Aerospace Jam: Russia's Su-34 Bomber to Hide Entire Squadron From Enemy Radar

© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov / Go to the mediabankThe Su-34 lands at Latakia airport, Syria. File photo
The Su-34 lands at Latakia airport, Syria. File photo - Sputnik International
An upgraded version of Russia's Su-34 fighter bomber will be equipped with a sophisticated electronic countermeasures system that will allow one such warplane to protect a squadron of other strike fighters from enemy radar, Russian military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Sputnik.

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In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert and chief editor of the magazine Arsenal Otechestva Viktor Murakhovsky, touted the Tarantul aircraft electronic countermeasures system, which he said will help the Russia's Su-34 strike fighter to effectively protect other strike fighters from enemy radar.

Right now, the Su-34 is equipped with the Khibiny aircraft electronic countermeasures system, which was developed by Radio-Electronic Technology Concern (KRET), Russia's largest radio-electronics holding company, founded in 2009.

Installed on the wingtips of Su-34s, the Khibiny system provides the jets with electronic warfare capabilities and enables them to carry out effective electronic countermeasures against radar systems, anti-aircraft missile systems and airborne early warning and control aircraft.

"The [Khibiny] system is quite effective, but for the time being it mainly provides  individual protection for the [Su-34] aircraft," Murakhovsky said, adding that KRET is finalizing the development of an aircraft electronic countermeasures system capable of providing group protection.

Separately, Murakhovsky referred to another such system, which is being developed by the Kaluga Radio Engineering Research Institute outside Moscow.

"After that, the modernized Su-34 fighter bombers will enter service with the Russian Aerospace Forces; they will effectively appear in our VCS, which will effectively provide radio electronic protection to the other warplanes of a strike group," he said.

Earlier this week, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said that Russia's Aerospace Forces will get 16 new Su-34 fighter bombers before the end of 2017, while the modernization of the aircraft will start in 2018.

According to the deputy defense minister, the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association has a long-term contract with the Russian Defense Ministry for the production of a total of 92 Su-34 strike fighters.

Borisov stressed that Su-34 aircraft have proved highly effective in the fight against terrorists in Syria.

In particular, it is worth mentioning that during the Syrian campaign, the Su-34 made effective use of its onboard arsenal of a 30 mm cannon, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and KAB-500S laser-guided bombs, allowing it to destroy terrorist infrastructure facilities and command centers.

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The Russian Defense Ministry now wants to add to this from its impressive arsenal of anti-ship missiles, such as the modified Kh-35 missile and even plans to adapt the Su-34 to launch a new generation of so-called aeroballistic missiles.

Based on the Su-27 fighter, the Su-34 is a 4++ generation jet, which can accelerate to a maximum speed of 1,200 mph (1,931 km) and can fly 2,500 miles (4,023 km) without refueling.

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