(Yicai Global) Dec. 15 – Russia will deliver the first four Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to China on Christmas Day, Russian news agency TASS reported. It is the most definite delivery date disclosed so far regarding a total of 24 Su-35 fighters China has agreed to buy from Russia.
"The first four Su-35 fighters will fly to China on Dec. 25," reported TASS quoting an informed source at Russia's Foreign Military Technical Cooperation Department. Russia had originally planned to start delivering the aircrafts in 2017, but decided to expedite the process and deliver the first batch before the end of the year, the agency said.
China signed a contract with Russia to purchase 24 Su-35 fighters in Nov. 2015 for a total price of USD2 billion. Under the deal, Russia will also provide ground technical support and backup aero engines. It is the biggest military trade deal between the two countries in 10 years.
Su-35 is one of the most advanced fighters owned by Russia today. With a maximum speed of about 2,500 kilometers per hour, Su-35 can fly 3,400 kilometers without aerial refueling. Its combat radius is 1,600 kilometers.
During an airshow held on Nov. 2016 in Zhuhai, southern China, Chinese and Russian officials first announced that the first four Su-35 fighters would be delivered to China later this year. A member of the Russian air force delegation also disclosed that the first group of Chinese pilots had already started Su-35 flight training in Russia.