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UAE reportedly planning to sign Su-35 contract in 2017

The Russian News Agency TASS reports (citing an unnamed source) that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning to sign a contract for “over a squadron” of Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E multi-role fighters from the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) in 2017.

“They want a lot, over a squadron but the exact number will be specified in the course of negotiations that may be held in November during an air show in Dubai,” said a source speaking to TASS.

In April, the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov reportedly stated that the UAE was engaging Russia for “several dozen” Su-35s. Manturov was quoted saying that the UAE received technical documentation and information for assessing the Su-35.

The Su-35 is the latest version of the Su-27-based Flanker. The twin-engine fighter is powered by two 117S turbofan engines, which Sukhoi claims are a substantial improvement in thrust and efficiency to the AL-31F. The Su-35’s electronics suite is centered on the Irbis-E passive electronically-scanned array radar.

As per Sukhoi, the Irbis-E can detect 3m2 RCS (radar cross-section) targets at up to 400 km. The Su-35 has a maximum payload of 8,000 kg, which is deliverable through 12 external hardpoints.

Notes & Comments:

Emirati interest in the Su-35 has not been confirmed officially, but at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), which took place in February, the UAE signed a cooperation agreement with UAC to collaborate on the development of a lightweight next-generation fighter (the project is different from PAK-FA).Thus, the UAE is – or at least was – officially engaged with Russia on combat aircraft programs.

If the Su-35 news is accurate and/or the next-generation fighter program initiated, it would underscore a clear variance from the regional – specifically Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – trends in airpower growth. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain have invested in U.S. and European platforms, while the UAE could potentially be looking at staking a part of its development on Eastern systems.

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  • by Shershahsuri
    Posted October 4, 2017 4:57 am 0Likes

    All doors are open to oil rich shiekhs. Europe, US and now Russia—- all can fish in the Gulf waters. Just a small missile test in Iran, and Shiekhs run to Europe and US to sign billion dollars deals of Arms.

  • by Augustine
    Posted October 4, 2017 6:13 pm 0Likes

    I dont know why air forces and defence analysts worldwide are fanatically in love with Su-35, the MiG-35 is superior….until Flanker E gets AESA radar, Fulcrum F is boss of Russian jets 4++ Gen equal to Rafale despite the MiG being less than half the price of a Rafale. NAF has publicly declared interest in new MiGs through the defence minister as addition to the JF-17 Thunder. I hope its not the failure MiG-29 that lost every battle in its shameful history with its useless pulse doppler radar that can only defeat MiG-23.

  • by Augustine
    Posted October 4, 2017 6:35 pm 0Likes

    Methinks Russia deliberately slows down ongoing development of all her four different stealth jets because Moscow has silently made more progress than China in performance tests of the new 5th Gen stealth aircraft detecting Russian terahertz radar. When scan results show your wife is pregnant with a giant killer kicking fine in her womb, you reduce wasteful spending on feeding your big stomach giant sons.

  • by Augustine
    Posted October 6, 2017 11:45 am 0Likes

    @Suyash Singh the typical rude Indian, you think am a fool? I studied war history as a part of my official career. Who told you all MiG-29 lost battles were with Fulcrums flown by poorly trained Middle East Arab pilots? (1) Iraqi MiG-29 pilots were Russian trained and had superb 8 year war experience against Iran that flew American F-14 Tomcats with pilots trained in USA and shot down F-14 jets. (2) Eritrean MiG-29 pilots were European mercenary pilots and they lost to fellow European mercenary pilots not Americans (3) Serbian MiG-29 pilots are white Europeans not Arabs. Keep defending MiG-29 because Indian air force flies them, Pakistani F-16 will most likely shoot down your MiGs as proved ny war history. You see how you failed air combat analysis woefully? Now between you and I who is smarter? I dont want to call people fools on this Quwa platform.

  • by Faisal
    Posted October 6, 2017 4:03 pm 0Likes

    I can see oil sitting close to 50$. If it continues , I think all fascination for American equipment will vanish. Also once oil is not that important and many players are in the market, Saudi will not be that important for US.

  • by TZK
    Posted October 7, 2017 10:53 am 0Likes

    SU-35 is a long range air superiority fighter similar to the F15. Unless UAE is contemplating extending its territory it is probably an overkill. Their current inventory of F16’s and Mirage 2000 probably more than adequate but if they really wanted to buy a big ticket item from Russia s400 would have been better to counter any Iranian missile threat.

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