UPI reports from Moscow that Russia and China are nearing a $4 Billion (USD) deal that would supply China with 48 Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets, with one major caveat remaining:
“The sides have practically agreed on the delivery of 48 Su-35 multi-role fighters, worth $4 billion, to China,” a Russian Federation Ministry of Defense source told Kommersant business newspaper.
It is not a done deal however, as the Russian Federation is demanding that China guarantee the protection of copyrights on the production of Su-35s without proper licensing (Source: UPI).
This author finds immense humor in a world where nations believe China capable of protecting foreign copyrights and patents, and can only imagine the SU-35′s various systems being plied open and analyzed before their new birds are even “out of the box.”
Unfortunately, it may behoove Russia to bring this Su-35 deal to fruition, regardless of the ripe potential for technology theft.
Russia and China are making motions to cozy up as allies as the US turns its attention back towards the Pacific. Providing China with a fighter that’s generally considered superior to the US’s F-35 is a massive counter against East Asian nations currently considering purchases of Lockheed Martin F-35s for their countries. This deal would cause quite a sudden uptick in Chinese air power against its regional neighbors.
And that’s without even factoring in the probability of Su-35 technology being co-opted into Chinese aircraft designs…
As a final note, China has been wanting Su-35s from Russia since the first sign that Russia was ever willing sell them (early 1990s). Things have never properly coalesced. A win by China here would signify a fairly significant change in Russia’s attitude towards their Southern neighbor.
Craig was born & raised in the United States, having recently returned there after over five years in Asia. He is currently pursuing further education in the realms of East Asian Studies and Politics. Craig is an avid fan of the political, economic, and military machinations occurring throughout the Asian continent and how those turning gears affect the rest of the world. He's currently covering both North and South Korea for Asia Security Watch, enjoying shedding light on to this far-too-often ignored slice of Asia.
Craig Scanlan has 82 post(s) on Asia Security Watch