China has dispatched Russia-made Su-35 advanced fighters for joint combat cruise missions in South China Sea, in response to provocation by the US in January, the People's Liberation Army Air Force announced on Wednesday.
This is a pragmatic action for the air force to fulfill its mission in the new era and conduct a combat training military exercise," according to a notice on the PLA Air Force official Weibo social media account, Global Times reports.
The US had sent destroyers last month to the South China Sea, challenging China's claims in the region. "The appearance of advanced PLA fighter jets, capable of attacking surface combat vessels in this region is sort of a reaction to the provocation by the US," Xu Guangyu, a retired major general and senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times.
China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
According to Xu, Su-35 fighters are more advanced than locally made aircraft for now. "Apart from the most advanced J-20, a China-made fourth generation stealth fighter jet, the Su-35 is more advanced than other Chinese fighter jets at this moment," Xu noted.
China reportedly bought 24 Su-35 fighter jets for $2 billion from Russia in 2015. Russia sent 10 Su-35 fighter jets to China, TASS reported in December, citing a source familiar with Russia's military. They followed a first batch of four fighters in 2016.
Although the air force did not reveal where the jets are deployed, if they land on a South China Sea island that could act as a significant deterrent to any outside forces trying to disturb the regional stability, Xu added.
Indonesias newly appointed Air Force Chief of staff Air Marshall Yuyu Sutisna has sworn to purchase Russias advanced Su-35 fighter jets at the earliest. Speaking after his inauguration at the State Palace on Wednesday, Yuyu told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday: "I want the Sukhoi [purchase contract] to be signed as soon as possible, hopefully this month"
Russia has sent the second batch of 10 Su-35 fighter jets to China under a 2015 contract to supply 24 fighter jets TASS reported an unnamed source from Russias military and technical cooperation agency. "Another batch of 10 aircraft has been sent to the customer
Russia will possibly supply second batch of ten Su-35 fighter jets to China this year and similarly another ten in 2018. Already the first four vehicles were supplied in late last year,
Chinese Su-35 jets contracted from Russia have been offered the Irbis-E radar and RSUO weapons control system which will transform the fighter jets into formidable airborne killing machines. Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET), part of State Corporation Rostec, is ready to provide new Irbis-E radar control systems for Su-35 fighters that will be exported from Russia
China today demonstrated its ability to operate long range strategic bombers far away from its shore by landing them in its disputed South China Sea Islands. Several H-6Ks from an unidentified aviation division, headed by division commander Hao Jianke, took off from an undisclosed air base in South China and made a simulated strike against sea targets before landing on an island in the South China Sea, according to a statement published by the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Friday
Chinese air force pilots of Sukhoi Su-35 and Su-30 fighter jets and H-6K bombers conducted combat exercises over the western Pacific Ocean and South China Sea recently, local media reports. According to spokesman, Senior Colonel Shen Jink, the People's Liberation Army Air Force conducted the exercises in two groups
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