The Su-34 Fighter's Unique Abilities That Rarely Gets In The Spotlight

The Su-34 Fighter's Unique Abilities That Rarely Gets In The Spotlight
The Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter

International Military - The Sukhoi Su-34 fighter is rarely highlighted, but Russia has recently renewed its contract. The Russian Ministry of Defense has reportedly signed a contract for the acquisition of a number of new Su-34 fighters.

Unfortunately, it is not known how many Su-34 fighters were ordered. It is known that the contract was signed with the state-owned United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). This agreement was signed by Deputy Minister of Defense, Alexey Krivoruchko and Vice President of UAC, Alexander Bobryshev.

The Su-34 is a fighter aircraft that the Ministry of Defense has ordered in greater numbers than any other class of fighter over the past decade. The reason is, it is estimated that there will be 124 aircraft operating by the beginning of 2022.

Quoted from Military Watch Magazine, for comparison, the Su-35 air superiority fighter entered service almost simultaneously in 2014, there are only about 100 units in Russian service.

It should also be noted that the production capacity of the Su-34 has even been transferred for export. However, another, more compelling reason is that this aircraft has unique capabilities in the Russian fleet. The Su-34 has by far the longest range of any tactical fighter jet in the world comparable to a smaller strategic bomber. It also has a smaller radar cross-section.

It is frontally comparable to cruise missiles boasting a powerful sensor array and enormous carrying capacity for weaponry. This allows them to strike targets across NATO territory from Russian air bases.

Meanwhile, it also covers most of the Pacific and Arctic regions. The Su-34 has also been highlighted as a possible replacement. The emergence of specialist variants of the Su 34 for roles such as electronic warfare is expected to further enhance the usability of the fuselage. It also has the potential to increase foreign interest with Su-24 and Su-22 operators such as Algeria and Vietnam as major potential clients. The Su 34 also played a role in the wars between Russia and Ukraine.

Quoted from, the Su-34M, a variant of the Su-34, is referred to as a 4++ generation fighter-bomber. The design is based on the Su-27 which aims to compete with the US military's F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle.

Meanwhile, the Su-34 first flew back in 1990, but has since been modified. Currently, it is powered by the Russian AL-31FM1 engine so the Su-34 can produce up to 30,000 pounds of thrust. This then allowed the aircraft to reach a top speed of Mach 1.8.

These specifications allow it to carry over 17,000 pounds of ammunition and a 30 mm cannon. In addition, the latest version of the Su-34M offers three different sensors, including an electronic seeker, camera and synthetic aperture radar that can detect targets even in bad weather.

However, despite all its modern capabilities, the Su-34M can still fall victim to friendly fire. According to Forbes, this could be due to a malfunction in modern aircraft's "alien-home" identification system or it could be operator error.

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