Coming to the South China Sea: Russia's Lethal Su-35 Fighter?
As the above was written before China’s extensive reclamation projects in the South China Sea, Wood was clearly discussing basing these planes in mainland China as close to the coast as possible. Clearly basing these planes in Beijing’s newly created airfields, with likely more airstrips to come, will magnify dramatically the impact the Su-35 would have on China enforcing its claims in the South China Sea. And if Beijing reverse-engineers them—as they have done in the past with other advanced Russian fighters—the South China Sea could be a very different place than it is today.
Harry Kazianis (@grecianformula) is the former Executive Editor of The National Interest. Kazianis presently serves as Senior Fellow (non-resident) for Defense Policy at the Center for the National Interest as well as Fellow for National Security Affairs at The Potomac Foundation. He is the editor and co-author of the Center for the National Interest report Tackling Asia’s Greatest Challenges: A U.S.-Japan-Vietnam Trilateral Report. All opinions are his own.
Image: Flickr/Dimitry Terekhov.