Sukhoi Su-34 plane nicknamed ‘Duckling:’ Russian Aerospace Force’s best bomber

August 23, 14:00 UTC+3
Unique aerial surveying and combat capabilities of Russia’s advanced warplane

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Sukhoi Su-34 plane nicknamed ‘Duckling:’ Russian Aerospace Force’s best bomber

The Chkalov Aircraft-Making Enterprise in Novosibirsk in west Siberia has rolled out the 100th Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) fighter-bomber, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced on his Facebook page on August 19. 


The first contract for the delivery of Su-34 combat planes was signed with the Russian Defense Ministry in 2008. Four years later, the advanced fighter-bomber entered service with Russia’s Aerospace Force. As Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Aerospace Force Viktor Bondarev said earlier, the Su-34 will eventually replace Su-24 (Fencer) frontline bombers and Su-25 (Frogfoot) attack aircraft. The Russian Aerospace Force is expected to receive no less than 200 Su-34 fighter-bombers under the state armament program through 2020.

The Russian air task force is successfully using these warplanes in an operation in Syria against militants of the Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia).


Why ‘Duckling’?

The aircraft features a standard aerodynamic layout with an additional foreplane, a trapezoidal midwing, twin vertical tails, two AL-31F engines in the fuselage’ rear and tricycle landing gear.

The crew comprises a pilot and a navigator sitting side by side in an armored cockpit. The cockpit can be accessed through a lower hatch by climbing the footsteps.

Commander of a Su-34 air wing, Captain Alexei Belonog who has logged almost a thousand flight hours and mastered four types of aircraft told TASS on the eve of Military Aviation Day that precisely the Su-34 fighter bomber was an indisputable favorite for him.

And, by the way, it is pure truth that the advanced fighter-bomber is gently called the ‘Duckling’ in the troops due to its flat-shaped nose cone. I don’t see anything bad in this Alexei Belonog commander of a Su-34 air wing, captain

The Su-34 is a favorite plane among many pilots as it features a spacious and comfortable cockpit and excellent flight characteristics. “Of course, it is not designed for aerobatics but it can also experience overloads of up to 7.5G [overloads experienced by pilots when they perform aerobatic maneuvers],” the pilot said.


Three in one

The Su-34 two-seat frontline bomber is capable of operating equally efficiently day and night and in any weather conditions. The Su-34 dubbed as Fullback under NATO classification is designed to deliver missile and bomb strikes against ground objectives and destroy an enemy’s aerial targets.

The Su-34 is a unique machine. It incorporates as many as three planes: a fighter jet, an attack aircraft and a frontline bomber. The Su-34 can successfully fight any aerial objectives and effectively destroy ground and surface targets. Moreover, it can stay endlessly long in the air and this duration can only be limited by pilots’ physical ability
Viktor Litovkin TASS military observer

The Su-34, which is a modified version of the Su-27 (Flanker) fighter aircraft, has been developed by the Sukhoi design bureau under the guidance of its chief designer Rollan Martirosov. The fighter bomber has been serial produced at the Novosibirsk-based Aircraft-Making Enterprise since 2006.

The Su-34 performed its debut flight in 1990 (the prototype aircraft T-10V-1 was piloted by USSR honored test pilot Anatoly Ivanov).

The Su-34 was developed for promptly redeploying it for missions from any parts of the country to its border to reliably seal off a possible armed conflict before the arrival of the main forces.

Even before the plane entered service, a crew of test pilots from the Sukhoi design bureau performed a non-stop flight from Moscow to Sakhalin in the Russian Far East and back with aerial refueling, thus proving to all those in doubt that the fighter is capable of accomplishing any missions at the farthest distance from its home airfield Viktor Litovkin TASS military observer

All conditions have been created in the Su-34 for this. As compared to other fighter jets, the crew is accommodated side by side in the cockpit rather than one after the other.

“There is space between them where a matrass can be spread and one of the crewmembers can have a rest during a flight,” the military expert said. Besides, the space behind the pilots’ seats allows them to stand up to their full height.

