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China to buy Russian Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighter for rearward firing capability

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World Air Force News - Russia - China
 
 
China to buy Russian Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighter for rearward firing capability.
 
China has decided to purchase Su-35 fighter from Russia because it is able to launch rearward-firing missiles, according to senior colonel Wu Guohui, an associate professor at Beijing's National Defense University.
     
China has decided to purchase Su-35 fighter from Russia because it is able to launch rearward-firing missiles, according to senior colonel Wu Guohui, an associate professor at Beijing's National Defense University.
Sukhoi Su-35S (Photo credit: Russian Air Force)
     

The Russia-designed R-73M2, R-74ME missiles, US-designed by AIM-9X and the China-designed PL-10 all have the capability of being launched against enemy aircraft from the back of the aircraft, according to the Party-run People's Daily. The missile has a "nose cone" over the rocket engine and modified fins to prevent instability problems while briefly flying backwards after launch.

The birth of rearward-firing missiles has changed the concept of aerial warfare, according to Wu. In regular air-to-air combat, a fighter must shoot down its enemy from behind. With rearward-firing missiles and a a rearview display mounted on the helmet of the pilot, fighter pilots in the future can attack their target from the front.

China has no proper fighter yet capable of launching such a missile during actual combat. The Su-35 will be incorporated into the PLA Air Force to help pilots and the aviation industry get a feel for the new mode of combat. In the future, China will be able to make its own modifications from the Su-35 model.