese military to assess the progress and development of J-11.

    The purchase of 24 Russian Su-35 in the amount of about $2 billion is the second largest transaction between the Russian and Chinese militaries, the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote.

    A year ago, a contract was signed for the supply of four battalions of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems totaling around 1.9 billion dollars. The negotiations had begun in 2010-2011 and by 2014 many contentious issues had been resolved.

    It has been reported that the deliveries of the equipment could begin in 2016 and the transfer of the main parts of the equipment may take place in 2017-2018.

    Looking at the advantages of the purchase of Russian aircraft by China, it seems that the Chinese are currently looking for additional ways of developing their combat aircraft capabilities.

    As noted by the publication, between the two Chinese aircraft that are being developed at the moment, the J-20 and J-31, only the J-20 may be viewed as a fifth generation fighter.

    Hence, the J-31 uses stealth technology, but its main units and components are borrowed from the 4+ generation fighters such as the J-10B, J-16 and FC-1, the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote.

    As for J-20, which embodies the full potential of the Chinese aviation industry, the aircraft’s potential combat readiness is not very clear at the moment. This is supported by all the available capability of similar technologies available in the US and other countries.

    The publication taking note of the Russian Su-35, however, mentioned that the new jet is a maximum advancement of the earlier fighter jet the Su-27.

    Therefore, the acquisition of the Su-35 would allow the Chinese military to assess the progress and development of J-11. The acquisition may act as a guide showing the Russian approach to problem solving in stealth technology making it easier to further enhance the capabilities of the Chinese aviation.

    It is probable that with the supply of 24 Su-35’s more contracts for units or various components for the new Chinese fighters, as well as technology transfer and R & D for the benefit of Chinese customers, may follow.

    For Russia, the successful delivery of the fighter jets to China will further improve its position in foreign markets. It is expected that the next buyer of the Russian Su-35 may be Indonesia.


    Russia, China Expect High-Level Contacts to Remain Intensive in 2016
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    Russia Confirms Signing Contract With China on Delivery of 24 Su-35 Jets
    Russia, China Sign $2 Billion Contract on Delivery of Su-35 Fighters
    combat aircraft, fifth-generation fighter plane, combat readiness, purchase, J-31, Su-35, Chinese Chengdu J-20 fighter jet, Carnegie Moscow Institute, China
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    • Andreas Koppa
      Actually China purchases high-tech gear everywhere and then reverse engineer the product stripping out to the last screw.
    • Ingimundar
      Gonna be the other way 'round pretty soon.
    • avatar
      Interesting, BRICS will have Russian technology and weapons and NATO will be left with the F35, when it manages to become operational?

      Does NATO seriously want to take on Russia and China?
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      As usual strong partnership!
    • siberianhusky
      Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada should buy the Su-35s and it has everything that Canada needs and they can buy 2 or 3 for the price of 1 F-35. It has long range, 2 engines, super maneuverable, super cruising and enormous selection and missiles and load and also limited stealth. AND IT ALSO WORKS

      But Ottawa will get suckered buy the Americans again to buy that other piece of junk the F-35 Brewster
    • avatar
      I think that it's safe to say that Russian expertise in design is back on the world stage. It will be fascinating to see what further generation of aircraft are like. :)
    • avatar
      I will add with sadness for those trying to learn about Russian aviation.
      SU 35 IS complete stealth. 100%!!
      Why I dare say it?
      ALL depends on gear and customer.
      Let's go back a few years. You can still type, Indian Air Force SU-30 MKI Red Flag 2008 on your browser. If you do some extra research and find U.S pilots at red flag, India also brought the VERY OLD, MIG 21 to Red Flag. How it fared? The words of the U.S pilots was , "it IS a very scary plane. First you about to lock on, then, the plane dissapear from radar, and reappear somewhere else. "... It was using Israeli stealth pods.
      The SU 30 had same features. But the problem was, that they wanted to lock on, while the pods were active.
      Indian pilots were making mistakes. Of course with practice those mistakes leave the pilot's minds. happens to everyone in the planet . Not just Indian's.
      We talking about 2008. Georgia war. Russia scared the lights out of NATO. But I won't elaborate.
      2016. Those planes that China wants, Russia is boasting that the engines cannot be copied. They export versions. Perhaps China could find pods around to buy and make them invisible. Just as Russia did to NATO in 2008. It was NATO that armed and trained Georgia.
      Russia wasn't supposed to respond, due to OLD equipment. Old it was. But it went in and got the job done.
      West media doubted the defense, " a very shameful Russian invasion".. Yet Russia won in record time!!

