Russia receives final batch of Su-34 fighter-bombers

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) revealed on December 2 that its subsidiary, Sukhoi, had delivered its final batch of Su-34 fighter-bombers to Russia, completing a long-term contract with the nation’s defence ministry.

The UAC – which itself is a part of the Rostec State Corporation – stated that the final aircraft was manufactured and tested at Sukhoi’s Novosibirsk Aviation Plant, which is located in southwestern Siberia. Named after Valery Pavlovich Chkalov (a famed Soviet Air Force test pilot), the Novosibirsk facility is one of the largest aircraft manufacturing plants within UAC’s enterprise. The UAC adds that “the production of Su-34 aircraft and its versions with enhanced combat capabilities provides the plant with a stable load for the future.”

Su-34 [UAC]
As of December 9, 2020, the Russian Aerospace Forces currently operates a 120-strong fleet of Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) fighter-bombers. UAC

Yuri Slyusar, general director of the UAC and the Sukhoi Company, said: “We have manufactured about a hundred vehicles of this type in the interests of the military department under a long-term contract. This year has become important for us in terms of ensuring the state defence order. We have completed the fulfilment of our obligations to the [MOD] under large long-term contracts for the supply of new modern aviation equipment.

“At the same time, we started to implement new contracts signed within the framework of the Army Forum, which allowed us to load our enterprises and provide work for our employees in several regions of the country,” he added.

The UAC boasts that the Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) has “high flight performance, combat effectiveness and manoeuvrability.” As an all-weather fighter-bomber, the Fullback is designed to destroy air, ground and surface targets in both day and night settings. The firm adds that the Su-34 also features an improved weapon control system, increased combat survivability, along with an in-flight refuelling system and a cockpit design that is tailored for long flights.

Sukhoi and the Russian MOD have also been developing an upgraded, modernised version of the Fullback, which is designated the Su-34M. AirForces Intelligence data states that a total of 76 examples of the Su-34M will be acquired for use by the Russian Aerospace Forces, with deliveries scheduled to take place from 2022 to 2027. According to the state-owned Russian news agency, TASS, the Russian MOD will ink this contract with the UAC and Sukhoi in 2021.