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Russia tried to sell its Su-35s in the Middle East. There was no interest

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The head of the Rosoboronexport concern admitted that there are problems with the sale of Su-35 multi-role fighters, writes the Ukrainian military portal Defense Express. “This is not the first export failure of this fighter,” the service adds.

Russia actively promotes the Su-35 fighter in the Middle East, but in 2021, contacts with the United Arab Emirates regarding the supply of such aircraft have ceased – writes Defense Express, referring to Tuesday’s statement by Alexander Mikheev, the head of the Rosoboronexport concern.

And this is not the first export failure of this fighter – adds the Ukrainian portal, which cooperates, among others, with the National Security and Defense Council Ukraine and arms companies in Kiev.

Russian Su-35 fighter. Illustrative photo mil.ru

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‘Highly effective in real combat’

– Su-35 fighters have proven to be highly effective in real combat, in conditions of serious counteractions from electronic warfare and air defense systems – said Mikheyev during the international fair Dubai Airshow 2023. – We are actively promoting the Su-35 on the world market, in the countries of the Middle East, and we flexibly adapt to the needs of potential customers. When it comes to United Arab Emirateswe have not had any contacts on this matter since 2021 – he admitted.

Russian propagandists quoted his full statement, Defense Express points out. As he notes, Mikheev’s words show that at this stage the Russians rather acknowledged their export failure of the Su-35.

“Apart from the Russian Federation, the only users of such aircraft are China (which has 24 machines) and de facto Iran. At the same time, the list of countries that were initially interested in the Su-35 and then changed their mind about purchasing it is quite extensive,” writes the portal.

Russian fighters during exercises (archive video)Reuters Archive

They changed their mind

This list includes, among others Egypt, which in 2018 ordered the delivery of 24 Su-35s as part of a $2 billion contract but later declined to purchase. In January last year Algeria suddenly changed its mind about purchasing fighters of this type, and the following month, in February 2022, Indonesia, Defense Express recalled.

In January this year, the independent Russian-language website The Moscow Times, citing reports from the Tasnim agency, wrote that Iran confirmed for the first time the information about the purchase of Su-35 fighters from Russia. The planes were to be delivered to this country at the beginning of the new year according to the Iranian calendar, i.e. after March 21.

The Moscow Times reminds that, according to Western intelligence findings, Russia intended to transfer 24 Su-35 fighters to Iran in exchange for Shahed kamikaze drones, which are used to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. These planes were originally supposed to go to Egypt, but Cairo decided not to purchase them under pressure from the United States, which threatened sanctions, wrote The Moscow Times.

Defense Express, The Moscow Times

Main photo source: mil.ru

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