The Conundrum of China Paying USD2 Billion for 24 Russian Su-35s


Su-35

Su-35

Russian Sputnik website says in its report that Russian military expert Vasiliy Kashin believes that China buys 24 Su-35s mainly for in-depth tests to study Su-35’s performance.

Russia wanted China to buy 48 Su-35s but China only wanted 2. Through 5 years prolonged hard negotiations, China and Russia finally concluded a purchase contract for 24 Su-35s at US$2 billion without transfer of any technology. That is quite expensive. However, China has made Russia agree to have some Chinese components installed in the Su-35s it provides China with. As a result, Chinese aircraft producer may take part in some parts of the manufacture processes of the fighter jets.

That proves that China buys 24 Su-35s mainly for in-depth tests to study its performance in order to facilitate accurate decisions on the direction of development of its J-11 heavy fighter, J-15 carrier-based fighter and J-16 fighter/bomber.

Note: For such study, 2 are enough. Paying $2 billion for 24, in which only 2 are needed, shows the abundance of fund Chinese military has. China does not grudge the expense in satisfying its urgent needs for military modernization. Perhaps, China did that also to help Russia who is hard up due to Western sanctions.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Bear the secret of China’s purpose in buying S-35s: To study its performance in order to facilitate development of China’s homegrown fighter jets” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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13 Comments on “The Conundrum of China Paying USD2 Billion for 24 Russian Su-35s”

  1. Steve says:

    The only possible conclusion, why did China pay 2 billion dollars without transfer of technology…

    1… China Did receive a transfer of technology for 2 billion $$$$$, but kept in confidential state secret between 2 brotherly secured neighbours – Russia and China…..Why.?

    2… Aiding Russia maintain a high sale price to other countries Without transfer of technology. Roughly, China paid $83,333,333.00 or >83 million dollars per SU35.

    3… After all, China has discovered Russia’s state secret in aircraft construction, avionics, radar
    and has reversed engineered one of the best fighter jets in the world, the SUs…There are no other countries that has reverse engineered, tested and flown the Russian SUs like China has done in decades.

    So,, why not keep it secret and raise the price without transfer of technology…brothers in arms.

    Like

  2. johnleecan says:

    I have absolutely no idea why pay US$2B without transfer of technology. Maybe for Russia not to include China on Dead Man’s Switch? Those that used to point to China are now pointed at Japan and South Korea?

    Like

  3. Joseph says:

    The Su-35 was developed at the same time China developed J-11D. Based on China’s reluctant to buy the Su-35 before only means that they are happy with J-11D. The Russian, however, needs the sale. That’s way they pursue the sale hard for years. China had resisted Russian advances to purchase the Su-35 for so long, in occasion stating that they did not need it and at times even commenting that it was outdated. So the purchase of Su-35 may be for an entirely different issue. It is possible that China wants to help the Sukhoi bureau financially so that they can continue their R&D. China did benefit from sukhoi R&D and cooperations in the past. The fact that China insists to upgrade the Su-35s with their own components only reflects that they consider the Su-35 is obsolete. They may not want the Su-35 at all, even with the purchase. I believe those components upgrade will make the Su-35s similar in performance to J-11D. In a sense, they do not purchase Su-35, they purchase Russian-made J-11Ds.

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  4. hyehope says:

    Reblogged this on HYE HOPE and commented:
    Well done !!!

    Like

  5. Steve says:

    According to reports, the Russian SU35 has better manoeuvrability, avionics, new power plant and longer range compared to say, China’s J-11D. Recent reports also indicated that China’s J-11s has improved tremendously in avionics and fire control. I believe that Russia’s main concern is the export market between the SU35 and J-11s, when China’s engineers are able to gauge the performances of both fighter planes and bring to par. In future sales, China will sell the J-11s cheaper. However, the SU35s are needed for the SCS and ECS air combat patrol. By 2017, China’s airforce will be greatly enhanced with the introduction of the J-20 stealth, All current Js, and SUs including the SU35.

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    • Anonymous says:

      China does not really need Su-35. Its pilots already trained to fly the J-16 which is equal to the Su-35. China wanted an example of a Su-35 to further improve the J-16 and other fighters.

