Moscow is offering to sell more Su-35s fighters to Beijing and Chinese media reports that Beijing may accept the offer.
Chinese domestic industry is under stress to fasttrack delivery of aircrafts to the competing forces,–Chinese Air Force and Chinese Navy. Chinese efforts build a domestic engine that could power J-10, J-20 and J-15 saw many setbacks in the last decade, –the PLAAF and PLAN are expected to maintain operational efficiency through supplies from Russia and Ukraine.
China has bought 24 Su-35s in 2015 – an upgraded version of Su-27 worth $2.5 billion, according to Russian news agency TASS. “We are expecting a response from China on our offer to purchase more weapons and military equipment manufactured in Russia, including additional batches of Su-35 fighter jets,” Russia’s arms export agency Rosoboronexport told TASS.
China’s state-controlled Global Times newspaper also cited a Chinese military expert who believes there are reasons to buy the Su-35. Fu Qianshao told the Global Times that “while China could indeed buy more Su-35s, they are meant to replace older Chinese jets because China has too many old jets. The replacement will most likely be done by domestically made warplanes and Russian-made aircrafts, he said.”
For now, it may indeed make sense for China to buy fighters from Russia: the two nations, which once fought a border war and vied for supremacy in the Communist bloc, now enjoy friendly – but wary – relations as China reverse engineered Sukhoi Su-27 and made its own version of aircraft AKA J-11.
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