New Orders for Sukhoi
While Russian domestic defense procurement continues to constitute the lion’s share of local defense industry sales, defense exports remain critical to maintain production volume and to finance the research and development of programs deemed essential for Russia’s defense.
The growing domestic demand comes parallel to increasing sales overseas – with the successful conclusion of deals that have been in the making for years. As India and Indonesia continue to buy SU-30 fighters, the latest variant – the SU-35 — is being completed for the Russian and Chinese Air Forces. Emerging from international sanctions, Iran is reportedly also interested in these advanced fighter jets. As for the MiG variants – the MiG-29M-2 and SMT are being fielded with the Russian and Indian Navies, while Egypt and Algeria are also interested in the MiG-35 (NATO designation – ‘Flanker F’).
The Su-35 is outfitted with many of the same electronics and weapons that will be featured in the T-50, but, with no need to be stealthy, it can carry more missiles on its 12 wing racks.
Sukhoi, which has been delivering quite a few of its Su-35 and Su-34 aircraft in recent years, is awaiting more orders for these latest models. Thirty-four Su-35s have already been delivered, with 14 more to go. The company anticipates new domestic orders for 48 aircraft, in addition to an order for 24 aircraft from China, also awaiting formal approval in Moscow.
The Su-34 appearance at MAKS 2015 was more impressive than in past events, as this year it performed with a full weapons load. Production of the Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO designation — ‘Fullback’) continues at a steady pace, with two aircraft being delivered per month for the past few months. Production of 92 aircraft began in 2012. The Su-34 is a radically redesigned variant of the Su-27, configured with a wider cockpit, with side-by-side seating, and extra-long-range mission capability. It is designed to defeat air, ground, sea and surface targets with long-range weapons weighing up to eight tons. The Su-34 is capable of operation in day, night and adverse weather conditions. It is intended to replace the Su-24 and Su-24M currently in service with the Russian Air Force.