|First flight||13 April 1990|
|Primary user||Russian Air Force|
|Number built||33 of which
|Unit cost||US$36 million|
|Developed from||Sukhoi Su-27|
Origins and testing 
The Su-34 had a muddied and protracted beginning. In the mid-1980s, Sukhoi began developing a new multirole tactical aircraft to replace the swing-wing Su-24, which would incorporate a host of conflicting requirements. The bureau thus selected the Su-27, which excelled in maneuverability and range, and could carry a large payload, as the basis for the new fighter. More specifically, the aircraft was developed from T10KM-2, the naval trainer derivative of the Sukhoi Su-27K. The development, known internally as T-10V, was shelved at the end of the 1980s sharing the fate of new aircraft carriers; this was the result of the political upheaval in the Soviet Union and its subsequent disintegration.
In August 1990 a photograph taken by a TASS officer showed an aircraft making a dummy approach towards Tbilisi carrier. The aircraft, subsequently and erroneously labelled Su-27KU by Western intelligence, made its maiden flight on 13 August 1990 with Anatoliy Ivanov at the controls. Converted from an Su-27UB with the new distinctive nose, while retaining the main undercarriage of previous Su-27s, it was a prototype for the Su-27IB (Istrebitel Bombardirovshchik, or "fighter bomber"). It was developed in parallel with the two-seat naval trainer, the Su-27KUB, although, contrary to earlier reports, the two aircraft are not directly related. Flight tests continued throughout 1990 and into 1991.
In 1992, the Su-27IB was displayed to the public at the MosAeroshow (since renamed "MAKS Airshow"), where it demonstrated aerial refuelling with an Il-78, and performed an aerobatic display. The aircraft was officially unveiled on 13 February 1992 at Machulishi, where Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the CIS leaders were holding a summit. The following year the Su-27IB was again displayed at the MAKS Airshow.
The next prototype, and first pre-production aircraft, T10V-2, first flew on 18 December 1993 at the controls of Igor Votintsev and Yevgeniy Revoonov. Built at Novosibirsk, where Su-24s were constructed, this aircraft was visibly different from the original prototype; it had a modified vertical stabilizers, twin tandem main undercarriage and a longer "sting", which houses a rearward-facing warning radar. The first aircraft built to production standard made its first flight on 28 December 1994. It was fitted with a fire-control system, at the heart of which was the Leninets OKB-designed V004 radar. It was different enough from the earlier versions that it was re-designated the "Su-34". However, at the 1995 Paris Air Show, the Su-34 was allocated the "Su-32FN" designation, signalling the aircraft's potential role as a shore-based naval aircraft. Sukhoi also promoted the Su-34 as the "Su-32MF" (MnogoFunksionalniy, "multi-function").
The first phase of the state tests ended on 30 October 2006 with the implementation of more than 200 flights involving five Su-34s. The final stage of the state tests were completed on 19 September 2011. 2012 is planned to be its official introduction.
Initially only a handful of pre-production models were built. Only in March 2006, Russia's Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov announced that the government had purchased the first pair of Su-34s for delivery in 2006. A total of 200 aircraft were to be purchased by 2015 to replace some 300 Russian Su-24s, which were at the time going through a modernization program. Ivanov claimed that because the aircraft is "many times more effective on all critical parameters" the Russian Air Force will need far fewer of these newer bombers than the old Su-24 it replaces.
In December 2006, Ivanov revealed that approximately 200 Su-34s were expected to be in service by 2020. This was confirmed by Air Force chief Vladimir Mikhaylov on 6 March 2007. Two Su-34s were delivered on 4 January 2007, and six more were delivered by the end of that year. On 9 January 2008, Sukhoi reported that the Su-34 has begun full-rate production. At this time Russia planned to have 24 Su-34s operational by late 2010. In June 2009, Sukhoi was awarded a five-year contract for Su-34 production.
The Russian Air Force received another four Su-34s on 28 December 2010, and expects to receive 70 Su-34s by 2015. A Russian military source announced in September 2011 that Air Force had finished pre-deployment tests of Su-34. The model will receive approval for further testing by bomber units.
