Sukhoi Su-35, the 4++ Generation supersonic multirole Russian fighter will soon join the Egyptian Air Force. Russian news agency TASS quoted a military-diplomatic source as saying that the production of Sukhoi Su-35 jets for Egypt have started.
"The Gagarin Aircraft Plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur has launched the production of Su-35, intended to be delivered to the Egyptian Air Force under the contract signed in 2018. The timeframe for first batch’s delivery to the Egyptian side has not been set yet, due to restrictions imposed by the novel coronavirus outbreak," TASS reported on May 16, 2020, quoting the source.
According to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, Egypt signed a deal in March 2019 to buy an estimated 24 Su-35 fighters for about $2 billion. While the contract when signed stipulated that Egypt would receive the first Su-35 sometime in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the deadline being extended as several Russian defence production plants have cut down on the numbers of workers and shifts.
The Su-35, which Russia claims has several 5th Generation features, has been in service with the country's Aerospace Force since February 2014. A 30mm internal cannon along with 12 hard points to carry various missiles and bombs makes the Su-35 a formidable multirole fighter. The jet can carry 8000 kilogrammes of munitions including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, laser guided smart bombs, as well as unguided rockets.
However, unlike a true 5th Generation jet, the Su-35 fighter lacks stealth technology and an active phased array radar (APAR). The combat aircraft, which can detect targets 400 kilometres away while tracking 30 of them simultaneously and engage 8. Su-35 jets have been built to ensure air superiority as well as destroy targets in air, and on surface even under electronic countermeasures (ECM) and counter-fire environment, in any weather, day or night.
While the Russian Aerospace Force (air force) has almost 100 Su-35 jets in its arsenal, China's People's Liberation Army Air Force also operates 24 jets.