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Su-34 Sukhoi
Su-32, Su-34
ASCC codename: Fullback
Medium Tactical/ Strategic Bomber

Based on the Su-27 fighter, the Su-34 is a tactical low-level bomber designed to replace the Su-24. The first Su-34 prototype was a modified Su-30 tandem two-seat trainer, itself a variant of the Su-27, reconfigured with two side-by-side seats in a widened fuselage. The widened nose also contains a terrain-following radar and terrain-avoidance system needed for low-level flight. Furthermore, the revised nose shape is a flat, sharp, chined configuration similar to that on the SR-71 Blackbird to reduce radar cross-section.

Like the Su-27, the Su-34 also features a rearward facing radar between the engines to track and fire upon targets behind the aircraft. Improvements over the Su-27 include more sophisticated avionics, addition of canards like those of the Su-33, better maneuverability, greater range, and improved low-level flight performance.

The Su-34, originally known as the Su-27IB, is expected to replace the Su-24 bomber as well as the MiG-25RB reconnaissance plane. A further variant of the Su-34 is the Su-32FN optimized for maritime attack and reconnaissance duties. Some reports also suggest a navalized version of the Su-34 (possibly confused with the Su-33UB) equipped with more powerful engines and thrust vectoring to reduce the takeoff distance. This variant remains somewhat doubtful, however, since the Russian Navy only operates a single aircraft carrier that seldom leaves port.

Russia hopes to ultimately build as many as 600 examples of the Su-34 by about 2030. Even though the Su-34 first flew in the early 1990s, production has been slow to get underway and only 58 have been funded through 2015. The age of the Su-24 and MiG-25 means these aircraft will likely be removed from service by 2020 leaving a large gap in capability until sufficient numbers of the Su-34 become available.

Last modified 13 September 2009

First Flight (modified Su-30) 13 April 1990
(Su-34) 18 December 1993
Service Entry


CREW: two: pilot, weapon systems officer



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 82.67 ft (25.22 m)
Wingspan 48.18 ft (14.70 m)
Height 20.33 ft (6.20 m)
Wing Area 666 ft (62.0 m)
Canard Area


Empty 30,865 lb (14,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff 85,980 lb (39,000 kg)
Max Takeoff 99,210 lb (45,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity 26,675 lb (12,100 kg)
Max Payload 17,640 lb (8,000 kg)

Powerplant two Saturn/Lyul'ka AL-31MF afterburning turbojets
Thrust 58,460 lb (260 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 1,180 mph (1,900 km/h) at 32,780 ft (10,000 m), Mach 1.8
at sea level: unknown
cruise speed: 810 mph (1,300 km/h) at 32,780 ft (10,000 m)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 45,890 ft (14,000 m)
Range typical: 2,160 nm (4,000 km)
ferry: 3,775 nm (7,000 km)
g-Limits +7

Gun one 30-mm GSh-301 cannon (149 rds)
Stations ten external hardpoints and two wingtip rails
Air-to-Air Missile up to 12 R-27/AA-10 Alamo, R-73/AA-11 Archer, or R-77/AA-12
Air-to-Surface Missile AS-12, AS-13, Kh-29/AS-14 Kedge, Kh-35, Kh-41, Kh-59
Bomb KAB-500, KAB-1500 laser-guided bombs
Other rocket pods, ECM pods

Su-27IB Original designation of the Su-34
Su-34 Production model based on the Su-27 airframe but with a widened forward fuselage for side-by-side seating as well as advanced navigation and attack avionics
Su-32FN Maritime attack and reconnaissance model built for export


KNOWN OPERATORS: Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)



  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 868, Sukhoi Su-27 and derivatives.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 415, Sukhoi Su-27IB/KU/Su-34.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 268, Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 366-369, Su-27IB, Su-34.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 105.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 94-95, Sukhoi Su-34 (Su-27IB).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 73-74, Sukhoi Su-32FN and Su-34/Su-27IB (NATO name Flanker).

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