MOSCOW, (BM) – Russian Aerospace Forces will receive a “Super-Defender.” Already this year, serial production of an updated version of the Su-34 bomber will begin (NATO designation Fullback – “Defender”), learned BulgarianMiltary.com, quoting Izvestia. The machine is assigned the HBO index – “new features”. The aircraft will be equipped with modern ammunition, improved electronic warfare equipment and unique reconnaissance containers. Modernization is based on the experience gained during the hostilities in Syria.
New eyes and ears
Deliveries of the Su-34 NVO will begin this year – this follows from the protocol of the joint decision of the Ministry of Defense, Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant and Sukhoi Design Bureau (the document is at the disposal of Izvestia).
As a source in the military department said, the cars will be produced under a contract that is planned to be signed in the near future. At the moment, aircraft manufacturers and the military are specifying its parameters. Including the number of Su-34 NVO, which will purchase the defense department, as well as the specific timing of their delivery to the troops.
In addition to the updated avionics, weapons, and electronic warfare equipment, Universal Reconnaissance Containers (UKR), created as part of the Sych development work, will appear on the Defenders. They will radically increase the aircraft’s ability to detect ground and air targets.
Through the clouds
Three containers with different reconnaissance load have been developed for the Su-34. Variant UKR-RT is designed for electronic reconnaissance, UKR-OE for optoelectronic and UKR-RL for radar. They all use a single data bus to interact with the aircraft and are therefore interchangeable.
Earlier, the director general of the Kulon Research Institute, Vladimir Maximov, stated that the UKR-RL electronic intelligence reconnaissance container with the fourth-generation Pika-M radar completed state tests and had already been tested in real-life conditions. It will allow the aircraft to detect ground targets at a greater range at any time of the day, even through clouds.
As military expert Dmitry Boltenkov, another container for the Su-34, UKR-RT, told Izvestia, it was created on the basis of the M400a radio intelligence equipment. This is a smaller version of the more complex Fraction system, which is equipped with the latest Tu-214R reconnaissance aircraft.
“For container execution, it was necessary to reduce the dimensions and weight of the Fraction, but it was stated that the technical characteristics were saved,” the specialist said.
It is believed that with the help of its modern reconnaissance system, the Tu-214P can detect radar radiation, radio communications, and even the operation of cell phones hundreds of kilometers away. These aircraft were actively involved in operations in Syria.
EW in a new look
Also for the Su-34 HBO developed a modified complex of electronic suppression “Khibiny”. It will help the aircraft better defend against air defense systems. The power of the equipment allows you to cover not only your car, but also neighboring ones. The composition of ground equipment for servicing and control of the aircraft and its avionics will also undergo changes.
“The bomber has excellent characteristics,” the honored test pilot, Hero of Russia Igor Malikov told Izvestia. – The potential of this machine is far from exhausted. Equipping it with reconnaissance equipment will significantly increase the capabilities of our troops in the tactical zone.
“There are no analogues of the Su-34 in the world,” the expert believes. – At one time, the Americans in the same class had the F-111, but in the late 1990s they abandoned it. The Russian aircraft is optimal for combat use. Modern stealth bombers can carry much less weapons. And the Su-34 is able to take up to eight tons on an external sling.
Su-34 bombers have been deployed in Syria since the first days of the Russian operation in 2015. Initially, one unit of four aircraft was transferred there. In the most intense periods of the defeat of the IS (terrorist organization, banned in the Russian Federation) at the end of 2017, up to 14 Su-34s were simultaneously visible on satellite images of Khmeimim.
Aircraft were actively used for the use of precision guided weapons. Including corrected air bombs KAB-500S. Specialized striking machines hit well-defended targets, including small ones: terrorist mountain bunkers, oil production facilities seized by them, and even small armed pickups.
For five years of combat work in Syria, not a single Su-34 was lost, they have established themselves as a reliable and efficient machine. According to the Ministry of Defense, the combat raid of some pilots on this type of aircraft was more than 400 hours.
The development of the shock version of the Su-27 began in the late 1980s. The prototype Su-34 made its first flight on October 13, 1990. Pre-production aircraft went into the army since 2006.
In 2008, the first major contract was signed for 32 bombers for the Russian Air Force. In 2012, he was followed by a second, already 92 cars. Now the production of these batches is nearing completion. According to various sources, in 2008–2019, the Ministry of Defense received more than 120 Su-34s. And all in the videoconferencing plan to use them at least 150-200.
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