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Russia to start Su-34 strike fighter modernization program in 2018

World Defense & Security News - Russia
Russia to start Su-34 strike fighter modernization program in 2018
The Chkalov Aircraft Works in Novosibirsk will begin the modernization of tactical Su-34 bomber in 2018, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on March 13, 2017, during a visit to the enterprise which serially produces Su-34 for the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Russia to start Su 34 strike fighter modernization program in 2018 640 001A RusAF Su-34 strike fighter
(Credit: Alex Beltyukov)
"The modernization program of Su-34 is planned for 2018. We discussed with the leadership of the enterprise and the United Aircraft Corporation the plans for the aircraft in the framework of future state armaments program for 2018-2025," he said.

"I believe the aircraft has not yet exposed all of its possibilities. It is mostly because we are currently completing R&D to adapt new weapons to it," he explained.

"I believe Su-34 has enormous export potential. Many countries are displaying genuine interest in the aircraft and I think it has good export future," Borisov said.

It has been reported that in the framework of Su-34 modernization to Su-34M level it is planned to equip the aircraft with onboard radar with improved characteristics, as well as suspended containers. The first stage of the Su-34 upgrade to Su-34M includes a small number of improvements mostly related to the drawbacks of the onboard radio-electronic equipment. The R&D to create Su-34M was to be completed by the end of 2016. The serial production of the upgraded aircraft can be launched after 2020. The Su-34M will have an expanded range of weapons, including new guided air-to-air and air-to-surface missile.

The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive 16 new tactical bombers Su-34 this year and the total portfolio of orders is 92 aircraft, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said during a visit to the Chkalov Aircraft Works in Novosibirsk.

"The Novosibirsk enterprise has a long contract with the defense ministry for 92 Su-34 aircraft and is fulfilling it nearly one year ahead of schedule. This year we expect above-plan delivery of four aircraft and a total of 16 aircraft were ordered this year," he said.

"There are nine aircraft in the final assembly shop of the enterprise. It means this year commitments of the enterprise will be definitely fulfilled. The schedule of aircraft delivery from the enterprise has been agreed with the defense ministry and we do not expect any surprises," Borisov said.

The enterprise operates sustainably and has good plans for the future, he added.

Borisov said Su-34 has high characteristics. "It showed itself from the best side in the Syrian conflict and has an enormous modernization potential. It is practically a fifth-generation aircraft," the deputy minister said.

It has been reported that the Sukhoi Company of the United Aircraft Corporation completely fulfilled the 2016 state defense order for Su-34 tactical bombers. The ministry had to receive in 2016 a total of 18 Su-34 (with two above plan). The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive a total of 150-200 Su-34. The first contract for 32 aircraft was signed in 2008 and in 2012 was followed by a new agreement for 92 bombers.

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