The first Su-34 from a new contract

On 23 August 2020, the traditional Open Door Day held at the NAZ plant *) in Novosibirsk (Russia) revealed a newly completed Su-34 frontline bomber that was filmed in flight during its factory flight trials. That alone would not have been anything out of the ordinary, if it weren’t for the fact that in June 2020 **), Scramble Magazine reported about the last Su-34 built under the 2012 contract for 92 aircraft having been delivered in May 2020.

That means this new aircraft is presumably the first Su-34 aircraft (serial 11-09) built under a follow-up three-year-contract for 24 bombers as a replacement of the oldest Sukhoi Su-24MR/MP aircraft, which Scramble Magazine has reported about in February 2020 ***). According to our information, Su-34 serials 11-09 and 11-10 were already in production at NAZ in the summer of 2019 and they apparently will be delivered to the Russian Federation - Aerospace Forces (RF VKS) by the end of 2020. It is not yet clear whether any modifications of avionics, cockpit or EW equipment to the Su-34M standard have been performed on the new aircraft.

The total number of completed Su-34s built under all contracts is now 137 units, including seven experimental and pre-production models (marked 42-48 White). During the operational service life of the aircraft, two Su-34 bombers have been lost in a crash (mid-air collision over the Tatar Strait on 18 January 2019) and four aircraft have been written off due to damages.

These frontline bombers are in service with nine squadrons (four combat aviation regiments) of the RF VKS (2nd, 47th and 277th Mixed, as well as 559th Bomber Aviation Regiment). More aircraft are operated by the two training centres; the 4th Centre for Combat Employment and Retraining of VKS Personnel in Lipetsk and the Flight Test Centre named after V.P. Chkalov in Akhtubinsk.

*) Novosibirsk Aviation Plant named after V.P. Chkalov, part of the PJSC Sukhoi Company

**) SFN 1 June 2020, Russian contract for 76 improved Su-34M frontline bombers

***) SFN 24 February 2020, Russia plans to sign a contract for the supply of several dozen new Su-34Ms

Photos: VVN via

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