The Russian Air Force has taken delivery of the first batch of serial Su-34 front-line bombers from the subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation, Sukhoi, as part of the 2014 State Defense Order.
The 4+ generation aircraft powered with a twin Lyulka AL-31FM1 turbofan engine is expected to replace the Russian Air Force and Navy's ageing Su-24 Fencer strike aircraft fleet.
The new generation frontline bombers have an increased flight range of up to 4,000km, a maximum speed of up to 1,900km/h and 8t payload.
The Su-34 aircraft, which is manufactured by the Novosibirsk aircraft plant, has a new weapon system and an air refueling system.
Using a range of airborne munitions, including high-precision types, the aircraft can engage a range of land-based, sea and airborne targets in all weather conditions and any visibility levels.
The aircraft is a two-seat derivative of the swing-wing Su-27 fighter and retains its basic layout and construction, featuring an advanced multimode-phased array radar with terrain following and terrain avoidance modes.
The aircraft also features a long-range aiming system, a modern on-board communication and an information exchange system, a complex survival system, an armoured cockpit and an active safety system, in addition to the new computers to manoeuvre and perform accurate bombing when under enemy attack.
The frontline bombers were delivered according to the 2012 State Contract for a large batch of Su-34s while the five-year State Contract for Su-34s signed in 2008 was fulfilled in December 2013.
In 2008 and 2012, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation signed large government contracts for Su-34s, marking the largest orders for combat aircraft under the State Armaments Program for the years 2011-2020.
Image: A Su-34 fighter-bomber in flight. Photo: courtesy of Sukhoi.