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Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:10PM
A twin-seat Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter bomber (file photo)

A twin-seat Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter bomber (file photo)

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced that the country’s major aircraft manufacturer, Sukhoi Company, will deliver a total of 30 twin-seat Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) fighter bombers to the Russian Air Force by the end of 2014. “The current [2013] year plan on the delivery of 14 [Su-34] aircraft under the state defense order will be fulfilled, and the plant has promised to deliver another 16 fighter bombers next year,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday. On Thursday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov visited the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association -- a giant plant in Russia manufacturing warplanes and part of the Sukhoi Company. He examined the facilities of the plant, which builds Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker), Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C), Sukhoi Su-35 as well as Sukhoi PAK FA fighter aircraft, and repairs and modernizes Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D) all-weather carrier-based fighter jet. The Sukhoi Su-34 is intended to replace the ageing twin-engined two-seater fighter jet Sukhoi Su-24 (Fencer), which was developed during the Soviet Union and is in service with the Russian Air Force and Navy. The Sukhoi Su-34, a two-seat derivative of the Sukhoi Su-27 air defence fighter, can carry a payload of up to 8,000 kilograms of ordnance, intended to include the latest Russian precision-guided weapons, over 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles). The Russian Air Force is due to get a total of 124 Su-34 fighter jets by 2020 under two contracts with the Sukhoi Company. According to official data, 29 Su-34 fighter aircraft have been delivered to the Russian military so far. MP/SS