21:54 GMT +313 December 2017
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    Su-35 super maneuverable multirole fighter

    Russian Su-35 May be Last Fighter Jet Imported by China as Beijing Bets on J-20

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    On December 25, China received the first shipment of Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets, as part of a deal between Moscow and Beijing on delivering a total of 24 aircraft.

    Russia and China signed a contract on the delivery of 24 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft, estimated to be worth $2 billion, in 2015.

    The S-35 is a 4++ generation, twin-engine, highly maneuverable multirole fighter jet. It has a maximum speed of 1,553 mph (2,500 kmh) with advanced dry thrust and afterburner capabilities that enhance the aircraft’s dogfighting maneuverability and semi-stealth design that makes it possibly the most lethal fighter jet in the sky.

    The fighter jet is an upgraded version of the Su-27 multirole fighter. It was first introduced to a foreign audience at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

    The Su-35 is Russia’s top air-superiority fighter, until the fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter comes into production.

    According to the Chinese newspaper The People’s Daily, the reason for such smooth procurement of the Su-35 for the Chinese military is the recent debut of the domestic-designed J-20 fifth-generation fighter.

    Of course, the deal on delivering Su-35 jets to China was a result of close military and technical cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.

    However, according to the newspaper, the Russian side expects that once the J-20 enters service with the Chinese armed forces the "Su-35 will soon lose its value in the Chinese market."

    China unveiled two Chengdu J-20 stealth fighters at the Airshow China-2016 in Zhuhai in early-November. The aircraft was developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation. The J-20 conducted its first test flight in early 2011.

    In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016
    © AP Photo/ Li Gang/Xinhua
    In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, the J-20 stealth fighter jet flies at the China's International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016

    According to Air Force Commander General Ma Xiaotian, China will not put the J-20 on the global market.

    While the detailed specifications of the new jet have been kept secret, to all appearances the jets have been designed to match the stealth capabilities of fifth-generation fighter aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russia's Sukhoi PAK FA.

    However, military experts noted that another possible reason behind China’s interest for the Su-35 is its engine, the AL-117S turbofan.

    China has put much effort in developing its own turbofan akin to the Su-35’s, known as the WS-10 turbofan, but it continues to underperform the Russian-made AL-117S. If Chinese engineers manage to reverse engineer the Russian technology they may be able to narrow the technological gap with Russia and the West.

    Related:

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    China Rules Out Selling its J-20 Fifth Generation Jet on Global Market
    Tags:
    military, Su-35, Chinese Chengdu J-20 fighter jet, China, Russia
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