Ever since the India-China border clash broke out, New Delhi has been aggressively procuring military equipment to boost its defence. After the deal to acquire 36 Rafale jets, India still needs to procure modern combat jets which could include additional Rafales, Russian heavyweight jets like Su-35s or American jets including F-21s.
Last year, Russia had offered to work with India as a Strategic Partner (SP) under Make in India Initiative when the MiG and Sukhoi series were competing for IAF’s massive contract for 114 jets. Russia had chosen to collaborate with the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. as its SP.
Russia considered Su-35 as an interim solution; as a state-of-art air superiority fighter to sustain the Russian Aerospace Forces through the 2010s until the Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter enters serial production.
However, the Su-35 has been very successful, almost too successful for its own good that it appeared to tarnish the reputation its more expensive Su-57 successor. According to defence experts, at full power, the radar of Su-35 can detect an F-35 at a distance of 58-km and in the tracking mode, the distance drops to 29km.