Russia Approves Deal For 92 Su-34 Fighter Bombers

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Strike Fighter Bomber

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Strike Fighter Bomber
Russia’s defence ministry signed a deal for 92 Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft on 1 March, marking the biggest deal for a
single aircraft type for the nation’s air force in more than 20 years.

To
cover deliveries until 2020, the deal was signed by defence minister
Anatoly Serdyukov and Sukhoi general director Igor Ozar. The Su-34s will
replace all the Su-24 bombers in service, Serdyukov said. A source quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency put the value of the deal at around 100 billion roubles ($3 billion).

The
defence ministry had previously said 70 Su-34s would be delivered by
2015. Six aircraft are in service at Russia’s test and evaluation centre
at Lipetsk, with a further 10 due to be delivered this year.
The Russian air force will eventually field a total of about 120
Su-34s in five squadrons of 24 aircraft each, its commander Col Gen
Alexander Zelin said at last year’s MAKS air show near Moscow.

Powered
by two AL-31MF turbofan engines, the twin-seat Su-34 is designed to
conduct precision strikes on heavily defended targets under all weather
conditions, day or night. It is armed with a GSh-301 30mm cannon and a
wide variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and bombs.

Noting
that the Su-34 is entering service more than a decade behind original
plans, Douglas Barrie, an air warfare analyst with the London-based
International Institute for Strategic Studies, said: “The Su-34 will,
with the appropriate avionic and weapons systems, provide the air force
with a capable long-range strike platform, with considerably more punch
than the Su-24.”

http://www.flightglobal.com/