Russian Re-armament: Are Long Range Goals Too Long for the Su-34 Bomber?
What is the Su-34 Fullback Fighter-Bomber and why is it better than its predecessor, the Su-24 Fencer?
According to news sources, the cutting edge equipment on the new fighter-bomber, the Su-34, is an improvement on the Su-24 Fencer, particularly in regard to its modern crew and equipment protection system. Its long-range precision weapons can refuel in the air and fly hugging the earth, which is a factor when considering losses during lightning operations. The Su-34 Fighter Bomber is very effective against personnel and military hardware both on the battlefield and behind enemy lines. In addition, it is also quite versatile and can also be utilized for surveillance missions and against naval targets.
Is the concept offered by the Su-34 of top-class aircraft manned by superbly trained crews new?
The idea is far from new and such superbly trained crews formed the core of the German air force during World War II as well as Japan’s Imperial Navy. It should be noted, however, that ordinary aircraft could easily weed out such units in a global conflict of attrition such as World War II. In the case of such a conflict, how many aircraft Russia has will not make any difference at all to the war’s outcome. What will determine the end is the particular yield of any nuclear bomb dropped on the enemy.
When does Russia plan to make these Su-34 replacements?
Russia will have to produce between 550 and 600 Su-34s to replace its obsolete aircraft within the next 10-15 years. The Su-34 will replace the Su-24M aircraft (about 400 planes), the Su-24MR surveillance aircraft (over 100 planes), and the MiG-25RB aircraft (about 70). The Defense Ministry only has plans to purchase about 58 such planes by 2015, and a total of 300 by 2022. Many experts feel that if the Su-24 and MiG-25RB aircraft are scrapped by 2020, Russia will be left without fighter-bombers and surveillance aircraft. Others argue that this number will be enough for the Air Force's new concept.
As the world changes so do the kinds of wars humans rage against one another.
Do any of us even dare to contemplate the terror that awaits us in the wings of Russian rearmament?
M Dee Dubroff