Russia launches production of new genre warplane : Sukhoi

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Moscow, Jan 9 (UNI) Russia has started full-scale production of the Su-34 Fullback fighter bomber at a Siberian aircraft plant.

Up to 20 fighters could now be assembled simultaneously at the Novosibirsk Aviation Production Association (NAPO), Ria Novosti quoted plane maker Sukhoi's spokesperson as saying. He, however, did not specify the number of fighters to be built annually.

The 36 million dollar Su-34 fighter-bomber is a two-seat strike aircraft equipped with twin AL-31MF afterburning turbojet engines.

It is designed to deliver high-precision strikes on heavily-defended targets under any weather conditions, day or night, and fields weaponry that includes a 30mm GSh-301 cannon, up to 12 Alamo or Archer AAMs, ASMs, and bombs.

Designed by Sukhoi, the Su-34s would replace the Su-24 Fencer frontline bombers.

According to the experts, the new bomber has the potential to become the top plane in its class for many in the future. To date, only a handful of pre-production models have been built.

The government would purchase a total of 58 aircraft by 2015 to replace some of 300 Su-24s, which are undergoing modernisation to prolong their service life.

UNI XC SYU RN1851

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