Russia may use Su-34 bomber to develop one-seat attack aircraft


Donald McKelvy
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Aug 14, 2009
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"Russia may use Su-34 bomber to develop one-seat attack aircraft"
Military & Defense
November 01, 11:59 UTC+3


MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. A Russian multipurpose fighter bomber may get a one-seat variant as an attack aircraft, Russia’s Aerospace Force ex-commander and Chairman of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee Viktor Bondarev told TASS on Wednesday.

"My opinion is that a new attack aircraft should be made on the basis of the Su-34 after all. This is a splendid plane. It is maneuverable and has eight tonnes of the bomb load against four tonnes carried by the Su-25. It has excellent characteristics… I believe that it is simpler and easier to make a cockpit for one pilot and leave all the rest as it is," he said.

A new attack aircraft will actually have the same engines as the Su-34, he added.

"An attack aircraft will always be needed. The Su-25 has been upgraded to the Su-25SM3 version. It has a very reliable airframe and huge modernization and repair potential. I believe it will fly for another 10-15 years. Naturally, we will have to replace it eventually and today various options are being considered," the Aerospace Force ex-commander said.

As a source in the defense industry told TASS, experimental design work on developing an attack aircraft on the basis of the Su-34 bomber is expected to begin in 2018.

Russia’s Defense Ministry signed the first contract on the delivery of Su-34 aircraft to the troops in 2008. The Russian Armed Forces are expected to get a total of 150-200 such planes. This aircraft can carry up to eight tonnes of combat load and develop a speed of up to 1,900 km/h and its operation range is 4,000 km.


ACCESS: Above Top Secret
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Apr 2, 2006
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What a BS. Still a long way to dedushka Mikhailov fantasies, though.


That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!
Aug 3, 2009
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Just order one of the pilots to don't board Su-34 - and you have it's single-seat version :cool:
Perhaps, comparison of Su-25 and Su-34 would be more complete, taking in account their prices and complexity?

Michel Van

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Aug 13, 2007
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That Article make no sense

Why modify a SU-34 into one-seat attack aircraft SU-3X, if they got already the similar SU-27 ?
and SU-27 is multirole combat aircraft with superior speed and Range compare to SU-34


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Sep 18, 2009
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It´s nice to imagine all sorts of Su-27 derivatives. I really love that plane ;D But I think it's impractical to develop the Su-37/35/34 airframe to perform Su-25 class low level attack missions.

Su-27 airframe with separated nacelles and big wings was optimized to provide lots of controlled lift at air combat scenarios, short airfield performance, long range and volume/payload for 70's bulky electronic equipment. With all that wing/nacelle/tunnel area there was plenty of space to carry R-27 missiles.

It was logical to take advantage of all that lift to develop a dedicated heavier strike variant. Short airfield performance and speed were partially sacrificed to strengthen the airframe for much heavier weights including a titanium armored crew capsule, making it a much more survivable strike platform than Su-27 multirole variants. But it is a really big plane fit to carry heavy ordnance far away to a know target or a target it can find from a good distance, drop it and get away taking the minimum hits.

Su-25 airframe is optimized for a completely different operating scenario, find a small/moving target, drop some payload, maneuver, find the next target, drop some payload, maneuver and so on while being hit by anything ranging from a rifle bullets and manpads. So its airframe is a compromise between the ability to carry pilot, equipment, weapons, engines and fuel and the armor/redundancy to protect its vital areas. It maximizes protected volume minimizing surface area as more surface area increases the probability of being hit and needs more protection.

Considering only the airframe size, a Su-34 derivative to fulfill Su-25 roles would be a really big target needing much more protection to survive closer and much more frequent hits. So it would need a even heavier airframe degrading ordnance/fuel carrying. I think it would still carry more equipment and have a longer range, but not adding more weapon stations to the missions smaller weapons. So it end ups as a really big and expensive machine with higher operating costs (at least more fuel just to keep flying) just to do what is already done by Su-25. I guess the acquisition/operating cost of a Su-34 derivative would be three times higher than a upgraded Su-25 just to do the same and numbers count a lot in its high attrition operating scenario.

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