The first five Russian Su-35S fighter jets out of 24 ordered by Egypt have been spotted in the Russian city of Novosibirsk.
Unconfirmed reports on social media say the aircraft are ready for delivery to the Egyptian Air Force (EAF) and may have been photographed during test-flights.
The Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant of Sukhoi Aircraft Company manufactures the Su-35 jets.
Photographs on social media showed some of the aircraft flying low carrying serial numbers- 9210, 9211, 9212, 9213, 9214 which, the reports claim are meant for Egypt. There were no markings of the Egyptian Air Force on the fuselage or tail.
The aircraft also appear bereft of pylons or other fitments. A spot near the front fuselage, below the pilot’s canopy where airforce moniker is normally seen, has been painted in a white circle.
Russian newspaper Kommersant first reported the Su-35 contract in March 2019; that Cairo had ordered 24 aircraft jets at a price of around $2 billion. Under the delivery schedule cited in that report, the aircraft were to begin arriving in Egypt in 2020 or 2021. There is no confirmation from the Russian side regarding the price or number of planes.
The Su-35S jets are powered by two TRDDF 117S engines developed by NPO Saturn. The 117S is a development of the AL-31F engine installed on Su-27 aircraft and is distinguished by an increased afterburner (from 12,500 kgf to 14,500 kgf) and non-afterburner (from 7700 to 8800 kgf) thrust, according to Sukhoi Company information.
Its most advanced feature is the integrated digital control system, KSU-35 which is capable of taking over the automatic control of the aircraft during combat use, cross-country flight, and landing approach.
The KSU-35 limits the aircraft going beyond the permissible values of flight parameters, and also takes the aircraft away in case of a threat of collision. If one or more aircraft controls are damaged, the KSU-35 automatically compensates for the failure.
Its N135E airborne radar "Irbis-E", equipped with a phased antenna array can detect targets - up to 350 km on a target with a radar cross section of 3 m2. Electronic scanning provides simultaneous tracking of up to 30 and simultaneous firing upon 8 air targets.
The radar also has the ability to detect ground targets - simultaneously track 4 and fire on 2 of them.
The Su-35 is believed to have been deployed in action in Syria and impressed the EAF into ordering the jets.