Russian Air Force receives its first new Su-34 strike fighter of the year
The Russian Air Force has taken delivery of the first in a batch of Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighters to be delivered in 2013.
“Following the handover ceremony at the airfield of the Novosibirsk-based Chkalov aviation plant, the aircraft departed for its assigned home base,” reads the Sukhoi press release. “Several more Su-34 fighters will be delivered to the Russian Air Force shortly.”
The statement continues: “Thanks to the sizeable government orders for Su-34 aircraft placed by the Russian Defence Ministry in 2008 and 2010, the [Novosibirsk] facility has secured a steady workload for years to come.”
The Su-34 is described as belonging to the 4+ generation of warplanes in terms of its combat performance, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports. The platform provides an effective air-to-ground, air-to-sea and air-to-air capability, including precision strikes across the globe, day and night, in all weather conditions.
The Su-34 carries up to 8 tons of assorted weaponry. It has a range of about 4,000 km and a maximum airspeed of 1,900 km/h.
More than 90 Su-34 airframes should be delivered to the Russian Air Force by 2020. The Novosibirsk plant rolled out the first production examples in 2006.
Details of the first-ever Russian Air Force Su-34 combat use surfaced in March this year. According to the British aviation magazine Air International, it would appear that the type flew several sorties in 2012 against alleged militant clusters in Russia’s North Caucasus republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia.
The Air International article suggests that the Russian military was left satisfied with the aircraft’s performance.
The LiveJournal blog BMPD, purportedly run as an unofficial news outlet of the Russian think tank Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has ventured the opinion that the 2012 operations might not have been the first time the Su-34 was used in anger. The blog suggests that the type had been previously employed during Russia’s five-day war with Georgia in 2008.
Source: Vzglyad, Russia Beyond The Headlines ASIA News – 8 May 2013
Photo: The Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-35 Super Flanker Fighter Aircraft (Photo by Sukhoi.org)