February 21, 2008

Russian Air Force to receive new Su-35 fighters by 2011

14:43 | 20/ 02/ 2008

ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), February 20 (RIA Novosti) - The new Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighter will be put into service with the Russian Air Force in two-three years, the head of the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said on Wednesday.

The Su-35 is an advanced air superiority fighter powered by two AL-37F engines. It combines high maneuverability and the capacity to intercept air targets with ground and sea attack capability using both unguided and guided, including high precision, weapons.

"I think we will start deliveries of the Su-35 to the Russian Air Force in 2010-2011. We are also planning to promote this fighter on our traditional markets in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America," Mikhail Pogosyan said.

The Sukhoi said the price for the new fighter "will be quite competitive."

"I am certain that we will be able to keep the competitive edge while reducing the price [of the aircraft]," he said.

Pogosyan said the first prototype Su-35 successfully completed flight tests on February 18, and two more aircraft were being prepared for similar tests at an aircraft manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.

"The tests met our expectations; all systems performed in line with specifications," he said.

According to Pogosyan, the Su-35 is the first step toward the development of the fifth-generation fighter and its electronics allow testing of equipment to be installed on future aircraft.

"The full development cycle for the [fifth-generation] aircraft takes 7-10 years. We have walked a third of the road," Pogosyan said, adding that the first prototype of the fifth-generation fighter would be built in the next few years.

Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), is planning to export over 40 combat aircraft in 2008, the company head said.

In 2007, Sukhoi exported about 50 Su-30MK2, Su-30MKM and Su-30MKI aircraft in addition to spare parts for aircraft sold earlier to Algeria, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Venezuela.

The company said on January 30 that its overall sales in 2007 exceeded 50 billion rubles (over $2 billion).

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