There is a microwave oven, an air conditioner, an electromassage system built into the pilots’ seats and even a bio toilet aboard the bomber. If you get to know that such arrangement can’t be found aboard not only fighter jets but also long-range bombers and even Ilyushin Il-76 military-transport planes, then you can only be surprised once again at the uniqueness of the Su-34
Viktor Litovkin TASS military observer

The Su-34 is capable of flying in the auto pilot mode at extremely low altitudes, skirting the terrain. In Litovkin’s opinion, none of the fighter jets in the world, including the well-advertised US F-22 and F-35 aircraft, can feature “these capabilities.”

The available second radar for observing the rear hemisphere is also the plane’s unique feature: the system will warn the crew of a threat and can retaliate with a salvo of missiles to an attempt by an enemy’s aircraft “to strike in the back.”


Plane’s characteristics

According to data from open sources, the Su-34 is 23.3 meters long and 6.4 meters high and has a wing span of 14.7 meters. The plane has a service ceiling of 14,650 meters and a flying range of 4,500 kilometers without refueling and 7,000 kilometers with refueling. The Su-34 fighter bomber has a mission radius of up to 1,100 km. The plane has a take-off weight of 45.1 tons and a combat load weight of 8 tons. The plane can develop a speed of up to 1,900 km/h.

The Su-34 is armed with a 30mm gun and its 12 hardpoints can carry various types of air-to-air and air-to-surface aircraft-launched missiles, rockets and air bombs.


Foreign customers’ interest

The interest of foreign customers in Russian planes, especially Su-34 fighter bombers, has increased after the Russian air task force’s operation in Syria. In particular, this interest has been displayed by some countries in the Middle East.

No doubt, the interest has increased. I want to say that dozens of [state arms exporter] Rosoboronexport’s delegations are on foreign trips every week and there is a very intensive process of negotiations with countries of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and so forth Sergei Goreslavsky Rosoboronexport deputy CEO

In 2015, Rosoboronexport initiated the preparation of an export configuration certificate for the Su-34. In 2016, an expected contract with Algeria may be signed on the delivery of frontline bombers.

Negotiations on this issue are already under way and have progressed while a contract has not been signed yet.

The Algerian side has long expressed its desire to buy Su-34 planes but there was no export configuration certificate for this machine before. Now it is available. I believe the contract will surely be signed in mid-2016 or before the end of the year
A source in the defense industry


Geography of use

Russia’s Su-34 planes accomplished combat missions for the first time during the war in South Ossetia in 2008. The fighter bombers were used to provide cover for attack aircraft, conducting electronic warfare against Georgian air defense systems with the use of the Khibiny jamming station.

The Su-34 fighter bombers conducted jamming from the warplanes’ combat formations, preventing Georgian air defense systems from successful jammer out-tuning, and also destroyed a key radar near Gori by an anti-radar missile.

Since 2015, the Su-34 fighter-bomber has been frequently shown in video footage on television channels reporting about the Russian air task force’s operation in Syria. Military specialists, numerous experts and analysts watch with interest its successful performance.

Su-34 planes flew sorties not only with OFAB-500 and adjustable KAB-500 air bombs but also with air-to-air short- and medium-range missiles.

The Su-34’s weapons suite includes R-73 (NATO reporting name: AA-11 Archer) short-range and R-27 (AA-10 Alamo) medium-range air-to-air missiles.

The Su-34 fighter-bomber can carry up to six R-73 missiles in launchers placed at the aircraft’s wingtips or under the wings and up to eight R-27 missiles that can be mounted on ejector racks or launchers both under the wing and on underfuselage hardpoints.

The Su-34 planes were used for the first time in the spring of 2016 to eliminate ice jams. Their mission caused the largest flooding in the past 20 years on the Severnaya Dvina River in the Vologda and the Arkhanglesk Regions. The bombers performed two sorties each, dropping eight bombs with a total weight of 4 tons.

On August 16, the Su-34 fighter-bombers took off for the first time from Iran’s Hamadan airfield to deliver a strike against militants in Syria. The sortie also involved Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers. They dealt a blow against the objectives of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra groupings (terrorist organizations outlawed in Russia) in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib.


