1st-7th November 2004, Zhuhai. China

Su-27/Su-30 series aeroplanes will continue to be sought after in the marketplace through 2020 at least. This is what Aleksandr Klementyev, deputy general director and commercial director of Sukhoi company, said at Air Show China 2004.

According to Klementyev, the Su-27 fighter has a great potential in the market. Specifically, the upgraded Su-27SKM is an avenue that can be explored further with China. “We expect our efforts under this programme to bring about specific commercial rewards," said Klementyev. Commenting upon further prospects for the Su-30 multi-role fighter programme, Klementyev said that "the scope of upgrading we are going to offer for that aircraft over time will not be as extensive as that for Su-27. As of today, the Su-30MK aircraft variant being supplied to the Air Forces of People's Liberation Army of China is a state-of-the-art machine, which meets the current requirements." At the same time, A. Klementyev pointed out that "we have to be geared up for the situation expected to come about between 2010 and 2015 by the arrival of the US new-generation JSF fighter on the market. The market will produce new requirements in that period and we shall have to rise to the challenge."

According to Klementyev, "It is vital to be at all times aware of the fact that new generation aircraft are developed with long-range aims in view rather than in order to provide a ‘stop-gap’ solution for 4th and 4th+ generation planes." For example, the first delivery of Su-27 aircraft to China took place in 1993. Those were "brand-new" machines, which have not been overhauled until now. The fighters that Sukhoi has supplied to China since 2000 are aeroplanes at the very start of their life cycle with life expectancy of over 20 years. Moreover, they have a very high upgrade potential. "We will certainly offer plans for their upgrading based on new generation aircraft solutions currently on the drawing board," Klementyev said in conclusion.

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