      The SU 35 is completely invisible to radars. IF equipped and is used. The T 50 is NOT completely invisible to radars. There is a compromise depending on missions and stealth modes. Takes decades to master that.
      PAK DA probably won't be completely invisible either.
      It be more affordable that way too. And create less liabilities for builders.

      Now why I say this? The SU 35 is a good plane. And maybe with some new tricks, may amaze the world. Just like the MIG 21's amazed RED FLAG in U.S 2008 , U.S pilot's.
      The pods that will be installed in the T 50 were used by an SU 24 that blinded the latest AEGIS with the latest missile system.
      It did several passes on front of the ship.
      Or pilots of Russia sill add a VIKING style ax on front , and do the TARAN! As said in English. Russian pilots did this in WW2. Russian pilots will ram EUROPE'S coalition forces planes, on air battles.
      HOPEFULLY, Russia broke a good deal to end China industries from doing copycat of Russian merchandise.
    • avatar
      wendigoin reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, the old Tory government did look like they'd stick with the jsf program no matter what. But the new Liberal government almost certainly won't. They have committed to reopen the whole bid to replace the hornet fleet. They are going to be hard pressed to get anything other than the super hornet. It's the best plane for Canada, since the idea of America's little brother getting enemy planes for its air force is just a joke.(aside from the punch line that Russian planes actually are the best planes for Canada... ironic)
      What works for Russia will work for Canada. Since the destruction of the independent Canadian aerospace industry in the sixties, no production fighters have met the performance specs of the last Canadian fighter, the Arrow... except Russian fighters.
    • siberianhuskyin reply towendigo(Show commentHide comment)
      Still think we should dig up Diefenbaker, Draw and quarter him and after that burn him at the stake for destroying Canada's aviation industry. All the AVRO engineers went to NASA and helped the Americans putting a man on the moon.

      Isn't it ironic that Harper a conservative and Diefenbaker a conservative have sold Canada out to the Yankee Empire. And let's not forget an other conservative crook Brian Mulroney

      And Yes I know we will never ever buy a Russian plane what a pity looking at the T-50 and SU-35s. Must say though that the latest news from Northrop Grumman on their 6th generation fighter looks stunning. They also made a damned good F-14
    • avatar
      The west should be buying these instead of the flying coffin f35. What a historical pile of junk. 1.5 trillion dollars of stupid.
    • avatar
      wendigoin reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, well said. Tyler on the foxtrot alpha site has some neat stuff on the tomcat right now. The us navy planes are usually tougher than air force planes, that helps with the super hornet. After all the time and money on the old one, this one should actually be the best of the rest. What the heck does Canada need stealth and vtol for anyway? Stupid jsf pipe dream...
    • Ann in reply toAndreas Koppa(Show commentHide comment)
      Andreas Koppa, Yes, but I understand they tried it with the latest Russia models and failed. I read the customers they tried to sell the knock-offs to, insisted on Russian engines or no sale.
    • Ann in reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, If Russia and it's customers were smart, they would not allow the west to get their hands on the newest models - knowing that they may use them against them.
    • Ann in reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky, The problem with American companies like Northrop Grumman's "latest news" is that the real product doesn't live up to the hype - or the price.
    • Andreas Koppain reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
      sixpack6t9, Yes, right. They even copied the Russian tanks and sent samples (MBT-2000, up to five per country) but failed. They were bad copies that didn't match the Russian's.. Now the are trying to sell the MBT-3000 to countries interested in the Russian's T-90. In my opinion the Chinese do a better PR and marketing campaigns promoting their tanks than Russia, having some success cause their tanks are cheaper too.
    • avatar
      Selling high tech military or any other product to China? YES and NO, it depends how you contract deal with them. However we have to assume that Russia has enough experiences with China stealing technology all over the world. That is the way many decades ago Japan introduced. At the beginning Japanese products were utter junk and laughing stock. However Japan was selling them cheap as 1/4 of the original price. In Europe as well as in USA and the rest of the world people started to buy their products en mass and reason was very simple life span of the product was pretty short but for a 1/4 of the European price you could by 4 of them and they combined together would last same time as European product. Difference was that every 5 years you could buy new model and with European you had to drive it 20 years. Advantage was clearly on Japanese side despite very bad quality, but you had new model updates every 5 years. However Japanese reverse engineering started to pick up and get better every time. It was not long after that Japanese copies were always better than original as they were improves and all possible original defects removed and even improved.

