The Russian Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that its air force has received a new batch of fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-34 bombers.
While the Russian Ministry of Defense did not say how many planes were delivered, it did say that it was slated to get a total of 16 in 2017.
The Su-34, dubbed “Fullback” by NATO, is one of Russia’s most capable aircraft — able to engage targets on the ground and in the air — and has been used extensively in Syria.
Here’s what it can do.
- The Su-34 Fullback, which made its maiden flight in 1990, was built to replace the Su-24.
- It was also modeled off the Su-27 Flanker, as were the Su-30, Su-33, and Su-35.
- It’s normal takeoff weight is 39 tons, and its maximum takeoff weight is 44.4 tons.
- It runs on two Saturn AL-31F turbofan engines, each capable of about 27,500 pounds of thrust.
- It has a maximum speed of about 1,181 mph and a maximum range of about 2,485 miles. It can also reach an altitude of about 10.5 miles.
- Its two-person cockpit has a nearly 0.7-inch thick armored covering.
- The Su-34 cockpit displays show flight parameters, tactical data, and operational status.
- The cockpit even has a urinal, as well as a small kitchen.
- It carries a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It is believed to be able to hit air targets 75 miles away and ground targets 60 miles away.
- It carries short-range R-73 and long-range radar-guided R-77 air-to-air missiles. It also carries Kh-59ME, Kh-31A, Kh-31P, Kh-29T, Kh-29L, and S-25LD air-to-ground missiles.
- The Fullback can also be armed with rockets as well as guided and unguided bombs, like the RBK-500 and SPBE-D cluster bombs.
- The video below shows the Flanker dropping KAB-500 bombs in Syria in 2015.
- The graphic gives a very thorough breakdown of the Flanker’s capabilities, including which ordnance it carries and where it hangs on the wings.
- Russia first deployed four Su-34s to Syria in September 2015, and Moscow is now believed to have six in the war-torn country.
- While Russia likes to tout how many terrorists it kills in air strikes, their figures are often exaggerated and fail to mention civilian casualties.
- By March 2016, after just six months of military operations in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russian airstrikes had killed about 5,800 civilians.
- Russia has used Syria to test and showcase its weaponry but has sold the Fullback to only one country, Algeria.
- Russia plans to maintain a fleet of 92 Fullbacks until 2020.