Sukhoi Delivers 5 Su-34 Bombers to Russian Air Force

NOVOSIBIRSK, January 25 (RIA Novosti) – The Novosibirsk aircraft plant, part of the Sukhoi holding, delivered five multirole Su-34 strike aircraft to the Russian Air Force on Friday, the manufacturer said.

The jets will make a nonstop ferry flight from Novosibirsk to an air base in Voronezh, southwest Russia, a distance of over 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles).

Six Su-34s were delivered to the Air Force in 2011, as part of an initial contract signed in 2008 for 32 aircraft. The Voronezh base received its first five Su-34 warplanes in late December.

Last year, the Defense Ministry said it would take delivery of 10 Su-34s in 2012, all of them to be deployed in the Western Military District.

The Air Force is due to get 92 Su-34s by 2020, in a contract signed in March 2012.

Together with the 2008 contract, the Air Force will eventually have a total of 124 Su-34s.

A two-seat derivative of the Su-27 fighter, the Su-34 can carry a payload of up to eight tons of precision-guided weapons over 4,000 kilometers.

The aircraft will eventually replace all of the ageing Su-24 strike aircraft in service with the Air Force and Navy.

The first Su-34s were manufactured in Novosibirsk in 2006, with series production starting in 2008.

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