Su-35 Fighter Jets Could be Supplied to China from Russia Next Year, Official Says

December 12, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

A top official with Russian contractor Sukhoi said Russia will supply “standard” versions of the Su-35 combat aircraft to China, a report said.

Speaking with IHS Jane’s 360, Sukhoi first deputy director general Boris Bregma said that a “contract will be signed at the end of 2014 or at the beginning of 2015.”

“There are no obvious political or technical reasons hindering the signing of the contract. The only thing to be done is the elaborate consideration of some details and technical issues,” he added.

Bregma said the adaptation of the fighter jet, “Sinification,” will be performed as part of a supplementary contract. They include Chinese-language interfaces and different enhancements.

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) president Mikhail Pogosyan talked about the potential of China counterfeiting the aircraft to produce its own variants like it did with the Su-27 to make the J-11 and J-15 carrier derivative.

“It is very difficult to make a copy of a high-tech product as there is more to it than meets the eye. As of today I don’t know the cases when the copy could achieve global success on the world aircraft market,” he said.

According to AutoBlog, “There is still the potential for a hang up on the deal, as Jane’s cites industry sources that claim Russia is insisting on a minimum procurement. That number has been dropped from the original 48 aircraft, to just 24, with Russian concern that China will simply reverse-engineer the fighters (Chinese copying isn’t limited to just cars and luxury goods, the PRC is currently flying a reverse-engineered Su-27 called the Shenyang J-11).”

The Jane’s report notes that Russia is worried China might just be doing the deal to get access to the plane’s radar and engine systems.