Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to sign a new contract in the summer for the delivery of several dozen Sukhoi Su-34 frontline bombers to the Aerospace Force with their combat capabilities expanded under the Sych experimental design work, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Wednesday.
“The Defense Ministry plans to sign a contract with the Sukhoi Company this summer for the delivery of several dozen Su-34 planes to the troops with expanded combat capabilities. The aircraft will integrate the latest avionics suite developed under the Sych experimental design work,” the source said.
The Sych experimental design work was completed in 2019 and, in particular, “it envisages installing underslung reconnaissance containers on Su-34s,” the source specified.
“Also, the range of air-launched weapons, which the Su-34 will be able to employ, increases significantly in the process of this work,” the source said.
Eventually, there are plans to upgrade operational Su-34 planes,” the source said.
TASS has no official confirmation of this information provided by the source.
The Su-34 multirole supersonic fighter-bomber is designated to strike both ground-based and air targets day and night in any weather conditions. As its basic armament, the plane carries air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles. The Su-34 has an operating range of 4,000 km, can develop a maximum speed of up to 1,900 km/h and carry a combat payload of up to 8 tonnes.
The first contract for the delivery of 32 Su-34 planes to the Defense Ministry was signed in 2008. Currently, the Novosibirsk Aviation Enterprise (a branch of the Sukhoi Aircraft Company) is completing the production of Su-34 bombers under the contract signed with the Defense Ministry in 2012 for the delivery of 92 planes to the troops.
Today Russia’s Aerospace Force operates from 110 to 130 Su-34 frontline bombers, according to various estimates.