Russian News Agency TASS reported that the Russian Defense Ministry agreed the details of a contract for 76 Su-34 fighter-bomber/strike aircraft. The Defense Ministry received over 120 S-34 in 2008-2020 and their strength will be close to 200 after the new contract is fulfilled. Su-34 will be built in an upgraded option with modern arms and a set of reconnaissance equipment. Each year up to 2027 from eight to 14 bombers will be built. The first units for the assembly have to be supplied in the second half of 2020.
The Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) is a Soviet-origin Russian twin-engine, twin-seat, all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft. It first flew in 1990, intended for the Soviet Air Forces, and it entered service in 2014 with the Russian Air Force. Based on the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker air superiority fighter, the Su-34 has an armored cockpit for side-by-side seating of its two-man crew. The Su-34 will eventually replace the Su-24 tactical strike fighter and the Tu-22M3 long-distance bomber.
Based on the Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker air superiority fighter, the Su-34 has an armored cockpit for side-by-side seating of its two-man crew. The Su-34 is designed primarily for tactical deployment against ground and naval targets (tactical bombing/attack/interdiction roles, including against small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favourable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fire and electronic Warfare (EW) counter-measures deployed, as well as for aerial reconnaissance.
All Su-34 have to be upgraded in the framework of Sych R&D. The upgrade includes avionics, precision arms and a set of suspended reconnaissance containers. The upgraded option was preliminary designated as Su-34M. The aircraft will exceed the basic model in combat capabilities two times. The production of some components takes six months and more. The enterprise should have everything necessary at hand to immediately begin producing the aircraft after the contract is signed.
Three replaceable suspended containers with reconnaissance equipment are being designed for the bomber in the framework of Sych R&D. They exceed the capabilities of the inbuilt equipment and provide new capabilities in target detection. The UKR-RT container is designed for radio-technical reconnaissance, UKR-OE for optic-electronic and UKR-RL for radar reconnaissance. They all use the same data bus to interface with the aircraft. The suspended equipment will make Su-34 detect radars and radio stations at hundreds of kilometers and determine their coordinates.
Su-34 will replace Su-24 bombers which cannot fight fighter jets. Su-34 strikes with guided and unguided weapons at ground and sea targets. Its flight characteristics allow engaging in air combat. Su-34 in Syria sometimes carried suspended air-to-air R-73 short-range and R-27 medium-range missiles. It is armed with powerful Khibiny electronic warfare to break through air defense. It can neutralize adversary radars and defend itself and nearby aircraft.