The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)

No Red October for Russian Air Force

The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)
The Su-34 bomber (Image © Sukhoi Company)

October has been a good month for the Russian Air Force. Sukhoi delivered the next batch of Su-34 (Сухой Су-34) frontline bombers on 15 October 2014. The transfer ceremony took place at the Sukhoi home airport of the Novosibirsk aviation plant, only five days after the company delivered a batch of Su-35 (Су-35) and Su-30M2 (Су-30) advanced fighter jets to the Russian Air Force at Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where the KnAAZ aviation plant is located.

The State contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for supplies of the Su-34s to the Air Force up to the year 2020 guarantees a stable work loads of the Sukhoi Company. Although no numbers were disclosed, the October batch is likely to be three aircraft, out of a total order of 92 Su-34s.

The new Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO-reporting name Fullback) is a new generation frontline bomber with an increased up to 2,160 nautical miles (4,000 km) flight range, a maximum speed of up to 1025 knots (1900 km/h) and can carry 17,636 lbs (8 tons) of payload. The Su-34 has new weapon systems and is equipped with an air-refueling system. The first batch of three Fullbacks was delivered in June 2014. The Su-34 will gradually replace the Su-24 (NATO-reporting name Fencer).

The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)
The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)
The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)
The Su-34 bomber from the October 2014 batch (Image © Sukhoi Company)

Su-35 Flanker
On 10 October Sukhoi already handed over a batch of Su-35 and Su-30M2 fighter aircraft, both having the NATO-reporting name Flanker. The Sukhoi Su-35S is a heavily upgraded version of the legendary Su-27, with capabilities matching or better than today’s developed fighters in Europe and the USA. The aircraft have thrust-vectoring, to give it better maneuverability in the air, and they can engage multiple bogeys at the a time. Even China is getting the Su-35, while Russia bases 60 of these fighters at Dzemgi Airbase in Russia’s Far East.

The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E (Image © Sukhoi Company (JSC))
The Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E (Image © Sukhoi Company (JSC))

Su-30M2 Flanker
Compared to the Su-35 the Su-30M2 is a hardly “a lesser Flanker”. Compared to the Su-27 it has a modified weapon control system with better capabilities to destroy ground and sea targets; a new cockpit display system with multifunctional color liquid crystal displays; improved navigation and radio communication systems; a modern onboard defense system; a wider range of “air-to-air” and “air-to-surface” weapons hosted on 12 hardpoints; an in-flight refueling system; a strengthened airframe and landing gear, ensuring aircraft operation with full fuel tanks and maximum combat load at take-off weight up to 38 tons. The Su-30M2 weapon control system provides for detection, tracking and destruction of air, ground and sea targets with aircraft weapons in all weather conditions, day and night.

Source: Sukhoi Company with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger

Two Russian Su-30s at Fairford in 1997. That year saw probably the greatest airshow ever at Fairford. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Two Russian Su-30s at Fairford in 1997. That year saw probably the greatest airshow ever at Fairford.
(Image © Elmer van Hest)