Manufacture of Su-35 fighter jets for Egypt has commenced at the JSC Sukhoi factory in Komsomolsk sur Amour in the Russian Far East the first of which is scheduled for delivery at the end of this year.
According to a report in Menadefence, an aircraft with serial number 0641 is currently being assembled at the JSC Sukhoi factory as part of a contract execution for Egypt. It has published a photograph showing an aircraft in the assembly plant but it could not be ascertained if this was definitely a Su-35 assembly line for Egypt.
The publication also gave a reference no: CAIRO / N / AF / ROSOBORONEXPORT / 2018/10 (P / 1781811151143) of 19/03/2018, which it said was the title reference of the contract between Egypt and Russia for the supply of a number of Su-35 fighters.
In addition, a Russian website dealing with defence tenders has published a call for bids to supply electronic and connector equipment for the completion of the contract with Egypt, Menadefence said again without any attribution.
There is no confirmation from the Russian arms export agency, Rosoboronexport or the Egyptian MoD that a contract has been entered into with Egypt for the supply of Su-35 jets.
Talk of Egypt intending to buy some 20 Su-35 jets worth $2 billion (earlier reports had put the number of aircraft as 12) has been going on since 2018. At the Dubai Airshow last November, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs, Rene Clarke Cooper had said, “Egypt is aware of these risks,” (of attracting US sanctions if it buys Russian arms) .
In a later article, the Wall Street Journal revealed that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have warned Egypt against buying Russian Su-35 fighter jets.
In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had told reporters “We have been alerted by direct threats from US officials to impose sanctions on Egypt on the grounds that Cairo could get the Su-35 fighter jets.”
If indeed the Egyptian contract is underway, it will be the second country after China to acquire the Su-35, the most advanced 4th generation jets in Russian inventory.