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Fate of the Su-34(Su-32FN) ???

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posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 12:06 PM
The Su-34 fighter bomber is a derivative of the Su-27 fighter aircraft. The aircraft design retains the basic layout and construction of the Su-27 airframe, with a conventional high-wing configuration and a substantial part of the onboard equipment.

Su-32"FN" has been characterized by Sukhoi as a "specialized strike fighter" and "a reliable guardian of sea borders". It would be, according to Western terminology, a "missionized reconnaissance-maritime-strike platform" intended for around the clock operations to search for, detect, classify, and then destroy, if necessary, waterborne or submarine targets. It is boldly advertised as the potential successor to the Su-24, F-111, S-3A, RF-4E, EF-111A, A-6E, EA-6A, Tornado GR4, and the F-15E.

The first Su-34 prototype made its first flight on 18Dec93 and after transferring the development to Zhukovsky, it was decided that the third prototype would be the first Su-32"FN". This aircraft first flew a year later on 28Dec94 with test pilots Igor Votintsev and Evgeny Reunov at the controls.

The Su-32"FN" is fitted with the "Sea Snake" avionics suite optimized for surface search, anti-surface warfare, mine-detection, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare. The active radar is designed to ensure detection of waterborne targets and submarine wake trails within a dispersion area of more than 3,000 sq.-meters from 150 km range at high altitude. The "Sea Snake" is also capable of detecting airborne targets, including small ones, low over the sea out to 200 to 250 kilometers. The "FN" is equipped with an integrated GLOSNOSS/GPS navigation and with its secure datalink can serve as a search-and-rescue coordinator or a maritime environment monitor.

The avionics suite has an extended architecture of computers, memory boards, color multi-function displays, and processors designed as self-contained information processing modules. They consist of large "Argon" digital computer units with specially programmed processors that use multiplex data-exchange channels. All information modules are controlled by a dual central computing system that fully coordinates workload and provides all relevant information to the flight deck. Two-way data link enables the mission planning and weapon aim-point computations to be loaded or updated while in flight or aircraft to aircraft.

According to Martirosov, Sukhoi utilized a high reliability modular approach that could complete most combat missions with a partial failure of any module. The avionics suite is also tailored to specific customer requirement with capabilities added or deleted. Western avionics could also be added at anytime.

When the aircraft is engaged in a maritime mission, the main weapon systems functions are performed by the onboard coherent radar, transmitting sonobouys, information provided by offboard data link, an onboard infrared/TV imaging system and a laser rangefinder. Target detection is carried out primarily with the help of the radar, in some cases visual contact is made, and the acoustic signatures are relayed by the sonobouys.

The fighter - bomber is equipped with the most powerful navigation complex. The control of the Su-34 uses multichannel digital electrodistance [total word by word translation] system. The system of active safety is installed

There is also a magnetic anomaly detector employed with the sonobouys while the radar can detect small periscopes just breaking the wave tops. Onboard passive radio-electronic reconnaissance systems operate through the entire usable spectrum.

An operational mission for the Su-32"FN" begins with a mission planning period that loads into the aircraft's two main computers the coordinates and elevations of every navigation and mission-dependent point from takeoff to landing. At each coordinate-point or time-hack, automatic switching of modes can be accomplished so that the pilots can be hands-off or involved with other parts of the mission. Data link with command aircraft, ground stations, and command ships will be maintained and where line-of-sight limits are reached these communications resort to satellites for expanded coverage. Mission updates can be passed by higher authority anytime during the flight.

A powerful Radio Locating Station for aft observation is placed in the tail section of the fuselage, between the engines.

The Su-34 bomber is intended to destroy point heavily guarded targets in any weather conditions, day or night. The accomplishment of the goal is ensured by the installation of the most sophisticated at this day radioelectronic equipment on board, including multifunctional phased array radar system with increased resolution capability able to see even insignificant in size ground targets and allowing the attack with high precision.

Not only the aft facing radar warns the crew about an enemy's attack, but also can guide the air to air missile firing. The missiles are able to hit the enemy guided missiles as well as the planes. Not a single foreign attack a/c at this time has similar capabilities. It is also capable of automated terrain following.

