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Russia To Sell Su-35 Advanced Fighter Planes To China

Su-35 Russian Fighter Jet
Su-35 Russian Fighter Jet

 Russia has agreed to sell 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft
to China for a projected US$1.5 billion. Russia’s Rosoboronexport and the
Chinese Ministry of National Defense are said to have reached a initial
agreement, with details discussed during a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday
between Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu and Chinese President Hu
Jintao.

Hu was accompanied by General Xu Qiliang who was appointed
one of the two vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission during the 17th
session of the seventh plenary conference earlier this month.
The 24 aircraft come equipped with the 117S engine designed
by Russian firm NPO Saturn, the Russian business daily reported.
Su-35 Russian Fighter Jet
Su-35 Russian Fighter Jet
The contract is expected to be signed next year or in 2014,
with delivery of the fighter jets starting in 2015.Beijing has yet to confirm
the deal.

Russian media reported earlier this year that Moscow had
decided against selling China the 48 so-called “fourth-plus-plus generation”
Su-35s, valued at more than US$4 billion, after Beijing requested them last
year. Analysts concluded at the time that Russia’s principal reason for not
selling the advanced multirole aircraft was the risk of Chinese reverse
engineering. Beijing had initially only requested four.

Relations were already strained after China canceled an
order for 95 Su-27s last year after it launched the production of the J-11,
which Russia alleged was a replica of the Su-27.
The spat led to Moscow’s decision not to sell carrier-based
Su-33 aircraft to the Chinese navy, which then designed its own version, the
J-15, based on a single Su-33 it obtained from Ukraine.
The Russian air force is expected to take delivery of its
first Su-35s in 2015.
China’s rapid modernization of its air force also includes
the development of two types of fifth-generation “stealth” aircraft, the J-20
and J-31.