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    Washington kicked Turkey out of Lockheed’s F-35 programme this past summer, after Ankara began accepting delivery of its Russian-made S-400 air defence systems, which the Pentagon claimed might compromise the F-35’s security.

    A Russian Su-35 fighter jet has arrived in Istanbul, Turkey to take part in the upcoming Teknofest Istanbul Aerospace and Technology Festival, set to begin on Tuesday and run for a week, a source from Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation has confirmed.

    According to Russian media, the fighter jet made its way to Turkey independently, landing at Ataturk Airport, where the airshow will be held. In addition to the Su-35, Russian aircraft manufacturers plan to show off other planes, including the MC-21 medium-range airliner (a plane which Turkey has already expressed interest in), as well as the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and the Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft.

    Unauthenticated photos and video footage of the Su-35 in Istanbul show that it apparently has sortie markings under its cockpit, with some observers speculating that this particular airplane may have flown strike sorties in Syria. Four Su-35S fighters had been deployed to the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria as part of Russia’s anti-terrorist operations in that country.

    Turkey has expressed an interest in Russian fighter aircraft, including Sukhoi’s 4++ generation Su-35 and the new fifth-gen Su-57 stealth fighter, following Washington’s decision not to follow through with the delivery of F-35s to its NATO ally after Turkey’s refusal to scrap its S-400 air defence system deal with Russia.

    Last month, after a visit to an air show in Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that Turkey may opt to buy a Russian fighter for its air force in place of the F-35. Earlier this month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of defence and aerospace Yuri Borisov expressed hope that the Su-35 or Su-57 might interest the Turkish side, and said the decision was Turkey’s to make. Erdogan has said that Turkey would be putting its conditions on loans and joint production for buying a Russian fighter, possibly the Su-57, on the negotiating table.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspect a Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter during the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 27, 2019
    © REUTERS / Maxim Shipenkov/Pool
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inspect a Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter during the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Russia, August 27, 2019

    The Su-35 is a single-seat, twin-engined supermaneuverable aircraft designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in the late 1980s, and is designated as a 4++ generation aircraft for its use of a number of fifth-generation jetfighter technologies, including advanced avionics, thrust-vectoring engines, improved weapon control, and advanced radar. The Russian military has 84 Su-35s in its inventory, and plans to order more, with China buying 24 of the planes and Indonesia having 11 on order. The UAE, India, Egypt and Brazil have also previously expressed interest in the Su-35.

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