Sukhoi Su-35, the 4++ Generation fighter aircraft from Russia, will soon join the United Arab Emirates Air Force. Russia and UAE are busy concluding the delivery schedule of the single-seater supersonic Su-35 fighters. Russia and UAE are also exploring the possibility of jointly developing a 5th Generation light combat fighter jet for the latter
"Talks on the delivery of Su-35 fighter jets and the development of a 5th Generation light combat fighter in the interest of the UAE are continuing," said Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation head Dmitry Shugaev on Sunday at the Dubai Air Show.
Su-35 is a supersonic jet with supermanoeuverability even at low speeds and the UAE is keen on buying over one squadron of the advanced fighters for its air force. Russia and UAE are likely to sign the final contract for the Su-35s before the end of 2019.
However, the exact number of Su-35s that UAE will buy will be disclosed only after the contract is signed. A fighter squadron of the UAE has over 20 combat aircraft. Currently the Su-35 is in service with the defence forces of Russia and China while Malaysia has placed an order of 11 aircraft.
Powered by two Saturn AL-41F1S afterburning turbofan engines, the Su-35 is capable of flying at a maximum speed of 2,400 kilometres per hour and has a range of 3,600 km. The aircraft's combat range is 1,600 km and it can carry bombs and missiles on 12 hardpoints. The aircraft also has one internal 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 autocannon with 150 rounds.
The two countries had in 2017 decided to develop a 5th Generation fighter based on the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 jet. At the time, Sergey Chemezov, the head of the Russian defence giant Rostec, which is developing the project with the UAE Defence Ministry, said it would take seven years to build the jet.
Russia has displayed its latest weapon systems at the Dubai Air Show. The combat aircraft on display include the Su-57E 5th Generation multirole stealth jet, Su-35 and MiG-35. The other aircraft on display are Ilyushin Il-112VE light military transport aircraft, Mil Mi-28NE combat helicopter and Mil Mi-171Sh utility helicopter.