Medvedev makes sales pitch for Russian warplane

 MOSCOW: Russia would like to expand sales of such warplanes as the Su-34 throughout the world, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Chinese TV released on Monday.
Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback, an advanced two-seat fighter-bomber and attack aircraft, was flown by Medvedev in March.
The president told China Central TV his flight was supposed to "deliver several messages."
He said he wanted to "learn firsthand about the potential of Russian equipment," and was able to see for himself that "this equipment is really great."
He added that as commander in chief, he wanted to share firsthand experience with "people serving in the Armed Forces," including the "strain and other challenges."
Medvedev said Russia was "interested in expanding the geographic base" for the export of these aircraft "to include our neighbors, as well as other countries."
The Su-34 is armed with a 30mm GSh-301 gun and 180 rounds of ammunition and can fire up to 1,500 rounds a minute.
The aircraft can carry an array of missiles, including air-to-air, air-to-surface, anti-ship and heat-seeking missiles, and guided and unguided bombs.
Full-scale production began in January 2008, and 24 Su-34 aircraft are expected to be in service by 2010. In January 2008, the Russian Air Force said it would procure 70 aircraft by 2015.
Experts say the new bomber has the potential to become the top plane in its class for years to come.

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