Russia may begin selling its cutting-edge Sukhoi fighter bomber from 2023, Alexander Mikheev, the chief of state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said on Wednesday.
“We may begin exporting [Su-34s] starting 2023. Rosoboronexport is currently making pre-contractual arrangements to promote this plane in African and Asia-Pacific countries,” Mikheev told reporters at the MAKS-2021 international air show.
The jet has attracted considerable attention, especially after the Russian Aerospace Forces deployed it during the anti-terrorism campaign in Syria, the Rosoboronexport chief noted.
The Su-34 is designed to destroy ground, surface and air targets as well as air defense-protected infrastructure, despite enemy resistance and regardless of the time of the day and meteorological conditions. The bomber can also perform air reconnaissance missions.
Earlier, there were reports that suggested that the Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft have been further enhanced with new reconnaissance systems.
“Several Su-34 combat aircraft have recently been equipped with the latest reconnaissance containers,” the source said, adding that this included systems for conducting optical-electronic reconnaissance and radar reconnaissance.
According to the industry source, the new reconnaissance systems significantly increase the capabilities of the Su-34 to detect ground and sea targets of all types, and also allow to determine the parameters and coordinates of various targets with high precision.
Last year in September, the EurAsian Times had reported that the Su-34 carried out a night-time combat exercise reaching the heights of 15 kilometers at lower stratospheric level, engaging a ‘hypothetical enemy’ at supersonic speeds.
Unique in its operational roles and strike capabilities, this is yet another Russian derivative of the Su-27 Flanker family, carrying a NATO designation of “Fullback”. The jet is twin-seater, however, it is uniquely different as these seats are side-by-side horizontally aligned instead of vertically aligned to the fuselage.