Was it friendly fire that brought down Russia’s most advanced Su-34M bomber?

When the “Platypus” is doing poorly in the combat, the downing of the sophisticated Su-34M aircraft is regarded as a particularly unfavourable signal for this line of front-line bombers.

A image of a Su-34 that fell in the Alchevsk region was published in the Russian and Ukrainian press on July 18. Most of the comments noted that this front-line bomber was downed by “fire friendly” forces. The aforementioned remark was made since the separatists of the self-declared Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have declared that their missile batteries are actively intercepting there while the Ukrainian air defence forces are not present. HIMARS rockets, therefore there’s a good chance it’ll result in the incorrect shot.

The most significant discovery was that the plane had the identification number RF 95890, indicating that it was a recent Su-34M bomber from the 277th Bomber Regiment. It was just delivered a short while ago. This is unquestionably a significant setback for the Russian Air Force and a stain on the enhanced “Palillaryreputation, “‘s especially given that it is marketed as a “invincible” combat vehicle.

Early in July 2022, less than two years after the 76-aircraft purchase agreement was signed in May 2020, the Russian Air Force received the first modified Su-34M bomber. When 124 Su-34s have been deployed since the end of 2021, the Russian Air Force and Navy intend to expand their fleet to around 200 aircraft, despite the fact that at least six of these aircraft are thought to have been shot down while operating in Ukraine.

The Su-34 is the most widely used fighter class in the Russian Ministry of Defense, and more Su-34s, including the multirole fighter Su-35, have entered service in the last eight years than any other kind. This is partly because to the platform’s unique characteristics, which have allowed it to replace both some of the nation’s Tu-22M bombers and its ageing fleet of several hundred Su-24M attack planes. In this instance, despite its significantly smaller size, the Su-34M has a comparable range.

The Su-34 Fullback (also known as the Platypus) is a variation of the Su-27 Flanker design, like other Russian fighters now in production, but it has undergone the greatest modifications because of its extremely different mission. The basic air superiority fuselage was converted into a bomber for long-range bombing, anti-aircraft suppression, cruise missile strike, and secondary air capabilities.

The fighter incorporates powerful electronic warfare tools that increase its survivability over most other Flanker family variants, as well as a reduced forward radar cross-section. The United Aircraft Corporation of Russia’s General Director, M. Yuri Slyusar, claims that the Su-34M has twice the combat capability of the original Su-34 and a dedicated interface for three separate types of sensors, which helps to maximise situational awareness.

The UKR-OE and UKR-RL camera boxes with integrated synthetic aperture radar, as well as a UKR-RT pod containing electronic warfare gear, are all included with the Su-34M. Additionally, air combat capabilities have improved, making it easier to integrate modern weaponry like the Su-57 fighter’s K-77M missile.

An electronic attack aircraft with the L700 Tarantul ECM is a slightly altered specialised variant of the Su-34M. In addition, variants for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance are anticipated to join the squadron.

Additionally, according to certain rumours, the modified Su-34M bomber will include Kopyo-DL rear-facing radar. This armament has just recently been used, despite initial rumours that it would have been mounted on the original Su-34 in the early 2010s.

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