It mainly comprises of a large side-by-side crew station that contains the left command-pilot and right navigator-armament operator's stations. It is a fully pressurized cabin that allows flight up to 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) without oxygen.

Standard K-36DM ejection seats are utilized with ejection being made upwards after the explosive destruction of the large main canopy.

The cockpit is outfitted with multifunctional CRT indicators and HUD's. The pilots also have helmet mounted sights that allow to perform target cueing for the guided missiles "by looking", this significantly decreases the time of weapons reaction (which is especially important in the low altitude flight, when the crew has only seconds to find, identify and hit the target).

Sukhoi designers believe that the cabin environment provides the pilot and navigator with conditions for good combat teamwork. It has been optimized for long-range patrol missions with multiple air refuelings extending to ten to fourteen hours.

The pilots' access to the cockpit is also simplified and is facilitated by a ladder through a hatch by the front wheel.

The cockpit itself was constructed very spacious, behind the crew compartment is a toilet and a food heating closet. The design of the cockpit allows the crew members to leave their seats in turns and assume a fully stretched vertical position in a special compartment behind the cockpit for a relaxation. The distance between the chairs allows a one of the crew members to lie down in the corridor between the seats and to rest in a horizontal position if necessary.

The Su-34 carries a range of precision guided and unguided bombs and rockets, including the KAB-500 laser-guided bomb. All types or tactical and strategic ordnance can be utilized with emphasis being placed on long range standoff weapons such as the AS-13/18 Kingbolt cruise missiles, AS-14 Kedge anti-radiation weapon, AS-17 Krypton, Kh-35 Harpoon like anti-ship weapon, and the Kh-41 Moskit long range anti-ship missile.
There are 12 armament/store stations and can carry the entire inventory of standoff weapons as well as up to four air-to-air missiles like the R-73, RR-77, R77.
The total weight for armament comes out to around 8,000 kg (17,600 lbs) with a flight range of around 4,000 km (2,160 nm), increased up to 7,000 km (3,777 nm) with in-flight refueling.

Ammunition can then be interestingly exchanged for additional provisions.

Regular active jamming counter-measures, and chaff & flare dispensers. But for the "FN" the new rear-firing version of the R-73 produced by Vympel has become a viable defense system. External wing-tip mounted Sorbtsya ECM pods can also be carried.

The cockpit is made (the first time in the world practice on this type of a/c) in a form of an armored capsule with titanium walls up to 17 mm thick. The other vital construction elements have similar protection, particularly the fuel tanks and the engines. The total weight of the structural protection is 1,480 kg. All this in addition to the protection measures implemented on Su-27 (which had in particular fuel tanks with porous filling) provide the Su-34 with high degree of survivability in a low altitude flight over the territory reach in air defense measures.

Lately decreasing of radar, thermal and visual signature of a/c became a major element of guarantying their survival (Stealth technology). Even cursory look at the Su-34 gives an opportunity to make a conclusion that this plane has a smaller Radar Cross Section compared to the other craft in its class. Clearly visible integral arrangement of the airframe (the family feature of the all Su-27 family a/c) is combined with radically changed flatten nose section. The large "beak" of the radar sight is absent (the radar antenna and the air intakes are responsible for the size of the Radar Cross Section of a combat plane in the fore hemisphere). All this plus radioabsorbing covering and materials can make the Su-34 much less visible on a radar screen than such a/c as Su-24, F-111 and F-15E (according to the bureau representative at low altitude Su-34 will have the same radar visibility as modern cruise missiles, and as we know this class of weapons have Radar Cross Section less than 1 square meter)

The aircraft is powered by two afterburning AL-31F or AL-35 turbofan engines. The engines are mounted under the wing and are equipped with all-duty fixed geometry air intakes. A rotor protection installed in the air intakes provides protection against the ingestion of foreign objects.

The aircraft can carry 12,100kg of fuel internally in two fuel tanks in the wings and four in the fuselage. Three external fuel tanks, each with a capacity of 3,000 litres, can also be fitted.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Su-32"FN" can carry and employ the UPAZ air refueling store, so one Su-32 could refuel from another.

