The United Arab Emirates is reportedly interested in purchasing over a squadron of Su-35 fighter jets.
A source in the Russian military-technical sector told Tass News Agency on October 3, 2017 that the United Arab Emirates remains interested in purchasing the Su-35 and will hold discussions with Russia over the jet next month.
The source said, “They want a lot, over a squadron but the exact number will be specified in the course of negotiations that may be held in November during an air show in Dubai.”
Previous reporting has suggested the UAE wants to purchase dozens of Su-35s.
According to Tass’ source, the two sides may ink a preliminary contract by the end of the year. Tass stressed that it did not have independent confirmation of the source’s statements.
It is unclear how seriously the UAE is interested in the Su-35, especially given that the country operates Western-origin aircraft and has been reported to be considering a sizable purchase of Dassault Rafale fighter jets. Emirati purchases of Russian systems have typically been land systems, such as the BMP-3, an armored vehicle.
However, in February 2017 Emirati and Russian officials touted the potential for arm contracts between the two in the field of aircraft. The two countries intend to collaborate on a future fifth-generation fighter jet program, though the nature of the potential cooperation on that project is not clear.