Sukhoi has started flight tests of the first serial multipurpose fighter Su-35s
There is your answer Medo... these are the first serial production Su-35s.
BTW for those who... like me have a bit of trouble picking out the English translation:
<blockquote>MOSCOW, May 3. (ARMS-TASS). Sukhoi has started flight tests
of the first serial multipurpose fighter Su-35s.
As reported by ARMS-TASS in the press service of Sukhoi, tests were
conducted at the aerodrome of Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production
Association. Yuri Gagarin (KnAAPO).
Within a half
hours were worked out different modes of propulsion system and
integrated control system of a fighter. Test the performance of its stability and
controllability. Remarks on the operation of engines, systems
and equipment were not, the source said.
During the flight test was flown first production Su-35s
distinguished test pilot Sergei Bogdan. It was he who on Feb. 19,
2009 flew the first flight model of the Su-35. After completion of factory tests the machine will be
transferred to the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
So far, Sukhoi has successfully completed preliminary tests
Su-35/Su-35S, during which were fully confirmed by the established
technical requirements of the main characteristics of the onboard
equipment, fully tested stability and controllability characteristics,
characteristics of the power plant, the navigation system. In 2011, flight tests
fighter significantly intensified by connecting them to the additional
Su-35/Su-35S presented for joint public-test (ICG). The first step
in the framework of the ICG will receive custody of the customer - the
Russian Air Force - the aircraft under the basic requirements in order
to its delivery at the front of the Air Force.
Su-35 - is deeply modernized maneuverable multipurpose
fighter of the "4 + +". It
uses the technology of the 5-th generation, ensuring the superiority
fighter aircraft in its class.
Distinctive features of the aircraft are new
avionics based on digital information management system that integrates
systems avionics, a new radar station (radar) with a phased array with
long-range detection of air targets with an increased number of
simultaneously tracked and engaged targets (support 30 and the attack in
August air targets, as well as support for 4 and 2 attack ground
targets), the new engines with increased thrust and turning thrust
Su-35 has the broad nomenclature of
weaponry large, medium and short range. Able to carry guided air attack (TSA), anti-radar, anti-ship, general
purpose, guided aerial bombs (KAB), as well as the unmanaged ASP.
Radar visibility fighter
planes compared with the 4 th generation is reduced by several times due
to an electrically covering canopy, deposition of radio-absorbing
coating and a reduced number of speakers sensors.
Life of the aircraft -
6 thousand flight hours, service life - 30 years of operation, the
designated life of the engine with controlled nozzle - 4 thousand hours
Thanks for posting this AbsoluteZero.
It mentions the production of extra airframes speeded up testing in 2011 so I would guess they have likely produced a round figure of airframes... 4,6,8 as a first batch of 48.
Of course this aircraft is fairly fundamentally different from the other current flankers in service so these aircraft will likely go straight to a training and testing unit that will develop a new flight manual for this aircraft and a maintainence and support manual for support crews. They will also likely develop a new tactics and training manual as well to take advantage of the new weapons and sensors on the aircraft making new tactics possible.
These planes wont see normal front line service for 2-3 years.