Russia offers Sukhoi Su-35 to Turkey after US stops sale of F-35 Lightning II

Russia is willing to sell its Sukhoi Su-35 4++ Generation fighter to Turkey after the United States of America refused to sell its F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter to the European nation following the S-400 Triumf air defence missile deal. Turkey’s defence leadership is also reported to be considering Russia’s Sukhoi Su-57 and Chinese Shenyang J-31 5th Generation fighters. 

Russia’s Rostec Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said that his country is planning to negotiate a deal with Turkey for the Su-35. “If our Turkish colleagues express a desire, we are ready to work out deliveries of Su-35 fighter jets,” Russia’s Sputniknews website quoted him as saying.

The Su-35 offer comes within 24 hours of the USA throwing out Turkey from the F-35 Lightning development programme and less than 48 hours after President Donald Trump announced that the Lockheed Martin produced stealth fighter would not be sold to the NATO ally after it took deliveries of the S-400 missile system from Russia.

Turkey’s pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak had in early June 2019 reported that the country may opt for either Sukhoi Su-57 or Shenyang J-31 if the USA decided against the F-35 deal. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, had in April 2019 declared his country’s intention to go for an advanced fighter from “another place” if the USA refused to sell the F-35.

The Sukhoi Su-35 is a multi-purpose, super-manoeuvrable fighter. Russian defence experts claim the Su-35 outscores all the 4 and 4+ Generation fighters currently flying and even incorporates several 5th Generation characteristics. The fighter, which can fly at 2.25 Mach (2778 kilometres per hour), has been used extensively by the Russian Air Force in the Syrian civil war where it has successfully targeted air, ground and surface targets along with air defence systems.

Powered by two TRDDF 117S engines developed by NPO Saturn, the Su-35 can sustain supercritical angles of attack and has a maximum combat payload weight of 8,000 kilogrammes on 12 hardpoints. The aircraft also has a built-in cannon mount with a GSh-301 30mm calibre cannon with 150 rounds of ammunition for a close-range dogfight.

The fighter has the N135E “Irbis-E” phased antenna array radar which can detect aerial targets up to a range of 350 kilometres. The Su-35’s electronic scanning can track up to 30 targets and simultaneous fire at eight of them. The plane can track four targets on the ground and simultaneously engage two of them. The fighter can simultaneously fire at air and ground targets too.