The newest and most powerful Russian fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57 can be sold to China. According with Viktor Klavov, director of international cooperation and regional policy at Russia’s Rostec defense industrial holding company, the Chinese may be interested in the Su-57E, its export version.
“China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years will either make an additional search for Su-35s, build the Su-35 in China, or buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which could be another opportunity for the Su-57E, “said the executive at a conference during the Lima’19, an air show held in Malaysia..
The sale of Su-57 to overseas customers still needs the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which should not be an obstacle. The country’s strategy is to re-expand its influence as an exporter of advanced weapons, reduced after the fall of the Soviet Union.
First Russian 5th generation fighter, the Su-57 had a long developmental period, but last year it even participated in missions in Syria. The Russian Air Force has ordered 12 aircraft that will be received in the coming years.
China’s potential interest in Sukhoi, however, is surprising as China is developing its own fifth-generation fighters like the Chengdu J-20, whose first squad was declared operational by the end of 2018.
There is also another project with good chances of being used by the Chinese Navy, the Shenyang FC-31, also called the J-31, stealth fighter with similarities to the US F-22 Raptor.
Beyond China, Rostec would be talking to Indian officials who are also looking for a 5th generation fighter. In that case, perhaps Russia might have competition from the Chinese as well.