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      • Steve says:

        Maybe, but according to China’s aviation expert ‘Mengliang’ None of the Js including J20 has actual war experience. The J-20 stealth needs technical support from 3rd generation fighters. The SU 35 has been to Syria and categorised as 4th generation and the US says they don’t have an aircraft to match the SU35 in that category. Its difficult to say that the J16 will equal the SU 35 in supermanoeuvrability because the SU 35 has being widely tested and ready for combat and export market. I am aware that the J16 has superior fire control, but as far as performances are concerned, China still require an in-depth study of the SU35 to further advance the J16, a heavy fighter. Russia don’t need the J16 to advance its SU35.

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        • T-50 says:

          The Chinese need those Russian SU35 engines to copy. The J-20s built so far are being powered by two Russian Saturn AL-31 engines and Chinese domestically built turbofans (WS-15s) have proved unreliable.. China’s jet engine development program has been stymied by manufacturing and reliability issues. They continue to stumble.

          Like

          • Joseph says:

            Again, you read only Western propaganda, which writers has no clue whatsoever. Unreliable engines, continue to stumble, yeah right. That’s what they said two years ago. Assumption, assumption. Yet, the J-20 is fitted with WS-15 with no problem. What are they going to say now? More ‘unreliable engine’ rethorics and ‘stumbling’ rethorics. Isn’t getting old? Use at least common sense, will you? Now that WS-20 is fully fitted on Y-20 with no ‘reliability’ issue, why are those propagandists being do quiet? What are going to say noe? Right, more ‘unreliability’ things. Only more quiet this time. After all, they are not paid to think, only to write.

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            • T-50 says:

              You will notice that J-20 has never been seen in a hard vertical climb. This hints at J-20 being heavy and underpowered. So far all we have seen is gentle turns. Nothing that shows the J-20 as being a agile, maneuverable aircraft associated with being a dogfighter.
              Maybe it needs vectored thrust like other fighters in its class.

              Like

              • chankaiyee2 says:

                What you do not see does not mean it does not exist.

                What you see is but Chinese military fans’ photos of J-20. No official photo or video at all as it is top secret.

                You had better remain silent instead of giving conspicuous show of your ignorance and stupidity.

                By the way, as I have pointed out in my posts that the information about WS-15 engine and the use of it in J-20 does not come from official sources. I once said that I could hardly believe that as it seemed too good.

                However, one thing is absolutely certain: China will not deploy J-20 if it fails to attain the goal of air dominance. One has to set a goal in developing a weapon for real war not for show. Understand?

                Like

              • Joseph says:

                Actually, the J-20 has never been seen to do any maneuver at all other than taxiing and photo still on the sky. So what does this fact actually telling people? Nothing. Leaving the frustrated Western analysts in the dark. So all they can do is making speculations and assumptions. Any plane can do gentle turns. It doesn’t mean that the plane can only do gentle turns. That’s the only thing the developers are willing to show people. Why would they show their secret maneuvers to prying eyes. It is not that they are trying to market the J-20 anyway.
                However, any keen expert eyes can see the evolution of the prototypes. And based on the observation of some Western analysts from Jane’s and Pop Science, they concluded the design of every prototype has matured to more agile and maneuverable design, disregarding engine performance capacity. Why would they disregard engine performance if they do not have abundant engine thrust? An underpowered plane such as the F-35 would be redesigned to reduce weight and drags, making it even smaller plane, not bigger like J-20. There are even talks to make the F-35s surveillance drone only for some ‘networked warfare’. Well, eliminating the pilot would eliminate heaps of weight mass.
                The way some Western analysts trying to denounce the J-20 alone is an indication of how spooked they are. If the J-20 does not have promising prospects, they wouldn’t bother to even take a glimpse at it. Take Russia T-50, they do not even bother to criticize it because they confidently know that it is only a lemon and no threat to any Western planes. Not to F-35, not to F-22. Not the way J-20 presents a threat. Otherwise we would have heard plenty of ‘expert’ analysts denouncing how bad and unreliable the T-50 is compared to F-35 or F-22.

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          • Steve says:

            Engine.? Still talking thru your backside. China has already developed advanced engines. Watch out for the Zhuhai Air Show. The J20, J16, J10C…may go on aerial display. If it does will be mouthwatering..This is something India finds it extremely difficult to understand why China is so fast, highly efficient and India so slow, much talk little action.

            Everyone stumbles, but the highly intellect and powerful like China picks itself up and keeps on going except for the Indian Vikrant aircraft carrier still sitting in the docks for 10 years with no improvements. No wonder India spends $8.7 billion on 36 French Dassault Rafale…. Can’t built No Vision for the future.

            Like


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