Since the delivery of 17 Su-35 to the Egyptian Air Force, this has fuelled speculation that Russia will sell additional Su-35 to Iran, Egypt or Algeria. However, Egyptian newspaper Arabo reported that following Indonesia, Egypt and Algeria would no longer pursue Russia’s Su-35 4++ generation fighters. Egypt has successfully negotiated a loan agreement with France to buy additional 30 Dassault Rafale fighter jets, and Algeria would look for alternative options.
The decisions made by Algeria and Egypt have an extremely negative effect on the demand for Russian combat aircraft, which can lead to a sharp reduction in the export potential of such combat aircraft.
According to the information provided by Egyptian newspaper Arabo, earlier Algeria intended to purchase a large batch of Russian Su-35 fighters. Algeria isn’t confident about the Russian made Irbis-E active phased array radar (AFAR). Therefore, Algeria decided not to conclude a contract with Russia to supply these combat aircraft.
According to a report by the Kommersant news daily, Egypt has signed an agreement with Russia to purchase 20 to 24 Sukhoi Su-35 multi-role fighter jets worth about $2 billion. The delivery of the aircraft, including their weapon systems, will begin as early as 2020-21.
In a statement to The Arab Weekly, Said said that he expects the US Congress to discuss potential CAATSA sanctions against Cairo. The US may let the idea go in exchange for certain guarantees from Egypt.
Russia then tried to place 11 of these Su-35s in Indonesia, which had almost finalized the purchase of a batch of these heavy fighters long ago. But a few days ago, the head of the Indonesian Air Force declared that the Su-35 was excluded from the jet tender in favor of the French Rafale and the American F-15EX.
A similar situation occurred with Egypt, which was supposed to put into service a batch of at least 24 Su-35 combat aircraft. However, the situation turned out to be somewhat different — during a test battle, the French Rafale fighter jet was able to suppress the Su-35’s onboard L175M Khibiny-M electronic countermeasures system, and Irbis-E radar resulting Egyptian Air Force decision not to put the Su-35 in service and cease further negotiation on Su-35.
The Egyptian Air Force was set to become the first customer for the Su-35 in the Middle East area; however, concerns have been raised regarding the capabilities of the Su-35’s Irbis-E radar.
More and more indications indicate that Egypt will never buy additional Su-35 fighters. Global Defense Corp earlier reported that the Egyptians tested the Irbis-E radar (from the Su-35) against the electronic warfare system of the Rafale fighter, and the Rafale’s SPECTRA EW easily defeated Su-35’s onboard EW and Irbis-E radar.
The Russian side has not yet commented on the news; however, apparently, a few months ago, Algeria has cancelled the order for more than 50 Russian Su-35 fighters.
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