Delivery were from two contracts, the first in 2008 for 32 aircraft, the second in 2012 for a further 92 aircraft, totaling 124 Su-34 to be delivered by 2020. In December 2012 it was reported that Sukhoi Company delivered five Su-34 frontline bombers to defence ministry, Official documents were signed at the Sukhoi’s Novosibirsk aircraft plant. The aircraft were transferred under the 2012 State Defense Order. Again in January 2013 Sukhoi delivered a second batch of 5 Su-34 strike aircraft to the Russian Air Force. They flew from the Novosibirsk aircraft plant to an air base in Voronezh, southwest Russia..On 6th May 2013 first Sukhoi Su-34 under defence procurement plans in 2013 was delivered to the air force.
The aircraft shares most of its wing structure, tail, and engine nacelles with the Su-27/Su-30, with canards like the Su-30MKI/Su-33/Su-27M/35 to increase static instability (higher manoeuvrability) and to reduce trim drag. The aircraft has an entirely new nose and forward fuselage with a cockpit providing side-by-side seating for a crew of two. The Su-34 is powered by the AL-31FM1, the same engines with the Su-27SM, but its maximum speed is lower at Mach 1.8+.
The Su-34 has a three surface planform, with a conventional horizontal tail at the rear and a pair of canard foreplanes in front of the wings for extra lift and more manoeuvring power. The Su-34 has 12 pylons for up to 8,000 kilograms (17,635 lb) of ordnance, intended to include the latest Russian precision-guided weapons. It retains the Su-27/Su-30's 30 mm GSh-30-1 cannon.
The Su-34's most distinctive feature is the unusually large flight deck. Much of the design work went into crew comfort. The two crew members sit side by side in a large cabin, with the pilot-commander to the left and navigator/operator of weapons to the right in NPP Zvezda K-36dm ejection seats. An advantage of the side by side cockpit is that duplicate instruments are not required for each pilot. Since long missions require comfort, it comprises pressurization allowing it to operate up to 10,000 metres (32,800 ft) without oxygen masks, which are available for emergencies and combat situations. The crew members have room to stand and move about the cabin during long missions. The space between the seats allows them to lie down in the corridor, if necessary. A toilet and a galley are located behind the crew seats.
Operational history 
The Su-34's long range was shown in a July 2010 exercise when Su-34s and Su-24Ms were moved from Russian bases in Europe to one on the Pacific coast, 6,000 kilometres away, which requires in-flight refuelling. The Su-24Ms were refuelled three times, while the Su-34 was refuelled twice.
Specifications (Su-34) 
- Crew: 2
- Length: 23.34 m (72 ft 2 in)
- Wingspan: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
- Height: 6.09 m (19 ft 5 in)
- Loaded weight: 39,000 kg (85,980 lb)
- Useful load: 8,000 kg (17,600 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 45,100 kg (99,425 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-31FM1 turbofans, 13,500 kgf (132 kN, 29,762 lbf) with afterburner each
- Maximum speed:
- High altitude: Mach 1.8 (2,200 km/h, 1,375 mph)
- Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph) at sea level
- Range: 1,100 km (680 mi) at low level altitude
- Ferry range: 4,000 km (2,490 mi)
- Service ceiling: 15,000 m (49,200 ft)
- Wing loading: 629 kg/m² (129 lb/ft²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.68
- Guns: 1 × 30 mm GSh-30-1 (9A-4071K) cannon, 180 rounds
- Hardpoints: 12 × wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000 kg (17,630 lb) and provisions to carry combinations of:
- fuel tanks, EW and reconnaissance pods, nuclear bombs.
See also 
- Related development
- Comparable aircraft
- "Su-32". Sukhoi. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- "С соблюдением формальностей, ВВС в 2012 году примут на вооружение бомбардировщики Су-34" (in Russian). lenta.ru, 20 September 2011. Retrieved: 5 October 2012.<
- "Russian Air Force receives 4 new Su-34 fighter-bombers." Sukhoi, 24 December 2010. Retrieved: 9 January 2011.
- "Su-34 in the sky." Sukhoi, 2 October 2006. Retrieve: 9 January 2011.
