Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) handed over a new batch of Su-35S fighters to the Aerospace Forces.
State-owned Rostec said “each aircraft was tested in the air in various operating modes.”
The 4++ generation fighters built at KnAAZ were delivered as part of this year's program. The previous batch of combat aircraft was sent in 2022.
Yury Slyusar, UAC General Director, said the company received substantial funding under a state defense order, paving the way for a significant upgrade in their technical equipment and production facilities. “This allows us to increase serial production and increase production volumes,” said Slyusar.
Ukrainian Sukhois struggling to beat Russian Su-35s
A UK-based think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) published a report in November 2022 that stated, “Russian fighters have remained highly effective and lethal against Ukrainian aircraft near the frontlines throughout the war, especially the Su-35S with the R-77-1 long-range missile and, in recent months, the MiG-31BM with the R-37 very long-range missile.”
Ukrainian Su-25 pilot Oleksyi admitted to CNN in a recent interview that his forces are losing “many aircraft to these (Russian Su-35s) interceptors.”
Fighters operated by Kyiv are forced to maneuver and fly at very low altitudes to escape air-to-air missiles fired by Su-35s.
A MiG-29 fighter pilot told BBC that they must dive low to the point where they can see the treetops. “Such flights close to the surface are the most difficult…You have to concentrate very hard. And because of the low height, you don’t have the time or the space for a safe ejection.”
The Ukrainians are finding it difficult to carry out attack missions since the Su-35s are always on air patrols.
Another famous MiG-29 pilot, with his fair share of media interactions, told BBC, “Our biggest enemy is Russian Su-35 fighter jets…We know positions of [Russian] air defense, and we know their ranges. It’s quite predictable, so we can calculate how long we can stay [inside their zone]. But in the case of fighter jets, they are mobile. They have a good air picture and know when we’re flying to the front lines.”
R-37M missiles have a range of 150–200km, but Ukrainian rockets can only go up to 50km before hitting an airborne target. This means that Russian aircraft can spot Ukrainian aircraft and shoot them down before they pose any threat.
Su-57s will be delivered to Russian forces soon
Slyusar added, “this year the volume of deliveries of the fifth generation Su-57 fighters to the Russian Aerospace Forces will increase.”
The official did not say how many stealthy Su-57s will be handed over to the air force.