TechRussian military bolsters air fleet with new Su-34 delivery

Russian military bolsters air fleet with new Su‑34 delivery

Su-34 of the Russians from a new delivery
Su-34 of the Russians from a new delivery
Images source: © X
Norbert Garbarek

17 June 2024 19:49

Russian enterprise United Aircraft Corporation announced on Monday, 17 June, that the Russian Federation's army has adopted a batch of new Su-34 fighter-bombers, according to the Bulgarian Military portal. However, the quantity in the latest delivery is not enough to cover losses from recent months.

Su-34 tactical bombers are some of the most important machines used by the aggressor's army during the conflict in Ukraine. This is because Su-34s are used to carry FAB family bombs, which are regularly dropped on Ukrainian territory.

That's not all; despite being designed to carry bombs, these aircraft also have fighter characteristics. This means they can compete in the air, among others, with American F-16s. Thus, Russian machines are versatile and used for various tasks—from achieving air supremacy to bombing cities.

It is not surprising that for Ukrainians, the Su-34s are one of the main targets in the sky. The defending army constantly hunts these machines while the Russian Federation tries to replenish its losses. In mid-June, the Russian arms industry marked another step to strengthen the Russian Federation's air force—the second delivery of Su-34 bombers in 2024 has reached the army.

Another delivery of Su-34s for the Russians

United Aviation Corporation (UAC) has not disclosed how many aircraft were included in the June delivery to the Russian army. However, Bulgarian Military notes that based on photos, the company provided soldiers with only two aircraft.

The previous delivery of Su-34s took place at the beginning of April this year. At that time, the Russians also received two machines—leading to the conclusion that each batch produced by UAC consists of two units. Additionally, the deliveries in April and June were the only ones in 2024. This means that the Russian Federation has strengthened its arsenal in the first half of this year with four Su-34 aircraft.

How does this number look in light of the losses suffered by the Russians during the fighting in Ukraine? At the end of May, military analyst Oleksandr Kovalenko calculated that Russians have lost 25 Su-34 bombers since the beginning of the war. The expert emphasized, however, that this was the figure as of December 2023, so current losses are certainly higher. This is evidenced by an incident a few days ago where a Su-34 crashed on Russian territory, along with several reports of destroyed bombers of this type appearing online earlier. It is estimated that since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Russians have lost up to 50 Su-34 aircraft, and their current production does not cover these losses.

Universal Su-34 aircraft

It is worth remembering that these key multipurpose tactical bombers in the Russian Federation's arsenal are capable of carrying up to nearly 8,000 kg of armament on 12 hardpoints. Nuclear ammunition is among the compatible weapons with the suspended pylons. The bomber's primary armament is the standard GS-30-1 30 mm aircraft cannon.

The Su-34 can reach speeds of about 1,900 km/h at an altitude of 11 km, thanks to the presence of efficient AL-31F M1 turbojet engines. The aircraft can cover a distance of up to 4,000 km in a single flight.

Note: Metric units have been converted to units commonly used in the UK, and the time has been adjusted to Greenwich Time. Rounding has been applied where appropriate.
Related content