Pakistan confirms Su 35 talks with Russia
Officials from Pakistan confirmed to IHS Janes that they were in talks with the Russian arms supplier Rosoboronexport to sell unknown numbers of Su 35 S fighters, the information was first leaked by the Russian deputy foreign minister Sergi Ryankov that Russia and Islamabad in talks to supply Su 35 Multi role combat aircraft to the Pakistani Air force, earlier many times Pakistani air force officials talks about the need of twin engine aircraft to counter Indian Air force, the Pakistani officials didn't says about exact timeline of new fighters jets induction, however it's believed they get modern twin engine fighters before 2020.
The Pakistani air force so far flying only single engine Fighters, which lacks combat radius, sortie rate and survival probability, PAF has a Fleet of modern F 16 Blk 52 fighters, Chinese and Pakistani made JF 17, and older Mirage III and some Russian origin Chinese modified MiG 21's dubbed as F 7, and France almost stopped it's support to the Mirage platforms, so they have to relies on the F 16 fighter jets, where they get offset and maintenance support from Turkey, even if the US stopped the support,
As new generation comes, the PAF yet to matured to operate in a long range twin engine heavy fighters, as first they sought the Chinese J 31 fifth generation fighters, the J 31 program is hits a road block after the first flight in 2012, there is no clear progress made in the J 31, while China continuously working on the J 20, as per Initial plans the PAF intended to buy some two squadrons of FC 31, a degraded version of J 31 made by the Chinese, also the Pakistani officials not interested in the Kilmov RD 93 Engines, so they have to move on some other platforms, after many rounds of Talks the PAF Finally selects the Su 35 S Multi role fighter for it's future induction program.
The PAF has a sight of dominance in the Arabian Sea, where The Indian Navy and Air force always enjoy freedom of Navigation, so far PAF has no real fighters that can bolster the Arabian sea, the F 16 lacks of Range and has no Anti shipping missiles, meantime the JF 17 has such capabilities, JF 17 is capable to carry YJ 12 based Anti shipping missile, however it's lack of range and questions about it's sea skimming capability, So PAF need a good a good fighter that can capable to launch proven Anti shipping missile from stand off Ranges, the Su 35 S with Kh 35 is a good option for them, and Russia can ready to sell those missiles to Pakistan if they were willing to pay the money. which helps them to secure the Pakistani Ports from Indian Naval Attack in case of war,
As per Pakistani analysts, the PAF may get only one squadron of Su 35 S fighters with the Service availability rate of 60% at any time, due to the maintenance issue and cost factors, It's hard to establish a data link between Friendly fighter jets from PAF for situation awareness and co operation, so It's clear the PAF Su 35 may work stand alone mode, a four finger formation of Su 35 fighter is a good show off against any modern Fighter jets, two set of four finger is more enough to pose good deterrence in peacetime asymmetric warfare.
Meanwhile the Chinese and the Indonesians are the other customers of Su 35, where all of them will buy only two or less squadrons, and Pakistan also gets the reservation, more over it's a good export opportunity for Russia, all these orders would give some $5 billions, while each Su 35 costs some $60 millions, while Pakistan can get some twenty Su 35 S fighters, missiles, offsite support, maintenance, and Spare parts for $1.5 billions, not a big money to spend Pakistan in three years due.
Those Su 35 S surely pose an threat to Marginal IAF fighter aircraft's. where the current IAF Fighters can keep the Pakistani Air force to keep their fighters in Hanger, the Sukhoi and MiG fleet can control the entire Pakistani Airspace and destroy any PAF fighters if they tries to take off from the runway, if they gets the advanced Su 35 they will never hesitate to confront the IAF fleet, due to it's long range combat radius and radar detecting capability, they can easily pose a show off against Indian fleet at any time.