first_imgBeijing: China is weighing options to buy Russia’s new Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet as Moscow has identified China and India as potential customers to acquire its advanced warplane, according to a media report. Described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “the world’s best military plane”, the Su-57 is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter jet capable of both aerial combat and hitting ground and naval targets. Viktor Kladov, director of international cooperation and regional policy at Russia’s Rostec defence industrial holding company at a briefing at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia identified India and China as potential buyers, state-run Global Times reported on Monday. The Chinese air force, which currently has a range of home grown new aircraft including the stealth fighter J-20, besides Russia’s Su 35s, is keeping a close eye on India’s acquisition of France’s Rafale plane adding a new strategic dimension to its air assets. While China has been developing its own new generation military aircraft, it is still heavily reliant on Russian engines for the planes as it is yet to produce a reliant engine of its own. Both China and Pakistan rely on Russian engines for their jointly produced JF-17 Thunder. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USChinese defence analyst Wang Ya’nan, the chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge, said the Russia’s offer to sell SU-57 is more attractive to India as China has its stealth fighter. Unlike China, India does not have a fifth-generation fighter, so the Su-57 is an attractive warplane to India, he told Global Times. Wang said although he is convinced of the Su-57’s capabilities, he is less keen to see China buy it because China has already developed its own fifth-generation fighter jet J-20. Kladov said Su-57E, an export version of the Su-57, is expected to receive export approval from Putin in a few weeks. Naming China as a potential customer, he said, “China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 in China, or buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft, which could be another opportunity for the Su-57E.”last_img

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