The aircraft can achieve a speed of 1,900kph (Mach 1.6) at altitude and 1,300kph (Mach 1) at sea level.

One of the major combat modes of the Su-34 flight is an intrepid trust at low altitude following the terrain. However the plane based on the airframe of an air superiority fighter and having a wing with relatively low wing load (even though bigger than that of regular Su-27) will be subjected to excessive effect of the turbulence caused by the condition of the air mass' close to the ground. This can adversely effect the crew's physical capability to perform a lengthy low altitude flight and under certain circumstances can lead to a disaster (because of such reasons in particular the length of the low altitude section of the American McDonnell - Douglas F-15E "Strike Eagle's" flight is limited; this a/c is also created on a base of an air superiority fighter and has a terrain following radar) For the Su-34 the low altitude flight comfort is achieved by using an automatic pitching oscillation suppression system (such an equipment is use only on the American strategic bomber Rockwell B-1B).

The visual differences from basic Su-27 :
New radar with enlarged nose cone(1)
Seat-by-seat cockpit(2)
Resahped, flatten nose section of the fuselage(3)
Two-weel nose gear(4)
Canard foreplanes(5)
Non-adjustable engine intakes(6)
Two-weel main gears(7)
Larger tail-planes(8)
New back-sphere radar with larger antenna(9)
No fine tips uder fuzelage (10)

The Su-32"FN" remains perhaps the most flexible Sukhoi Flanker platform. It has the power and size to be converted to almost any role imaginable. As a platform it can go slow, fast, high, and low. It maneuvers like a small fighter plane, yet can carry cruise missiles made for bombers. It has range and load capacity superior to a Strike Eagle.

Sources :

Despite its apparent superiority, there is a question mark on weather it will ever enter service in any air force. Thr Russian AF is too fund starved to buy any of these. Neither Inida nor China are not showing any interest in acquiring the 32FN. India is to retire its Jaguar-for deep penitration strike in 2012 but will be replaced by its indegenously built MCA. China too is more towards producing their own aircrfts.

Does the Su-34 have a future at all ??

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 12:44 PM
No it has no future, Su-30Mk can do most of it and is more universal (AA fight). I think no one will be not purchased until 2015 and then it will be obsolete.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 01:10 PM
I thought it was replacing the Su-24 in Russian service, I'm surprised to see it isn't so.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 01:36 PM
Lack of funding committment is what will keep the Su-34 from making full serial production, despite some sites on the internet claiming that it has indeed made serial production. In such a case, it is a bit ironic that none of the same sites have a definitive on the numbers to be produced or that have been produced.

It will be placed along side the other great Russian prototype aircraft: Mig-1.42/44, Berkut, etc.


[edit on 18-1-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:44 PM
su-34's first flight was in 1993. what a beautiful aircraft...

IF we were to make "Su-34 versus ____" thread, what aircraft would you choose to compete with su-34?

i want airplanes from all around the globe including russia itself.

thanks in advance for input.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:07 PM
I really hope it goes into serial production. An aircraft like that simply has to be made in large numbers
. It probably won't be Russia that keeps a steady force of these, most likely India or China if they ever decide to buy them.

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 02:07 AM
hehe..Its always "India or China"...btw..Russia confirms completion of the deal to lease Tu-22M backfire bombers to India...

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 06:51 AM
The only western aircraft that is even remotely comparable IMO is the Aussie F-111.


posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 02:56 PM

Originally posted by Daedalus3
hehe..Its always "India or China"...btw..Russia confirms completion of the deal to lease Tu-22M backfire bombers to India...

Is this a "lease to own" deal or are they leasing them for a specific period of time?
When does India take possession?
A Backfire in that part of asia could be destabilizing to the region... yes?

posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 03:54 PM
The destabilising effect is a major worry, I posted something about this yesterday but silly old me can't remember which thread, it was about India and the F-16 I think, but may have started out as something else about India, you know what these threads are like.

edit; it in the thread entitled "Lockheed Martin bidding for major defence sale in India
" but theres not really a lot of info as details haven't been released yet.

