TechUkrainian strike forces Russian jets to relocate, Su-34s in spotlight

Ukrainian strike forces Russian jets to relocate, Su‑34s in spotlight

Su-34
Su-34
Images source: © Lic. CC BY-SA 4.0, Vitaly V. Kuzmin, Wikimedia Commons | Vitaly V. Kuzmin

6:02 AM EDT, May 4, 2024

The British Ministry of Defence has reported that following last week's attack on the Russian military airport in Kushchevskaya, approximately 40 aircraft of various types were relocated to other airports further from the front line, including the Su-34. What exactly is this aircraft, and what capabilities does it possess?

According to the ministry's daily intelligence update, this move will unlikely have immediate, dramatic effects. However, it could pose a long-term inconvenience for the Russian forces as it compels them to spread out their aircraft and lengthen the combat flights. This development also underscores Ukraine's capacity to execute strikes deeper within Russian territory, considering the Kushchevskaya military airport's location in the Krasnodar region.

Implications of the attack on Kushchevskaya's military airport

Dispersing aircraft means that "the length of combat flights will have to increase to uphold their present frequency over the battlefield. This necessitates more fuel and escalates costs, besides amplifying the pressure on crews," the ministry explained.

The British Ministry of Defence identified that many Russian Su-34 (NATO codename: Fullback) and Su-35S (Flanker M) fighters, regularly engaged in strike missions against Ukrainian front-line positions, were based at Kushchevskaya airport.

About the Su-34 Aircraft

The Su-34, a cornerstone of Russian aviation, is a tactical bomber developed in the 1990s, and it ranks among the most widely used aircraft by the Russian military. In Ukraine, the Su-34 is deployed to drop guided aerial bombs of the KAB type, weighing several hundred kilograms each, previously hailed as "wonder weapons" by analysts on the DeepState Telegram profile some time ago.

Spanning over 75 feet in length, the Su-34 is equipped with two AL-31FM1 engines, enabling speeds up to about 1180 mph. It boasts a maximum range of approximately 2485 miles and can ascend to about 55774 feet. Its primary weapon is a GSh-30-1 cannon with a 30 mm caliber. Still, it is also equipped to carry up to 8 tons of assorted weaponry, including the aforementioned bombs, missile rockets, and cruise missiles.

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