The Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO designation: Fullback) is a Russian ground attack aircraft. It is based on the famous Flanker air-superiority fighter family. The Su-34 currently serves in the Russian Air Force after a long and troubled development period. The aircraft has also acquired the nickname 'Platypus' after its unique cockpit layout, having the two pilots sit side-by-side as opposed to front-and-back in the 'traditional' layout. In the ArmA series, the aircraft is used by the Russian Armed Forces in ArmA 2.
The Su-34 was first developed in 1980's to replace the older Su-24 strike aircraft. The Sukhoi design bureau chose the Su-27 as the basis of their new airplane. As such, the Su-34 would look very similar to the Flanker. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the stagnant Russian economy made development very slow in the 1990's. Nevertheless, progress was made and several pre-production models were constructed.
Booming Russian economy in early 2000 made it possible to fund the project again. The aircraft's development seem to pick up in 2006 when the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the Su-34 is to replace the aging Su-24. In 2010, the first aircraft was delivered to combat units and the aircraft became operational by 2014.
The first confirmed combat use of Su-34 was in 2015, when it was fielded against ISIS and rebels in Syria by Russia, although there were rumors that they had been used in Georgia as early as 2008.
In Game Edit
ArmA 2 Edit
The Russian Armed Forces is the only faction that use the Su-34 in ArmA 2. While no direct in-game comparison can be made, it can be deduced that the Su-34 is present to balance out the American AV-8 and F-35 multi-role fighters. Unlike most other aircraft in game, the Su-34 has a crew of 2, a pilot and a weapons operator.
In the game, the Su-34 is noted for having the most armaments per aircraft. Other than its GSh-30-1 30 mm cannons, it is equipped with Kh-29 air-to-ground and R-73 air-to-air missiles. Being based on an air-superiority aircraft, it is also highly maneuverable, fast and powerful, making it very deadly against both air and ground targets. Since stealth is not modeled in ArmA 2, it can be argued that the Su-34 outclasses the F-35 in-game.