The first batch of four multipurpose Su-35 fighter jets arrived in China, the Lenta.ru website reported quoting the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
It quoted unofficial Chinese sources as saying the aircraft arrived in China in the morning of December 25. According to Flightradar24 website, during that time the Il-76TD-90VD of the Volga-Dnepr Airlines (registration number RA-76950) flew out of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
It arrived at the Cangxian Air Base in Hebei Province where the training and test center of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Air Force is located. After that the airlifter flew to the Suixi airfield where the 6th air regiment of the 2nd division of the Chinese Air Force armed with Russian Su-27SK is located.
“The Il-76TD-90VD has likely delivered the necessary technical equipment for Su-35 and the first four Chinese Su-35 jets flew together with it from Komsomolsk-on-Amur to Suixi via Cangxian. It is likely that the 6th air regiment of the Chinese Air Force will be rearmed from Su-27SK to Su-35,” the center said.
The handover of the fighter jets to the customer is confirmed by reports on the city website of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. “The first batch of jets was initially planned to be delivered to China after the New Year, however the Russian side decided to accelerate the handover of the aircraft and fixed December 25 as the deadline. The aircraft builders observed the deadline and in the morning of December 25 four Su-35 took off from the KnAAZ (aircraft works),” the report said.
In November 2015 Russia and China signed a contract for 24 Su-35 fighter jets. The cost of the deal is estimated at not less than 2 billion dollars. The agreement also includes supplies of ground equipment and spare engines.
A source in the sphere of military-technical cooperation earlier told TASS the contract will be fulfilled in three years. Governor Vyacheslav Short of Khabarovsk region where Su-35 producer Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Works is located earlier said the enterprise will supply to China the first four aircraft by the end of the year.
However, Rostec State Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said there would be no supplies of Su-35 to China in 2016.