- "Russia producing new Su-34 bombers." United Press International, 14 January 2008. Retrieved: 7 July 2011.
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- Williams 2002, p. 132
- Gordon 1999, p. 92.
- Gordon 1999, p. 93.
- Eden 2004, p. 466.
- Andrews, Thomas, "Sukhoi Su-27/Su-30 Family," International Air Power Review, Volume 8, Spring 2003.
- "Интенсивность государственных совместных испытаний (ГСИ) многоцелевых ударных самолетов Су-34 по сравнению с прошлым годом возросла почти вдвое" (in Russian). arms-expo.ru. Retrieved: 5 October 2012.
- "Russian Air Force to receive five Su-34 warplanes in 2008". RIA Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency), 14 January 2008.
- "Russia producing new Su-34 bombers". United Press International, 9 January 2008.
- "Su-34 Fullback fighter takes to the skies." RIA Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency), 19 December 2006.
- "3rd serial Su-34 fighter-bomber to take to the skies in November." RIA Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency), 6 March 2007.
- Karnozov, Vladimir. "Russia gets first new fighters for 15 years as Sukhoi Su-34 debuts." Flight International, 4 January 2007.
- Johnson, Reuben F. "Russian contract to boost Su-34 production" (subscription required). Jane's Defence Weekly, 5 June 2009.
- "Russian Air Force receives new Su-34 fighter-bombers." RIA Novosti, 28 December 2010.
- "Su-34 completed pre-deployment tests in Sep 2011." AirForceWorld.com, 22 September 2011.
- "Министерство обороны купило 92 бомбардировщика Су-34" (in Russian). lenta.ru, 1 March 2012.
- "AL-31FM1." Salut.ru. Retrieved: 1 March 2012.
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- Gordon, Yefim. Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker: Air Superiority Fighter. London: Airlife Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-84037-029-7.
- Spick 2000, pp. 518–519.
- Eden, Paul. "Su-27IB, Su-32FN and Su-34", Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9.
- "Warplanes: F-15Eski Goes Long Against China." Strategypage.com, 6 July 2010. Retrieved: 1 March 2012.
- "Five-Day War: Up in the air (Russian)." Army.lv. Retrieved: 1 March 2012.
- "Su-32: Aircraft performance", "Armaments". Sukhoi. Retrieved: 4 July 2011.
- Gordon and Davison 2006, pp. 92, 95–96.
- "Su-34 (Su-27IB) Flanker Fighter Bomber Aircraft, Russia." airforce-technology.com. Retrieved: 5 October 2012.
- "SU-34." airwar.ru. Retrieved: 5 October 2012.
- "Su-34." Defense-update.com. Retrieved: 1 March 2012.
- Eden, Paul (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Aircraft. London: Amber Books, 2004. ISBN 1-904687-84-9.
- Gordon, Yefim. Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker: Air Superiority Fighter. London: Airlife Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-84037-029-7.
- Gordon, Yefim and Peter Davison. Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. North branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-58007-091-1.
- Kopp, Carlo. "Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback". Ausairpower.net, January 2011 (last updated).
- Spick, Mike. "The Flanker". The Great Book of Modern Warplanes. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 2000. ISBN 0-7603-0893-4.
- Williams, Mel (ed.). "Sukhoi 'Super Flankers'". Superfighters: The Next Generation of Combat Aircraft. Norwalk, Connecticut: AIRtime Publishing Inc., 2002. ISBN 1-880588-53-6.
- Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, Australia: Aerospace Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sukhoi Su-34|
- Official Sukhoi Su-32 (Su-34) webpage
- Russian Su-34 web page
- Su-34 page on MILAVIA.net
- Su-34 on Airforce Technology
- Su-34 page on aerospaceweb.org
- Su-34/32FN Long range fighter-bomber
- Su-34 Fullback on Globalaircraft.org
- Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback: Russia's New Heavy Strike Fighter
- Russia gets first new fighters for 15 years as Sukhoi Su-34 debuts – 4 January 2007, Flight Global.
- Russian Air Force to adopt Su-34 "flying tank". INFOgraphics
- Su-34/Su-32FN bomber family