SU-35BM (Bolshaya Modernizatsiya - Big Modernization) Program
The Su-35 has long been a brand name in the aviation world. Since 1992, an export version of the Su-27 fighter (created under the order of the Russian Air Force) has been demonstrated at international air shows. At the turn of the millennium, Su-35 fighters participated in the tenders of Korean and Brazilian air forces. By the mid-decade of the new century, a general concept emerged of a considerably modified Su-27 fighter, which retained the name of Su-35.
The first flight tests were foreseen for August of 2007, being operational in the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010. The first experimental Su-35, completed in summer 2007 at Komsomolsk-na-Amure Aviation Production Association (KnAAPO) first appeared at Russia's MAKS-2007 air show. Nowadays, the first flying prototype of Su-35 is undergoing ground tests. Its first flight took place on February 19, 2008. The first demonstration fight of the Su-35 on July 7, 2008 attracted much attention to this aircraft, which has been undergoing tests since February.
The latest addition to the large T-10 (Su-27) family is to become the interim fighter for the Russian Air Force before fifth-generation aircraft are launched into mass production. Following the first prototype, now on the assembly line of KnAAPO (Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aviation Production Association) are a further two examples of Su-35. Those will join the tests this year. The production and delivery of Su-35s to customers are scheduled for 2010. They will continue with the emergence of a fifth-generation fighter on the market.
The state armament program for 2006-2015, adopted in 2006, envisages mass production of the Su-35BM for the Russian Air Force, and the Defense Ministry is expected to purchase 182 of these aircraft. In addition, technology developed within the Su-35 project will be used to upgrade the Su-27s to the Su-27SM2 standard. With the Su-35 launched into mass production in 2011, the 182 aircraft ordered by the Defense Ministry would be delivered by 2020. By that time the Russian Air Force would have between 120 and 140 upgraded Su-27s and 30-40 fifth-generation fighters, enabling the Air Force to maintain its combat potential in the next 2-3 decades.
The Su-35 was offered without sucess to several countries including South Korea, UAE and Malaysia. Beyond the Russian Air Force two other countries already had demonstrated interest for the modernized Flanker monoplace, Brazil and Venezuela. It may be that it goes to obtain customers with the same ability of the Su-30. It may be that China and India will turn into customers. This model was part of the FX competition for for the new multi-function fighter for Brazil, despite of the lack of tradition of use of Russian military material for Brazil. As of early June 2002 Sukhoi's Su-35 fighter jet was said to have a "close to 90 percent" chance of being the winner in a Brazilian tender to buy up to 24 new supersonic fighters for $700 million. Sweden's Saab bid in the contest together with BAE with its Gripen fighter, while Embraer and Dassault were offering a version of Dassault's Mirage strike plane.
Sukhoi said in 2008 it planned to start deliveries of the new aircraft, billed as "4++ generation using fifth-generation technology," to the Russian Air Force and foreign clients in 2011 and produce Su-35s over a period of 10 years up to 2020. The company is planning to export at least 160 Su-35 fighters in the future to a number of countries, including India, Malaysia and Algeria.
On 02 October 2008 Sukhoi started flight tests of the second Su-35 Flanker multirole fighter to expedite the completion of the testing program. "The addition of the second aircraft to the testing program will speed up its completion and ensure the beginning of deliveries to our customers in 2011," Sukhoi said in a statement. The first Su-35 successfully completed its first 6-minute demonstration flight on 07 July 2008 and had made over 40 test flights since then. All of them confirmed superior technical and combat characteristics of the aircraft.
Different regimes of the work of power plant and integrated system for control were perfected for the hour. The stability parameters and aircraft handling, power plant were checked. There are no observations to the work of engines, systems and equipment. The deserved test pilot of the Russian Federation Sergey Bogdan piloted the aircraft. Specifically, under his control on 19 February 2008 the Su-35 for the first time was detached away from the earth.
Connection to the tests of the second aircraft will make it possible to accelerate the execution of program and to ensure the beginning of series deliveries Su-35S to Russian and foreign customers in 2011. The entering of fighter for the armament of Russian VVS will contribute to strengthening the defense capability of the country, and it will also allow Sukhoi to preserve competitive ability to the output to the market for the fighter of the fifth generation. Deliveries Su-35 for the export are planned to the countries of southeastern Asia, Africa, Near East and South America.
China confirmed a deal to buy Su-35S fighter jets from Russia on November 26, 2015. The deal made China the first foreign buyer of the Su-35, one of Russia's most advanced military aircraft, and is one of the largest contracts for military jets to have ever been signed between the two countries.
"The Su-35 fighter jet project is one of the areas in which China and Russia are willing to cooperate," said Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian in response to a question about the US$2-billion deal. The two countries will continue to enhance cooperation in military technology based on equality and mutual benefit, Wu said at a monthly press briefing 15 September 2016.
A spokeswoman for Russian state holding Rostec confirmed a deal between the two countries had been signed involving Su-35 fighter jets worth more than US$2 billion. Rostec Director-General Sergey Chemezov confirmed with the Kommersant that the contract has been signed. Rostec is the Russian high-technology state corporation. "China has officially become the first foreign contractor of the Su-35 aircraft. The contract has no precedent in the history of military aircraft deliveries," he said. "The signing of the contract is a crucial step for military trade, but we still need confirmation from China, since it's a bilateral deal," Fu Qianshao, a Beijing-based air defense expert told the Global Times 15 September 2016.
While commenting on another question about Russia's plan to provide the first round of S-400 modern anti-aircraft missile systems to China within the next 12 to 18 months, Wu said cooperation is under way according to plans. Air defense is an important part of China-Russia military technology cooperation, the spokesman added.
China reportedly purchased 24 Su-35 fighter jets for $2 billion from Russia, a move that analysts believed showed trust between the two countries and will help enhance China's military.
As -f mid-2016 it was currently in service in the Russian Air Force, which had 48 Su-35, but their number will more than double in the next five years. Russian fighter interested in and abroad. Algeria, Egypt, Venezuela and Vietnam are also potential customers.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|