China Could Soon Be Flying Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter

Mark Episkopos
·1 min read

Key point: The Chinese are interested in the Su-57 for training and R&D purposes.

Having formally cleared the Su-57 for export earlier this month, Russia is poised to pitch their fifth-generation fighter to China.

Speaking at the LIMA-2019 Aerospace and Maritime exhibition, Rostec official Viktor Kladov looked to the future of the Sino-Russian arms trade: "China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 within China, or to buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This could be another opportunity for the Su-57E."

It is not yet clear how, or if, the “Su-57E” export variant differs from the base Su-57 design; those answers could be forthcoming at this year’s Dubai Airshow, hinted Kladov.

As the Su-57 enters serial production with the first unit to be delivered later this year, Rosoboronexport—Russia’s state exporting agency—has begun the lengthy, complex process of negotiating contracts with major prospective clients.

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