The video footage is based on the aerial survey of the Su-34 plane made by operators of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Voeninform Agency


Su-34 Bomber Named After Russian Pilot Killed in Syria

Funeral of pilot Oleg Peshkov killed in Syria

A Sukhoi Su-34 bomber has been named after Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov, the Russian pilot who was killed by militants in Syria after his aircraft was shot down by a Turkish fighter jet in November 2015, RIA Novosti reported citing the Lipetsk city administration’s internet portal.

“I see this as a sign of respect for a real man, a patriot who loved his Motherland and honestly fulfilled his duty as a military man and a citizen,” said Oleg Peshkov’s onetime commander Colonel Yuri Gritsaenko,  who will be piloting the newly dedicated Su-34.

On Thursday Oleg Peshkov’s widow was handed her late husband’s award weapon and the Order of Dedication posthumously bestowed upon him by the Syrian government.

On November 24 a Su-24 bomber on an antiterrorist mission in Syria was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet.Both pilots managed to bail out but the plane’s commander, Oleg Peshkov, was killed from the ground by militants as he descended on a parachute.

Navigator Konstantin Murakhtin survived the descent and was later saved by a rescue team.

Oleg Peshkov was posthumously awarded the Gold Star of Hero of the Russian Federation.

Russian Su-34 Jets Deployed in Iran Conduct Airstrikes Against Daesh in Syria

Su-34 strike fighter


Russian Su-34 jets deployed in Iran conducted airstrikes against Daesh in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian Su-34 strike fighters deployed at the Hamadan airbase in Iran carried out airstrikes against Daesh targets in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor and destroyed two command centers and two Daesh training camps.Some 150 Daesh terrorists, including foreign fighters, have been killed as a result of Russia’s strikes on Wednesday, the ministry said.

“On August 17, 2016, Russian Su-34 bombers carried out strikes from the Hamadan airfield on the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran against targets of the Daesh terrorist group in the province of Deir ez-Zor. Aircraft carried high-explosive bombs OFAB-500.”

All aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces returned to their home bases after carrying out airstrikes on Daesh targets in Deir ez-Zor, the ministry said.

“The Su-35S aircraft based at the Hmeymim airbase [in Syria] provided fighter-bomber air cover for the bombers. After successfully conducting combat missions, all Russian aircraft returned to their home bases.”

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that it had deployed Tu-22M3 bombers and Su-34 strike fighters in Iran and these aircraft have already been used to carried out airstrikes against Daesh in Syria.The Su-34 fighter-bomber has been tested in the war against Islamist radicals in Syria where the aircraft arrived among the first Russian forces in 2015.

Russian Su-34 Bomber Gets Unique New Recon Gear

The Su-34 lands at Latakia airport, Syria. file photo


Russia’s latest Sukhoi Su-34 frontline bomber will soon be sporting advanced radio surveillance gear that will allow the crew to spot and destroy enemy headquarters, communications and drone control centers, the newspaper Izvestiya wrote citing a source at the Defense Ministry in Moscow.

The new system, dubbed the UKR-RT, is placed inside a container attached to the underside of the Su-34 (NATO reporting name — Full Back).“Right now the UKR-RT system is undergoing field trials and will soon be supplied to the Air Force,” the an unnamed source told the newspaper.

The UKR-RT is primarily designed to locate and “read” the technical signatures of communications systems, radar installations and UAV ground control stations.

Independent military expert Anton Lavrov said that the new system would turn the frontline bomber into a multirole machine able to fight and reconnoiter all at the same time.

“With this specialized container on board, the Su-34 will save us the money that would otherwise be needed to develop a new AWACS-type aircraft.”

During peacetime it can conduct reconnaissance without the use of dedicated spy planes, while in wartime it is less vulnerable compared to reconnaissance planes converted from transport and passenger aircraft,” Lavrov said.

According to another in dependent defense expert, Dmitry Boltenkov, the UKR-RT has at its heart the M-410 radio reconnaissance system.

“The M0410 is a downsized version of the more sophisticated Fraktsiya system carried by Russia’s latest Ty-214R reconnaissance plane,” Boltenkov said.

