After losing at least 17 Sukhoi Su-34s during the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Air Force received new aircraft from the UAC (United Aircraft Corporation).
According to the state-owned company, a new batch of Su-34 manufactured at the Novosibirsk plant was sent to the armed forces to undergo a ground test phase.
While it doesn’t specify how many aircraft were completed, UAC suggests it may have been just a single Su-34 – a second plane is expected to ship by the end of the year.
“The Russian Armed Forces are receiving new, highly efficient aviation equipment. Despite unprecedented pressure from the West on Russian industry, the main tasks of the military-industrial complex – to expand production, accelerate the pace and increase the volume of production – are being carried out rhythmically, ”said Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
Derived from the Su-27 fighter, the Su-34 is a variant greatly modified by Sukhoi, with a new front fuselage with side-by-side seats, in addition to changes in the landing gear, incorporation of canards, among others.
Although it was developed during the 1980s, the Su-34 Fullback only flew for the first time in 1990, shortly before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
It is a very unusual aircraft today, capable of operating in all weather and on medium range missions. Also according to the UAC, the Su-34 underwent an upgrade process that allows it to use more advanced weapons.
Several losses in Ukraine
Despite its firepower, the Su-34 reportedly suffered heavy casualties during the fighting in Ukraine. According to a survey by the Oryx website, at least 17 aircraft were lost, some in incidents unrelated to the conflict.
The attack aircraft were used in various missions, dropping bombs and missiles such as the Kh-29 and Kh-59, but some were shot down by Ukrainian soldiers carrying man-portable air defense systems known as MANPADS.