China will buy 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia for around $2bn, in one of the largest military deals signed by the two companies.
The agreement builds on the deal that was signed by the two countries in 2012 allowing for China to buy fighter jets from Russia.
Russia state-owned technology company director general Rostec Sergey Chemezov was quoted by the Russian daily Kommersant: "The protracted talks on Su-35 deliveries to China have ended.
"We have signed the contract.
"China has officially become the first foreign contractor of the Su-35 aircraft. The contract has no precedents in the history of military aircraft deliveries."
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Sukhoi Company’s subsidiary The Gagarin Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association in Russia’s Far East will manufacture the 24 fighters for China, an unidentified government official told TASS news agency.
"Closed talks between representatives of China and Russia were held on Sunday in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
"These negotiations were in progress for several years, the Chinese military was interested in Su-35 fighters and the possibility of putting them into service in China.
"The contract was concluded on purchasing 24 Su-35 fighters," the source said.
The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft employing technologies of the fifth generation, and is claimed to be superior to all other fourth generation fighters under development worldwide.
The aircraft has 30 years of operational life and carries new types of air-to-air and air-to-surface guided missiles.
The maximum ordnance load of the Su-35 is 8,000kg, placed in 12 weapon stations.
Image: A Su-35 fighter from the Russian fleet. Photo: courtesy of Aleksander Markin.