China will buy more than 24 Su-35 fighters from Russia: source

China has sent a delegation to Moscow following the purchase of 24 Su-35BM fighters from Russia last year for an estimated US$1.5 billion, reports the Russian Military News Network.

A Russian Su-35 fighter. (Internet photo)
A Russian Su-35 fighter. (Internet photo)

The Chinese delegation is currently visiting the Russian capital to discuss details concerning the Su-35 contract with various Russian organizations including Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the United Aircraft Corporation and Sukhoi Company.

Sources within Rosoboronexport told the network that China will in fact purchase more than the reported 24 Su-35 fighters. However, neither Rosoboronexport nor Sukhoi Company — Russia's largest aircraft holding company — have released official statements confirming the sales.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, the deputy director of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said that an official contract has already been signed early this year for Russia to provide the aircraft to China. Dzirkaln also added that China has yet to receive permission to produce its own version of the fighter.

Military sources said that the Su-35 is the best fighter currently available and while the Chinese delegation discusses the details of the contract with their Russian counterparts, it is believed that the political decision to sell more of the aircraft to Beijing had already been made, the Russian Military News Network said.

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