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Russia just received a new batch of Su-34 fighter jets -- here's what they can do

Daniel Brown
Su-34

The Russian Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that its air force has received a new batch of fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-34 bombers.

While the Russian Ministry of Defence did not say how many planes were delivered, it did say that it was slated to get a total of 16 in 2017.

The Su-34, dubbed "Fullback" by NATO, is one of Russia's most capable aircraft -- able to engage targets on the ground and in the air -- and has been used extensively in Syria.

Here's what it can do.

The Su-34 Fullback, which made its maiden flight in 1990, was built to replace the Su-24.

It was also modelled off the Su-27 Flanker, as were the Su-30, Su-33, and Su-35.

Source: Globalsecurity.org, airforce-technology.com

It's normal takeoff weight is 39 tons, and its maximum takeoff weight is 44.4 tons.

Source: The Aviationist

It runs on two Saturn AL-31F turbofan engines, each capable of about 27,500 pounds of thrust.

Source: The National Interest

Here's a shot of both afterburners in action.

It has a maximum speed of about 1900km/h and a maximum range of about 4000km. It can also reach an altitude of about 16km.

Source: The Aviationist

Its two-person cockpit has a nearly 0.7-inch thick armoured covering.

Source: The Aviationist

The Su-34 cockpit displays show flight parameters, tactical data, and operational status.

Source: airforce-technology.com

The cockpit even has a urinal, seen below, as well as a small kitchen.

Source: The Aviationist

It carries a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It is believed to be able to hit air targets 120km away and ground targets 95km away.

It carries short-range R-73 and long-range radar-guided R-77 air-to-air missiles. It also carries Kh-59ME, Kh-31A, Kh-31P, Kh-29T, Kh-29L, and S-25LD air-to-ground missiles.

Source: The National Interest, The National Interest

The Fullback can also be armed with rockets as well as guided and unguided bombs, like the RBK-500 and SPBE-D cluster bombs.

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The graphic below gives a very thorough breakdown of the Flanker's capabilities, including which ordnance it carries and where it hangs on the wings.

Russia first deployed four Su-34s to Syria in September 2015, and Moscow is now believed to have six in the war-torn country.

Source: The National Interest, The Drive

While Russia likes to tout how many terrorists it kills in air strikes, their figures are often exaggerated and fail to mention civilian casualties.

By March 2016, after just six months of military operations in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russian airstrikes had killed about 5,800 civilians.

Russia has used Syria to test and showcase its weaponry but has sold the Fullback to only one country, Algeria.

Source: The National Interest

Russia plans to maintain a fleet of 92 Fullbacks until 2020.

Source: airforce-technology.com