Russia Conducts Tests of 3 Su-34M/M2 Fighter Bombers on the Ukrainian Battlefield

Russia Conducts Tests of 3 Su-34M/M2 Fighter Bombers on the Ukrainian Battlefield
Russia Conducts Tests of 3 Su-34M/M2 Fighter Bombers on the Ukrainian Battlefield

Moscow - Russia is testing three units of the latest upgraded version of the Su-34 Fullback fighter bomber, namely the M version and the M2 version. The delivery of three fighter-bombers from the Novosibirsk plant, part of the UAC group, took place on December 29, 2022.

The M and M2 versions of the Su-34 aircraft have an increased range of weapons they have. The aircraft is already armed with Kh-101 and Kh-102 radar avoidance cruise missiles with an estimated strike range of between 3,500 and 5,500 km. Including potential air-to-air attack capabilities the Su-34M has also been enhanced through additional armament with R-27ER and R-77 missiles.

These three fighter-bombers were built in 2022 and have already been delivered to the Ukrainian battlefield. Russian sources claim that almost all of the Su-34M and M2 fighter-bomber avionics have been replaced with the new version. This includes significant improvements to the radar, communications, and fire control systems.

The new variant will come with custom interfaces for three different types of sensors to achieve maximum situational awareness. These include the UKR-RT pod, which carries an electronic search action, the UKR-OE is a camera, and the UKR-RL, which integrates a synthetic aperture radar.

Quoted from Bulgarian Military, Monday (9/1/2023), from 2020 to today, the Russian Aerospace Forces [VKS] operates 14 updated Su-34 fighter-bombers. The delivery of the three Su-34M and M2 units is part of the third batch for 2022 and the fourth batch since 2020, out of a total of 76 M and M2 versions ordered.

The second and third deliveries of Su-34Ms in 2022 are deployed to the 227th Bombardment Aviation Regiment of the 303rd Mixed Aviation Division of the 11th Air Force Red Banner Army and Eastern Military District Air Defense. The regiment played such an active role in the war in Ukraine that the Kremlin changed its status to a "guard regiment".

Other sources state that the Su-34M2 was also delivered to the 227th Bombardment Aviation Regiment. Initially, the M2 version was intended for another aviation regiment (known as the code name Tatar Aviation Regiment), but after suffering losses in 2022, the Su-34M2 switched again to the 227th regiment.

The Su-34M and Su-34M2 should replace Russia's entire Su-34 base aircraft fleet in the coming years. The presence of these sophisticated fighter-bombers is to present Russia's better attack power.

The Su-34 Fullback aircraft is based on the Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter, with an armored two-seater cockpit side by side. The Su-34 aircraft is designed for tactical deployment against ground and sea targets, such as tactical bombing, attack and interdiction, including against small and mobile targets.

The Su-34 aircraft can be operated on single and group missions during the day and at night, in various weather conditions, including for aerial reconnaissance. The Su-34 aircraft will replace the Su-24 tactical attack fighter and the Tu-22M3 long-range bomber.

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