Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chinese pilots arrive in Russia for Su-35 training

A Su-35 fighter of the Russian Air Force. (Internet Photo)
A Su-35 fighter of the Russian Air Force. (Internet Photo)
The arrival of Chinese pilots at a Russian Air Force training center to train to fly the Su-35 fighter indicates that Russia and China have reached a consensus about when the aircraft will be turned over to the PLA Air Force, reports the state-run Global Times.

Beijing and Moscow are likely to sign the final agreement regarding the sale of 24 Su-35 fighters to China on May. 19, according to a report from Zvezda, a television network run by the Russian military. Turning over possession of the Su-35 fighters will begin in 2016. In addition to the aircraft, the engines and missiles designed for the fighter will be provided to China under another deal. China requested Russia to begin the shipment of the engines and missiles ahead of the aircraft.

Since the year of 2012, China signed two major contracts with Russia to purchase advanced weapon systems. The first contract allows China to spend US$1.3 billion to purchase 52 Mi-171 helicopters and 130 AL-31F engines. Russia then provided 10 used Il-76 cargo planes to China under the second contract. China's purchase of Su-35 from Russia is just another product of close military ties between the two nations, according to the report.

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