Russia begins production of Egypt’s Su-35 fighter jet

Russia’s Gagarin Aircraft Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has begun serial production of Egypt’s new advanced Su-35 super flanker multirole fighter jet, signed under a 2018 contract, according to an independent Russian military source.

The timeframe for first batch’s delivery to the Egyptian side has not been set yet, due to restrictions imposed by the novel coronavirus outbreak,” the source added.

Russia’s Kommersant daily reported in March 2019 that Egypt had decided to purchase several Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets for about $2 billion.

The agreement for the supply of ‘over two dozen aircraft’ and aviation aids will amount to $2 billion. The signing of the contract was carried out at the end of 2018 and the delivery of the aircraft will begin as early as 2020-21,

Kommersant daily

Although, the deal has never been confirmed by official sources till date, the report said the signing of the contract took place sometime before the end of 2018.

The Su-35, is Russia’s most advanced operational fighter, where it has been flying combat missions against the Islamic State and anti-government rebels. Russian has placed orders for a total of 98 aircraft, the last of which are due for delivery later this year.

The Su-35S is a heavily upgraded 4++ generation supermaneuverable multipurpose fighter jet developed from the legacy Su-27 fighter jet.

The aircraft features several fifth-generation technologies, and is distinguished by its new avionics suite based on the information control system, a new radar, and plasma ignition engines of the increased capacity and thrust vectoring.

With 12 to 14 weapon hardpoints, the Su-35 is able to use K-77M radar-guided missiles that reportedly have a range of almost 200km. The jet is also armed with a 30mm cannon with 150 rounds for strafing or dogfighting. The Su-35 can reportedly carry up to 8,000kg of air-to-ground munitions.

The republic of China is the first foreign country to buy Su-35 in a $2.5-billion deal for 24 aircraft. The deal includes supplies of ground equipment and spare engines and is expected to be completed in 2019.

The reported Su-35 deal comes amid growing US pressure on countries worldwide not to buy Russian-produced arms.

The US has also warned that if Egypt goes ahead with its planned purchase of the Russian built Sukhoi Su-35 superflanker fighter jet, it could enact sanctions on Egypt through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA).

CAATSA requires the US to sanction anyone conducting transactions with the Russian intelligence and military services, including arms manufacturers.

In September 2018, the US imposed sanctions on the Chinese military’s Equipment Development Department and its director for purchasing Su-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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