The United Arab Emirates has agreed to purchase a batch of advanced Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E fighters from Russia. The two countries also recently signed an agreement to co-develop a new fifth-generation fighter.
The Flanker-E is said to be the most capable operational Russian combat aircraft which would add to the UAE's already formidable fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Block 60 Fighting Falcons.
"We signed an agreement of intent for the purchase of the Su-35," Rostec chief Sergei Chemezov told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.
Commenting on the deal, American right-wing magazine the National Interest said it was "more troubling for the United States" because it was an indication that the UAE, a long-time US ally, is drifting into Moscow's orbit.
Chemezov apparently did not offer any details about how many Su-35s the UAE has ordered or when the aircraft would be delivered.
The Su-35 is a formidable fighter. As an air-superiority fighter, its major advantages are its combination of high altitude capability and blistering speed. Overall, the Su-35 is seen as an extremely formidable machine and the Russians are starting to have success with selling it abroad.