In the second of a two-part review of strike aircraft in Russian service, Combat Aircraft details the impressive Su-34 ‘Fullback’, a multi-role heavy-hitter.



A fabulous head-on view of a Su-34 as it carefully approaches an Il-78 ‘Midas’ during in-flight refueling training. Dmitriy Pichugin
A ‘clean’ Su-34 in formation practice for the May 9 Victory Parade, with large L265V Khibiny ECM pods on the wingtips. Dmitriy Pichugin

THE MAIN ROLE for which the Su-34 — NATO codename ‘Fullback’ — was developed is tactical interdiction, essentially cutting off the front line from supplies from the rear echelons. Therefore, the Su-34 has the tools for its two-person crew to strike important assets: communication hubs, military convoys, depots and so on at a distance of 150-500km (81- 270nm) behind the front line. Flying at low level with four tonnes of weapons, the Su-34 can reach targets within an operational radius of 600km (324nm), or 1,100km (594nm) at high level.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below