Many foreign military specialists regard the Tu-2014R as a unique information gathering platform able to spot targets hundreds of kilometers away.

Several such planes conducted a series of reconnaissance missions late in 2012 near Japanese airspace and are frequent guests in Syria.

According to an article, titled “Russia Has Deployed its Latest Spy Plane to Syria,” which recently appeared in the authoritative Internet journal Aviationist, the Fraktsiya system allows the Tu-214R not only to intercept radar, electronic communications and even cellphone massagers, but also to use the obtained information to create an “electronic picture of the battlefield” in real time.

Russia’s Su-34 Hellduck Strike Fighter to Pack More Punch

Sukhoi Su-34 in flight


After its successful use during Russia’s aerial campaign in Syria, the Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bomber is now set to carry even better weapons than those that made it the jihadist terrorists’ worst nightmare, Zvezda TV reported.

During the Syrian campaign, the Su-34, very aptly designated by NATO as Hellduck, made effective use of its onboard arsenal of a 30 mm cannon, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and KAB-500S laser-guided bombs, destroying terrorist infrastructure facilities and command centers.The KAB-500S satellite-guided smart bombs are designed to engage reinforced concrete shelters, runways, railway and highway bridges, military industrial installations, warships, and transport vessels and has proved itself as a highly effective weapon against Daesh and other terrorist groups fighting in Syria.

The accuracy of the KAB-500S is between 7 and 12 meters while laser-guided and TV-guided equivalents have a stated accuracy of 4 to 7 meters.

The Defense Ministry now wants to add to this impressive arsenal also anti-ship missiles, such as the modified Kh-35 missile and even plans to adapt the Su-34 to launch a new generation of the so-called aeroballistic missiles.

The Su-34 was designed to carry the Kh-15 hypersonic air-to-ground aeroballistic missile. Even though considered by experts as a bit outdated, modernizing this workhorse weapon will be no problem at all.

The Kh-15 climbs to an altitude of about 40,000 meters and then dives in on the target, accelerating to a speed of about Mach 5, which makes it the fastest aircraft-launched missile to date.

Its updated version will fly even higher and faster.

Su-34 is a multipurpose fighter-bomber capable of effectively targeting surface, sea and air objects in any geographic area with the use of all aircraft munition types. The equipment installed on the Su-34 allows for the use of weapons against several targets simultaneously.

Ninety-two modified Su-34s will be delivered to the Russian Air Force before 2020.

Golden Age: Russian Weapons in ‘High Demand’ Thanks to Syria

Sukhoi Su-34 in flight


Russia’s military operation against Daesh has served as a major advertising campaign for some of the best weapons in its arsenal, helping to boost arms sales and attract new buyers. As a result, a single deal with Algeria for the delivery of 12 Su-32 bombers will likely cover Moscow’s expenses in Syria.

Russia’s engagement is estimated to have cost less than $500 million, according to figures circulated in the media in March. The deal with Algeria, inked in December 2015, is said to be worth up to $600 million, according to Global Security.In retrospect, Russia’s engagement was a “risky, but successful move,” Austria’s national daily broadsheet Der Standard observed. And it is what helped to push the deal forward.

Moscow had been in talks with Algiers for the delivery of the expert version of the Sukhoi Su-34 for eight years. The negotiations appeared to be moving nowhere. In late September 2015, Russia launched its campaign; the Su-34s took part in their first battle.

Voronezh region.

The aircraft’s performance was so impressive that defense experts expect it to become an export bestseller in the coming years.

“Experts say that future arms deals will bring Russia’s defense industry some $6.8 billion,” Der Standard added.

In this respect things are already going well for Moscow. Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec Corporation, recently said that the export portfolio of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport reached had $48 billion. This trend will most likely be reinforced.Russia’s arms exports amount to more than $15 billion annually, he added. Moreover, there has not been a single year when revenues dropped.

Leading buyers of Russian-made weapons include China, India and Vietnam, who Der Standard described as an “old and trustworthy client in Southeast Asia.” In addition, Algeria, Egypt and Iran also purchase Russian arms.


