Military Aviation

Here’s why Egypt will never receive Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets (and why there’s no confirmation for any of reports about Algeria or Iran “taking them instead”)

Word is the Egyptians tested an Irbis-E radar (from the Su-35) against Rafale’s ECM-system, and the latter easily overpowered the former.

I really do not like playing a party crusher, but there’re ever more indications that Egypt is never going to get any Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets.

By side the US pressure – which, certainly enough, was crucial (why should Washington continue providing US$ 3 billion aid to Cairo (incl. about US1.7 billion military aid), if the latter goes buying Russian combat aircraft) – but, word is the Egyptians tested an Irbis-E radar (from the Su-35) against Rafale‘s ECM-system, and the latter easily overpowered the former.

Thus, think, the jets parked there in Komsomolsk-on-Amur are going to remain where they are for a while longer (and regardless what national markings and serials they ‘already’ wear).

The Egyptian Air Force had to become the first customer for the Su-35 in the Middle East area, following the signing of a contract in 2018 (not confirmed until May 2020), comprising the delivery of 24/26 aircraft for approximately USD 3 billion. In fact, as the photo below shows, at least 11 aircraft were already manufactured and ready for delivery, but Egypt never received them.

And before any of fan-boys get hysteric… There’s no confirmation for any of reports about ‘Algeria taking them instead’ or ‘Iran taking them instead’.

Large parts of the Algerian armed forces are mid through a change-of-command, plus the local law dictates flight-testing in Algeria before any kind of orders. And… Well, so far there was no flight-testing of Su-35s in Algeria (i.e., this story reminds strongly of the Su-34-hysteria).

… And in the case of Iran: I would first like to hear that the IRGC has granted permission for the IRIAF to get that kind of stuff, and then that Tehran actually has the necessary money – before making any kind of useful conclusions.

Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper.

Photo credit: Russian Federation via Wikipedia and Unknown

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017. tom@acig.info

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