Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Russia may sign first Su-35 warplane export deal by year end

Russia could sign its first contract for the export of Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets by the end of the year, a deputy head of Russia's state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Farnborough International Air Show that is underway near London, Alexander Mikheyev said several countries were interested in buying the jets. A draft contract had already been agreed with Libya, he said.

The Su-35 Flanker-E, a modification of the Su-27, is a heavy class, long-range, multi-role fighter, whose technical characteristics can be compared with those of fifth-generation jets.

The plane is equipped with an advanced passive electronically scanned array radar and digital fly-by-wire and a rear-looking radar for firing Semi-Active Radar missiles. It is designed to carry 8 tons of weapons for a distance of up to 3,550 kilometers (2,200 miles) without outboard tanks.

The first modernized Su-35 was presented at the 2007 MAKS air show outside Moscow. The Russian Defense Ministry signed a deal with the plane's producer, the Sukhoi Aircraft Design Bureau, on the purchase of 48 modernized Su-35 jets at last year's MAKS air show.

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