3.15.2012

Russia Poised to Sell Fleet of Su-35's to China

The $4 billion deal will see 48 Sukhoi-35 Flanker-E advanced 4th-generation multirole fighters delivered to China equipped with 5th-generation technology. While Chinese officials have denied any such deal in the works, other reports indicate that the deal is all but assured. Both sides have something to gain and something to lose from any such deal, which might explain the secrecy.

Russia lost out to French competitor Rafale in a competition to build a new fighter for India, so this lucrative contract could be tempting for the Russians. On the other hand, Russia has been out-flanked before in weapons deals with China, and the two nations have never enjoyed what might be considered a secure or stable relationship, so there are matters of security to consider in sharing such advanced technology.

For their part, China would essentially be admitting that their advanced 5th-generation J-20 project was not going as well as planned. Which means of course that the Su-35 deal would fill an important role in their military capabilities while at the same time creating a loss of face for China and their own domestic capabilities. It has been suggested that China may be trying to acquire the Flankers in order to pirate the power-plant tech, a long time weakness in their aerospace industry and possibly a stalling point in making the J-20 a practical production model. 

You can read more about this story here:

Should Russia Sell Su-35 to China?

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