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Sukhoi flight testing Su-34 fighter bombers

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The Su-34 fighter bomber aircraft. A Sukhoi photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi has begun flight testing of a new batch of Su-34 fighter bombers ahead of their delivery to the Russian Air Force by this year-end.

The advanced two-seat strike aircraft are undergoing flight trials at the Chkalov Aviation Production Association (NAPO) flight testing station in Novosibirsk, Sukhoi said.

The company was awarded a contract in 2008 to provide a total of 32 Su-34 fighters to the Russian Defence Ministry.

The multi-role Su-34 fighter bombers, operated by the Russian Air Force, have been designed to attack land-based, sea- and airborne targets by day and night in all weather conditions.

The four-plus generation strike plane is equipped with several airborne munitions, including high-precision ones. It also features a smart anti-radar defence system, an armed cockpit and latest computers that provide extra capabilities for the pilot and navigator to perform aimed bombing and to maneuver under enemy fire.

The excellent aerodynamics, large capacity internal fuel tanks, fuel-efficient bypass engines with a digital control system, in-flight refueling device and add-on fuel tanks enable the aircraft to fly long distances close to those of medium strategic bombers.

The Russian Air Force had showcased the new bombers during the Vostok-2010 military exercises held in July. During the exercise, the Su-34 successfully hit mock targets in the Russian Far East after flying non-stop all the way from a base in the European part of Russia. The mission also involved a mid-air refueling operation.

Sukhoi said it will soon begin work on enhancing the Su-34’s combat potential by equipping it with new airborne munitions.

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