[edit on 19-1-2005 by waynos]

posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 09:19 PM
Check out this thread :

tu-22 deal

posted on Jan, 21 2005 @ 11:35 PM
It would be F-15E vs Su-34 IMHO. The Su-34 Platypus should be better as an attack aircraft than the F-15E,but sadly nobody ever really bought one and put it into service. Great aircraft anyway.


posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 04:03 AM
Ok, guys. Liitle bit more real info for you. At the moment there are 9 Su-34, including first T-10V-1 proptotype. They are in final test of weapon systems in Lipetsk. First ten must be in actual service by end of 2005. Production is going but, shall admit, very slow. Though - funding of production was signifactely increased last year.

Estimated end of service of Su-24 is 2015, by then they (for sure not in the same quantity) to be replaced by Su-34. Knowing current production facilities of Novosibirsk plant, where Su-34 is being built - even with decent funding it can produce 10-15 such aircrafts per year, hardly more.

Su-30M is not complete replacement for Su-34. There are few weapons, that not be used with Su-30, X-41 missile, known as Mosquito, for example. Also Su-30 is not as good for patrol flights, so there is no other choice exept Su-34 for navy aviation.

PS: BTW - I'm one of the authors of 3D images in first posting

[edit on 22/1/05 by vm]

posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 02:11 AM

Originally posted by titus
IF we were to make "Su-34 versus ____" thread, what aircraft would you choose to compete with su-34?

The F-117A for sure

posted on Jan, 24 2005 @ 06:31 AM
Su-34 would beat that easily. It will carry more weapons over a greater distance, get there faster and, if jumped by a defending fighter, have a chance of fighting its way out of trouble. F-117 is great at stealth but sucks operationally, thats why it is only of value bombing small specific targets where there is no air defence.

[edit on 24-1-2005 by waynos]

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 05:48 AM

Originally posted by waynos
F-117 is great at stealth but sucks operationally, thats why it is only of value bombing small specific targets where there is no air defence.

[edit on 24-1-2005 by waynos]

Considering the F-117 was the only aircraft to fly over Bhagdad in GW I the statement about attacking targets with no air defence cannot be considered as true.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 11:27 AM
No it wasn't the only one but my statement does come out all wrong. I meant defending fighter aircraft not AAA or SAM's, my point merely being that once an F-117 is found by any defending fighter it is dead because of its fligh characteristics, it is of course designed to cope with the other sort of defences.

posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 05:10 PM

Originally posted by waynos
No it wasn't the only one but my statement does come out all wrong. I meant defending fighter aircraft not AAA or SAM's, my point merely being that once an F-117 is found by any defending fighter it is dead because of its fligh characteristics, it is of course designed to cope with the other sort of defences.

Sorry was including AAA and SAM in air defence not air to air

Agree that the F-117 has no A2A capability

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 02:12 AM

Originally posted by intelgurl

Originally posted by Daedalus3
hehe..Its always "India or China"...btw..Russia confirms completion of the deal to lease Tu-22M backfire bombers to India...

A Backfire in that part of asia could be destabilizing to the region... yes?

NO it will stabilize the region !!!

If pakistan's capabality was even close equal to India's they would have launched into a major war. Thus india constantly needs to stay leaps ahead of pakistan to prevent conflict .

India has not attacked any neighbour in its 7000 yeads of history.

it has alredy fought 3 wars with pakistan and 1 with china after independence in '47 solely to defend.

India staying ahead of pakistan is very essential for the stability of the region . that's why India maintains the world's 2nd largest army at 1.4million(excluding the paramilitary forces), has purchased so many Su-30MKI -the most ultimate of the flanker, is the world's third largest defence spender, is acquiring 2 more additional aircraft carriers to add to its existing one, is making and buying nuclear subs, is close to buying both - Patriot PAC-3 and Arrow -2 .

posted on Jan, 27 2005 @ 12:21 PM
People always fear what they don't understand, anyone who doesn't realise India's history or understand its intentions will be afraid of them recieving a supersonic strategic bomber, this may be what causes the instability rather than India itself.

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