The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) of Russia recently delivered the latest batch of Su-34 fighter-bombers to the Russian Air Force.
This delivery, part of the state defense order execution, emphasizes the crucial role played by the Su-34 in enhancing the striking capabilities of Russian front-line aviation.
Yuri Slyusar, the General Director of UAC, highlighted the Novosibirsk plant's pivotal role as a key executor of state defense orders within the UAC system. He noted that the plant has already commenced the implementation of next year's program, with a substantial increase in volume. The necessary production reserve has been established, and the plant is actively engaged in servicing and maintaining the airworthiness of the existing aircraft fleet.
This accelerated delivery comes against the backdrop of reported losses of Su-34s in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. Russia has reportedly experienced the loss of approximately 18 Su-34s in the war.
The recently delivered batch, produced by the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association Plant, is the third one handed over to Russia in 2023, with estimates placing the quantity between two and three units. The initial delivery occurred in early June, consisting of two units. The second batch was delivered to the Russian forces in October.
In the preceding year, the Russian Armed Forces received two additional batches, each comprising two to four Su-34 fighter-bombers.
The Su-34, a two-seat fighter-bomber developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, is renowned for its ability to execute precise missile and bomb strikes on enemy ground targets in operational and tactical regions, as well as engaging air targets. With a combat radius ranging from 600 to 1,100 kilometers, depending on its load, the Su-34 boasts an 8-ton payload capacity, enabling it to carry bombs weighing up to 500 kilograms or two 1,500 kg bombs.
Notably, before 2023, gravity bombs were the primary armament for targeting ground objectives. However, this paradigm shifted with the introduction of guidance kits for gravity bombs, expanding the bomber's standard weapons package.