Sukhoi has handed over five production Su-34 multirole frontline bombers under contract to the Russian Air Force (RuAF), which will be based at the Baltimore air base in Voronezh, south-west Russia.
The delivery follows a state contract awarded to the company by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) in March 2012 for the production and supply of a total of 92 aircraft to the air force.
Valued at approximately $3.3bn, the contract was signed under the State Armaments programme for 2011-2020, which aims to replace the air force’s existing Su-24 Fencer all-weather attack aircraft fleet.
Russia has already taken delivery of 12 fighter-bombers, as part of a five-year contract signed in 2008 for the supply of 32 aircraft.
Powered by two Lyulka AL-31FM1 turbofan engines, the Su-34 is a 4+ generation aircraft and is capable of engaging in a broad spectrum of land-based, sea and airborne targets in all weather conditions and any visibility levels, using a range of airborne munitions, including high-precision types.
The aircraft is a two-seat derivative of the swing-wing Su-27 fighter, retaining its basic layout and construction, and features increased take-off weight and an advanced multimode phased array radar with terrain following and terrain avoidance modes.
Additional features include a long-range aiming systems, a modern on-board communication and an information exchange system, a complex survival system, an armoured cockpit and an active safety system, along with new computers to manoeuvre and perform precise bombing when under enemy attack.
Russia is expecting to receive 70 Su-34 bombers by 2015, while remaining deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Image: A Su-34 frontline bomber aircraft of the Russian Air Force. Photo courtesy of © Sukhoi Company (JSC) 2004-2013.