China has taken delivery the newt batch of the Sukhoi Su-35 “Flanker-E” fighter jets from Russia.
Live flight-tracking website Flightradar24 also noted that an Ilyushin Il-76TD transport aircraft made by Volga-Dnepr (RA-76952), a Russian charter company, departed from Komsomolsk-on-Amur making its way to Cangzhou-Cangxian Airbase in China’s northern province of Hebei, where the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) builds Su-35s.
The Il-76TD transport aircraft was accompanying the five Su-35 fighter jets. The aircraft made a flight from Russia to China in the group.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) currently possesses Su-35 “Flanker-E” fighter jets out of 24 aircraft.
China confirmed in November 2015 that it signed a $2 billion contract with Russia for the acquisition of 24 Su-35s, following more than five years of on-again, off-again negotiations for the aircraft.
On December 25, the first Su-35 “Flanker-E” fighter jets of PLAAF landed at Suixi Airbase in Guangdong Province, the nearest Chinese airbase to the South China Sea.
China bought a large number of Su-27 and Su-30 multirole fighter jets from Russia in the 1990s and early 2000s. China also has built licensed variants. These Sukhoi planes are a pillar of the PLA Air Force and the PLA Navy’s aviation wing.