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MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft maker confirmed on Thursday that the advanced Su-35 Flanker multi-role fighter would enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2011.

“The current progress of the Su-35 testing program confirms the earlier announced timeframe for the deliveries of the aircraft to Russian and foreign customers in 2011,” the company said in a statement.

The first two Su-35 prototypes have successfully conducted 87 flights since July 2008, demonstrating the aircraft’s superior technical and combat characteristics. (Russia’s Su-35 fighter makes first demonstration flight – Image Gallery)

Sukhoi is planning to add a Russia’s Su-35 fighter to the testing program in 2009, and boost the current number of test flights to 150-160.

The Su-35 fighter, powered by two 117S engines with thrust vectoring, combines high maneuverability and the capability to effectively engage several air targets simultaneously using both guided and unguided missiles and weapon systems.

The aircraft features the new Irbis-E radar with a phased antenna array, which allows the pilot to detect and track up to 30 air targets, while simultaneously engaging up to eight targets.

It is equipped with a 30-mm cannon with 150 rounds and can carry up to eight tons of combat payload on 12 external mounts. (VIDEO)

The company earlier said it planned to produce the new aircraft, billed as “4++ generation using fifth-generation technology,” over a period of 10 years up to 2020.

The company is expecting to export at least 160 Su-35 fighters in the future to a number of countries, including India, Malaysia and Algeria.

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