Sale of Su-35 jets to China delayed by price objections

Russia’s sale of 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters to China may be postponed because the PLA Air Force feels the price is too high, according to Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.

PLAAF Su-35_

A Su-35 gives a demonstration flight in Zhuhai on Nov. 10, 2014, a day before the Zhuhai Airshow’s official opening. (Photo by Xinhua)

Xu Yongling, a retired officer of the PLA Air Force, complained about the attitude of the Russian delegation on his Weibo microblog. “Those Russians are crazy for money, the only thing they are thinking about is to extort China,” Xu said. “However, they have miscalculated this time because China no longer needs their technology any more and they will absolutely suffer from this price war.”

The Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation was the first Russian government agency to confirm that Beijing and Moscow are discussing the sale of the Su-35 to China. Earlier reports indicated that China originally wanted only four Su-35s to gain the technology it needs to design engine for its advanced fighter program in the future. Russia wanted China to purchase 48 aircraft instead, not only to make more money but also out of concerns that China would back engineer the aircraft to make its own version, as has happened in the past.

In November 2012, an agreement was finally reached for China to purchase 24 Su-35 fighters. The Su-35 was demonstrated at the Zhuhai Airshow in Guangdong late last year.

Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian deputy prime minister, claimed that the contract would be signed in December. However, Alexander Fomin, the director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, confirmed that the contract has not yet been signed as of March 27.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Russian side raised objections during the negotiations. While Beijing wanted Sukhoi to design a tailored version of the Su-35, Moscow insisted on providing a standard model for the initial deliveries. Meanwhile, Russia also agreed to work with India, a rival and potential enemy for China, to jointly develop a new version of the aircraft. This may be another reason for the delay in the sale to China.

Source: By / April 9, 2015

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