Sukhoi Su-34

The Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) is a Russian twin-engine, twin-seat strike fighter. It is intended to replace the Sukhoi Su-24.

Based on Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker', the two-seat Su-34 is designed primarily for tactical deployment against ground and naval targets (Tactical bombing/attack/interdiction roles, including against small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favourable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fire and EW counter-measures deployed, as well as for air reconnaissance.

Sukhoi Su-34
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Sukhoi
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1990
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) 2014 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Sukhoi 2006 65 View

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+ when fully loaded. The Su-34 has a maximum range of 4,000 km (with the armament) without refuelling, and 7,000 km with aerial refueling.

The Su-34 has a three-surface planform, with a conventional horizontal tailplane, twin-tail at the rear and a pair of canard foreplanes in front of the wings for extra lift (force) and more manoeuvring capability. The Su-34 has 12 hardpoints for up to 12,000 kilograms 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, and the ability to carry air-to-air missiles R-77 (pcs 6) and R-73 (still 6). The maximum weight of any single munition carried is 4000 kg, with a maximum munitions load the maximum attack range is 250 km.

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, the pressurization system allows operation 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. Entrance into the cockpit is from below, using a ladder attached to the nose landing gear and a hatch in the cockpit floor. The cockpit is a continuous capsule of armour. Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS). Helmet is a kind of command center: precision target designation of all onboard weapons tied to the movement of the head and the eyes of the pilot.

Maximum detection range for the passive electronically scanned array forward radar is 200–250 km, to cover the rear a second aft-facing radar is mounted. The main radar can simultaneously attack four targets (in the air, on land or on the water). The rear warning radar system can warn of attack from behind and allow it to fire its R-73 (missile)s against pursuers without needing to turn the aircraft. The rear radar is unofficially called the N-012.

A Khibiny ECM system is fitted as standard Maximum operating overload +9G

It will have a frontal radar cross-section an order of magnitude smaller than prior generation fighters, use stealth.

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 exercise included aircraft carrying weapons at full load, simulated delivering them on a target before arriving at the Pacific coast base. Su-24Ms were refuelled three times, while the Su-34 was refuelled twice.

The Russian Air Force completed the final stage of the state tests on 19 September 2011. The aircraft entered service in early 2014. The Su-34 was rumoured to have been used by Russian command during the 2008 South Ossetia war. Russia plans to have 92 in use to 2020. Later planned to get up to 200.

Role Fighter-bomber, strike fighter
Manufacturer Sukhoi
First flight 13 April 1990
Introduction 20 March 2014
Status In service
Primary user Russian Air Force
Produced 2006–present
Number built 65 as of December 2014
Unit cost US$36 million
Developed from Sukhoi Su-27

General characteristics

  • 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)

  • Wing area: 62.04 m² (667.8 ft²)

  • Empty weight: 22,500 kg (49,608 lb)

  • Loaded weight: 39,000 kg (85,980 lb)

  • Useful load: 12,000 kg (26,455 lb)

  • Max. takeoff weight: 45,100 kg (99,425 lb)

  • Powerplant: 2 × 13,500 kgf (132 kN, 29,762 lbf) afterburning thrust Lyulka AL-31FM1[70] turbofans

  • Internal fuel: 12,100 kg (15,400 l)


  • Maximum speed:

  • High altitude: Mach 1.8+ (˜2,000 km/h, 1,200 mph)

  • Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph) at sea level

  • Cruise speed: unknown

  • Range: 1,100 km (680 mi) at low level altitude

  • Combat radius: 1,000+ km (about 680 mi)

  • Ferry range: 4,000 km (2,490 mi)

  • Service ceiling: 15,000 m (49,200 ft)

  • Thrust/weight: 0.68


  • Guns: 1× 30 mm GSh-30-1 (9A-4071K) cannon, 150–180 rounds

  • Hardpoints: 12× wing and fuselage stations with a capacity of 8,000–12,000 kg and provisions to carry combinations of:

  • Rockets:

    • S-8, S-13, S-25 rocket pods

  • Missiles:

    • R-27 (AA-10) air-to-air missile

    • R-73 (AA-11) air-to-air missile

    • R-77 (AA-12) air-to-air missile

    • Kh-29L/T (AS-14) air-to-ground missile

    • Kh-38 new generation air-to-ground missile with a range of 40 km

    • Kh-25MT/ML/MP (AS-10) air-to-ground missile or anti-radiation missile

    • Kh-59M (AS-18) air-to-ground missile

    • Kh-58 (AS-11) anti-radiation missile

    • Kh-31 (AS-17) anti-radiation or anti-ship missile

    • Kh-35 (AS-20) anti-ship missile

    • P-800 Oniks missile (SS-N-26 Strobile) anti-ship missile (version for the Air Force). Version he named "Alpha" weight of 1500 kg with a range of up to 300 km and a speed in the range of numbers M = 2.2-3.0. Officially not in service.

    • Kh-65SE or Kh-SD cruise missile

  • Bombs:

    • KAB-500L or KAB-500KR or KAB-1500L/KR guided bombs

    • OFAB-250-270, OFAB-100-120, FAB-500T, BETAB-500SHP, P-50T, ODAB-500PM unguided bombs, RBK-500 and SPBE-D cluster bombs, nuclear bombs.

  • Other:

    • 3,000 litres PTB-3000 Suspended Fuel Tanks, EW and reconnaissance pods.

End notes