Asia is a key region for UAC’s Sukhoi Su-27/30, UAC’s major export best seller, with China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia operating various iteration of the fighter. Sukhoi has developed its latest variant – the Su-35 – with new avionics based on a digital control system, a new passive phased array radar with extended detection range, and new engines with thrust vector control.
The Su-35 has recently completed evaluation trials with the Russian Air Force, and delivery of the first 12 production aircraft is taking place this week. UAC expects to export about 100 out of 200 Su-35 fighters, Pogosyan says, with a sales pickup after the new jet “successfully completes the initial operation period in the Russian Air Force.”
Su-35 is being used to evaluate technologies being applied for Sukhoi’s fifth-generation T-50 aircraft, developed for the Russian Air Force under the PAK FA program. Preliminary trials involving five T-50 flight prototypes have been completed, and the aircraft is being prepared for joint evaluation trials. “We want to start the joint evaluation trials this year and to complete the first stage in 2015,” Pogosyan says. “Serial deliveries of T-50s for the Russian Air Force will start in 2016.”
The T-50 will also serve as a basis for Future Generation Fighter Aircraft developed jointly by Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). A design phase implemented on a parity basis was finished in April 2013. “The contract for the engineering phase is being prepared at the moment,” Pogosyan says, explaining that none of Russia’s competitors is ready to cooperate with India as with an equal technical partner.