TechSatellite Images Confirm Loss of Six Russian Su-34 Bombers

Satellite Images Confirm Loss of Six Russian Su‑34 Bombers

Su-34 - illustrative picture
Su-34 - illustrative picture
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons

12:25 PM EST, March 8, 2024

In the final fortnight of February 2024, at least six Su-34s failed to return to their bases. This supports previous assertions from Ukrainian sources about the downing of these aircraft. Since downed machines typically crash in enemy territory, direct evidence of these attacks, like photos or videos, was lacking.
The absence of Su-34s at their usual airfields, as seen in satellite imagery, thus seems to confirm the Ukrainian military's successful actions against the Russian Federation's assets. There are suggestions that the missing Su-34s might have been relocated to safer airfields to evade attacks. However, the lack of evidence supporting such movements makes it more plausible that they were indeed shot down.
Consequently, it's assumed that these bombers were lost to combat missions, leading to substantial financial losses for Russia, given that each Su-34 costs approximately 40 million dollars.

Russian aviation faces setbacks with further Su-34 losses

Recently, the significant destruction of Su-34 bombers marks a critical blow to Russian aviation. These aircraft, in production since 2011, serve a dual role as fighter-bombers and are capable of reconnaissance and assault missions, making them versatile assets for operations over Ukraine - from supporting ground forces to conducting targeted strikes.
The Su-34 features two AL-31F M1 turbojet engines, each providing roughly 29,762 lbf of thrust with afterburner, enabling the aircraft to reach speeds up to 1,180 mph. With a design allowing a maximum range of about 2,485 miles, these bombers are remarkably efficient.
Weighing around 84,000 lbs, the Su-34 has the capacity to bear armaments weighing up to 17,637 lbs across 12 mount points. Its arsenal can include air bombs, missiles, and possibly even thermonuclear weapons, though typically, these bombers are armed with a 30 mm cannon targeting lightly armored objects and for air defense purposes.
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