Sukhoi builds more Su-34 for the state tests

In the near future the fifth aircraft will join the program of the state tests. It was finished last year at the Novosibirsk based NAPO. Today four aircraft are fulfilling the second round of tests. The fifth will joint them for a relatively short period, after which it will be taken back to the Lipetsk Center. At the second stage the aircraft test various kinds of aviation arms, including guided missiles of "air-to-surface" and "air-to-air" classes. Let’s remind that according to the contract with the Ministry of Defense NAPO (Novosibirsk based serial manufacturer) will deliver to the Russian Air Forces 24 Su-34 before 2010. This multi-purpose aircraft can fulfill the tasks usually assigned to the Su-25 attack plane, Su-27 fighter and Tu-22 bomber. Before 2015 Russian AF plans to buy 58 Su-34. Su-34 is listed among the priorities of the State Arms Program – 2015. 15-20 Su-34 type aircraft for NAPO means optimal utilization of the production capacities.

This year Sukhoi started noticeable international marketing of Su-32 (export version of Su-34). First potential customers are those who operate Su-24 attack planes. At the last year’s air show in China, where the Chinese specialists paid special attention to Su-34, Rosobornexport expressed readiness to deliver this aircraft to China. Commissioning program of Su-34 with RFAF facilitates export deals. At home one Su-34 costs about one billion rubles. Earlier the Commander of the Russian Air Force Vladimir Mihailov mentioned that Su-34 “significantly increases the strike distance on ground targets and can carry high precision arms”. He pointed out “traditional Russian reliability of the aircraft in difficult environment and climates”. In the presence of foreign military attaches the Commander said that he is sure that Russian Su-34 and Su-39 are seriously more advanced than their foreign analogies. In the near 10 years there will be no need to upgrade Su-34.

Yuri Seleznyov

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