China's People's Liberation Army Air Force must pay double what the Russian Air Force pays to purchase the country's Su-35 fighter, a source from Russia's aviation industry told the Moscow-based Vedomosti in a report published Aug. 11.
A contract for a new batch of Su-35 multirole air superiority fighters for the Russian Air Force will be signed between the Moscow-based United Aircraft Corporation and Russia's defense ministry at the opening ceremony of the Russian Worldwide Air Show, or MAKS 2015, on Aug. 25. Under the contract, UAC will supply 48 Su-35 fighters to the Russian Air Force before 2020. Sergey Shoigu, the country's defense minister, ordered that all tests and trials for the plane must be completed before the end of this year.
The total price for the 48 fighters will be US$1.58 billion, sources told the newspaper. Konstantin Makiyenko, an analyst from the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said this is the largest deal between UAC and the defense ministry this year, since the air force may not purchase additional Su-30SM fighters and Su-34 tactical bombers in near future.
Russia has also approved the sale of 24 Su-35 fighters to China for a reported price of US$1.5 billion. With China apparently made to pay double what the Russian government pays per unit, this may be one of the reasons the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on the terms of the sale.