      In about 20 - 25 years brand, Made in Japan from laughing stock became sign of excellency and high quality. Sadly prices changed as well and nowadays they are expensive as any equivalent of EU or USA product.

      Will the China go same way? Yes, they are well under the way and it will come time when they will started to get annoyed by other copying their tech solutions and innovations. However that time is a bit far away in this moment as China is much larger country than Japan and it will need more time to set the mentality on a new tracks, which is not to steal someone knowledge. Their biggest enemy in that respect are their own people as I read about 2 years back that Chines business society is pressing government to introduce western stile intellectual property protection as their own developments and inventions have been widely stolen by own people.

      However in this very particular moment China is still untrustworthy partner as Chinese government is still stimulating theft of intellectual property as it sees as a means of creating jobs in poorer areas and these are huge as more than 1 billion people are in these poor areas. Government policy of quiet support of theft of intellectual property is keeping low prices and offers a lot of jobs and gradual economic growth. As soon as China will become law respectful country its growth will drastically slow down as in that moment thefts will be severely punishable and that will put out of business million of small companies which were living from stealing other ideas and developments.

      That of course presents huge problem for exporters to China and as we can see from above article this theft is going on unabated on the highest governmental level. China tried to purchase 4 Su-35 for testing and evaluating purposes as they did with Su-27, S-300 and many other Russian military products. Unfortunately this kind of purchases for evaluation purpose ends as reverse engineering and copying the product. Russia learned lesson and tried to prevent by rejecting these "evaluating" purchases which only put the strain on relationship and created atmosphere of mistrust.

      No matter what China wants and needs reverse engineering as it creates new cheap knowledge base which is absolutely essential on a long run. It is absolutely clear that Russia is not interested in giving free lunch just because someone claims that is hungry. All that can be discussed is price and nothing else. We have seen that negotiations to purchase Su-35 lasted years and that it looks like Russia will get what it wants and that is Joint Venture business in China thus preventing from free proliferation of their knowledge. In that case really does not matters how many examples they buy as everything will be produced there as it is case with India.

      What happened that China all of a sudden accepted Russian conditions? South China See and USA provocations there. China desperately needs squadron of Su-35 jets to patrol the sky over the region. Su-35 is perfectly suitable for that region as it has ability of super cruise and that is important as it allows very quick arrival on the required spot. Beside that it is bloody the best combat jet on the planet and that would not just tip the balance, it would swing it in Chinese favour. China is dying to buy Russian "Khibly" and of course "Protective Dom" electronic protective systems and electronic radar disrupters which proved to be beyond USA capabilities to overcome or to match.

      Dealing with China in this moment is necessary for Russia as it means that Russia will get extra money for export and of course for China is beneficial as it will allow it to get hands on Russian High Technology and possibly in a Joint Venture learn something about it. No matter what new set of rules for dealing between them are set and it will be better for both of them as it will start to build trust and real friendly relations. Calling China friend nowadays is bad joke. China has no friends, china has only partners which are useful in one way or the other.
    • avatar
      China is buying the SU-35 because China can't make a jet engine that's worth a crap. Look at the indigenous engine they put on their new J-20 fighter. It puts out just a tiny fraction of the thrust put out by American, Russian, or British jet engines. High output turbofans are extremely complex. It's a lot harder than building a fake Rolex watch. China will probably try to reverse engineer the engines off the SU-35. The Saturn 117S is a very fine power plant. China would do well to learn its secrets. China was recently caught in a failed bid to illegally acquire a copy of the F119 and the F135 engines from Pratt & Whitney. They are pretty desperate to get their hands on a top-shelf turbofan. Buying the SU-35 is currently their most viable way to do that.

      Thrust-to-weight ratios:
      Saturn 117S _ 7 to 1
      Pratt & Whitney F119 _ 9 to 1
      Pratt & Whitney F135 _ 11 to 1 (highest ratio of any engine every built)
      Shenyang WS-10 _ 1 to 1 (just in case you're wondering, that's sadly pathetic)
    • avatar
      Because they don't cost as much as Western fighter to purchase and maintain, other wise they would be buying them up left and right.
    • These are no "Dinky Toys" like the F-35.
    • avatar
      May God bless Russia and President Putin ! ! !
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