Wed, Mar 22, 2006
Two-Seat Su-34s To Be Online By 2010
The head of the Russian Air Force said Tuesday that by 2010, a
regiment of new Su-34 fighter-bombers will be added to the
country's armed forces.
"Under a three-year state contract, the Chkalov Aircraft
Production Association [in Novosibirsk]... will manufacture and
deliver a regiment of Su-34 [NATO designation Fullback]
fighter-bombers to the Russian Air Force," Air Force Commander
Vladimir Mikhailov said, according to Russia's RIA Novosti.
The bombers will replace Russia's current frontline bomber, the
outdated Su-24 "Fencer". Sources quoted by the Russian news service
puts the number of aircraft ordered at between 25 and 30.
According to the nonprofit defense analyis group
Globalsecurity.org, the Su-34 fighter-bomber is a two-seat,
side-by-side strike fighter/bomber that features a flattened,
sharp-edged nose similar to the SR-71. The aircraft, which first
flew in 1990, is fitted with vectored-thrust engines that allows
either a 10-15 percent reduction in takeoff distance, or a similar
increase in maximum take-off weight.
RIA Novosti states the Su-34 is fitted with a 30 mm cannon, and
up to 12 Alamo or Archer AAMs, ASMs, or bombs.
"[The plane's] variable payload makes the Su-34 a unique
aircraft capable of destroying almost any target," Mikhailov said.
"Test flights of Su-34 fighter-bombers started at the beginning of
2006. We have about 10 [Su-34s] in the Air Force at present."
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