PARIS -- Russian aerospace giant United Aircraft Corp. plans to ink a deal this year to supply the Chinese military with two dozen Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter jets, an official said.
When asked for the status of the talks between the two countries on the sale, Yuri Slyusar, the head of the Moscow-maker of civilian and military aircraft confirmed the pending agreement this week at the Paris Air Show, held outside the city at the historic Le Bourget airfield. Sukhoi is a subsidiary of United Aircraft.
"The question should go to the federal service on military cooperation, not us," he said during a briefing with reporters. "Our position is that we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft this year."
China recently conducted the first test flight of the J-11D, an upgraded version of the J-11B that's based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-27. But the People's Liberation Army Air Force still wants the twin-engine Su-35, reportedly to go up against Japan's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and India's Su-30MKO and T-50 aircraft.
In information distributed at the show, United Aircraft said the Su-35 "4++" generation fighter is one of the company's "top priority programs."
Recent flight and weapons testing showed the Su-35 not only meets specifications, but also performs better than other fourth-generation fighters, including the U.S.-made F-15, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft -- even the new F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter, according to a fact-sheet. "Thus, it is a potent rival to the F-22A aircraft," it states.
The Su-35 is being outfitted with new engines, avionics and other systems from Russia's own fifth-generation fighter program, the T-50 PAK-FA.