Two Russian Su-34 Fighter Bombers Collide in Midair during Training Flight
MOSCOW, the Russian Federation (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Today (18th January), the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defence reported that two fighter bombers Su-34 collided in Russia’s Far East over the Strait of Tartary, while performing a planned training flight. The aircraft crews managed to eject safely, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to the MoD report, today, at 8:07 (Moscow time), the two Su-34 bombers that at this time were performing a routine training flight over the Sea of Japan, at 35 kilometers from the coast, while manoeuvring, crashed in the air. The two planes are part of of the Far Eastern Air Defence Forces, and both were flying unarmed. The Russia’s Ministry of Defence adds that “an An-12 and two Mi-8 helicopters from the search and rescue forces are searching for the pilots in the area where they ejected.”
According to the information the two pilots of one of the crashed Su-34s, have been found, by the rescue crew, in the icy sea in ‘satisfactory’ conditions. Despite a damaged engine, the pilots of the other fighter bomber were able to land safely.
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TASS reports that the operation for their rescue involved six ships part of the Pacific Fleet, the maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare Tupolev Tu-142 as well as anti-submarine aircraft.
The accident is currently under investigation, namely the theory of pilots’ failure to measure a safe distance between the two fighter jets.
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The incident with the two Su-34 fighter-bombers that today had collided in mid-air over the Strait of Tatary in Russia’s Khabarovsk Region, reportedly led the military to suspend all Su-34 flights throughout the country.
This is not the first accident with Russia’s Su-34s involved in it. In June 2015, again after a planned training flight, a bomber of this type crashed in Russia’s Voronezh region. Then, the parachute of the jet failed to open after landing and the aircraft skidded off the runway, overturning. However, no one of the crew was injured.
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The Russian Air Force twin-engine, twin-seat, supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber aircraft, Sukhoi Su-34 has a range of 680 miles at low altitude and develops maximum speed of 1,200mph. It was also part of Russia’s military hardware involved the Syrian Civil War.
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Sources: Daily Mail, Sputnik News