China could still become Russia's first export customer for the Sukhoi Su-35 by the end of the year.

United Aircraft (UAC) chairman Yuri Slyusar on 15 June re-affirmed the Russian government's plan to complete the deal with China in 2015.

"Our position is we still believe that we will sign the contract to sell 24 aircraft [to China] this year," Slyusar told reporters at the Paris air show.

Russia and China have been negotiating the deal for several years already.

The Su-35 represents the latest version of the venerable Flanker-series of thrust-vectoring fighters.

The new model adds the Tikhomirov Irbis-E passive phased array radar and a modern cockpit.