Jordan Interested in Purchasing Russian Su-34 Bombers – Reports

Su-34 bomber


Amman is conducting consultations with Russian manufactures on acquiring a small number of fighter-bomber jets.

Amman is conducting consultations with Russian manufactures on acquiring a small number of Su-32 (export version of Su-34) fighter-bomber jets, local media reported Monday, citing officials working for Russian aircraft producers.

“We hope that the interest will lead to pre-contract negotiations in the near future,” the Russian official told the Kommersant newspaper.

However, Jordan has not filed any official purchasing order yet, the Russian media outlet added.

In late March, the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Russia’s anti-terror air campaign in Syria had raised the popularity of the Su-34 fighter-bombers, which several Middle Eastern countries were interested in buying.

Russia has also been carrying out negotiations with the Jordanian side for the supply of several Mi-26 helicopters used both for military and transportation purposes, according to a source in Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.


Russia Faces High Demand for Su-34, Su-35 Jets After Success in Syria

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria


After their successful use during the Russian military campaign in Syria potential buyers are standing in line for the aircraft, military analyst Konstantin Sivkov told Sputnik Radio.

Indonesia, India and Malaysia have expressed interest in buying Russian-made Su-34 and Su-35 jets.Su-34 jet fighters/bombers were deployed to Syria from the first day of the operation. They destroyed terrorist infrastructure facilities and command points. Su-35s were deployed to Syria later. They provided protection for the striking force.

The high efficiency and reliability of Russian military hardware has drawn the interest of many potential buyers, Sivkov said.

“Before the Syrian campaign, for almost 25 years, the global image of Russian military hardware was not good. Potential buyers often kept away from buying it. But during the operation in Syria Russian weapons proved their effectiveness and reliability. And this drew enormous interest from potential customers,” he said.

According to Sivkov, Russian hardware knows no rivals in terms of effectiveness-to-cost ratio. While its technical specifications are comparable with US-made weapons costs are much lower.

“For example, the Su-34 has equipment allowing use of ‘dumb’ bombs with accuracy close to smart munitions. Americans can’t do this. This is why there is so much interest for Russian jets,” he pointed out.As for other parameters like flight specs, avionics and weapons Russian warplanes can provide competition to US-made jets, he added.

The Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter-bomber
The Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter-bomber


He assumed that all of the above is considered by potential buyers, and the number of contracts will increase.

“While India has traditionally been a buyer of Russian weapons, Malaysia and Indonesia have traditionally bought American hardware. Now, they have turned to Russia. If they buy Russian weapons their military and technical sector will be tied to Russia, including supplies of components and training of pilots,” Sivkov said.

Among other potential buyers are also Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, he added.


Middle East eyes Russian Su-34 bombers after Syria operation — arms exporter

Negotiations are underway with countries from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia

Su-34 fighter jet

Su-34 fighter jet

QUITOL (India), March 29. /TASS/. Foreign customers, in particular, some Middle East countries, are showing increased interest in Russian-made Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers after Russia’s air task force successfully accomplished its anti-terror missions in Syria, Deputy CEO of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Sergey Goreslavsky said on Tuesday.

“No doubt, the interest has increased and I want to say that dozens of Rosoboronexport delegations are on foreign trips weekly and a very intensive process of negotiations is under way with countries from the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and so forth,” Goreslavsky said at the Defexpo India-2016 arms show.

“Following the results of this operation [in Syria], the interest in Su-34 bombers has increased. Several countries are showing the most substantive interest in this machine. They are from the Middle East but I won’t name them,” he said.

The Rosoboronexport deputy CEO said the Russian state arms exporter had initiated work a year ago to prepare an export configuration certificate for the Su-34 bomber.

Russia started its operation in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad to fight militants of the Islamic State and other terrorist groupings in the Arab country.

The operation involved the Russian Aerospace Force and Navy. It was also reported that Russian special forces were involved in the Syria operation. Russia deployed some most advanced military hardware at the Khmeimim airbase in Syria, including Su-34 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets.

Russia withdrew the basic contingent of its forces from Syria from March 15 but its air task force continues delivering strikes against terrorists.