NOVOSIBIRSK, March 21. The Novosibirsk-based Aviation Factory is outperforming the state defense plan for the production and delivery of Sukhoi Su-34 frontline bombers, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Tuesday.
"The factory has been ahead of schedule for several years now for the delivery of Su-34s for the Aerospace Force," Borisov reported to Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu at a meeting held at the Siberian aviation enterprise.
Under the plan, the Novosibirsk aviation factory is scheduled to deliver 14 Su-34 bombers to the Aerospace Force annually. However, the enterprise has been over-fulfilling the plan by two bombers annually in the past three years, the deputy defense minister said.
In 2017, the Russian Aerospace Force will receive 16 new Su-34 frontline bombers, with the total delivery plan of 92 such planes, he added.
The Russian deputy defense minister also praised the Su-34’s high combat characteristics.
"It has shown its best qualities in the Syrian conflict, has huge modernization potential and is actually a new-generation plane," the deputy defense minister said.
Starting from 2018, the Novosibirsk Aviation Factory will start upgrade of Su-34 bombers, Borisov said.
"The program of the Su-34 upgrade is planned from 2018. We have discussed with the management of the factory and the United Aircraft-Building Corporation the plans of work on the plane as part of the future state armament program for 2018-2025," the deputy defense minister said.
"I think the plane’s capabilities have not yet been tapped in full. This is related, in the first place, to a number of R&D works we’re currently completing on adapting new air-launched weapons for it. I believe that the Su-34 has huge export potential. Many countries are now beginning to show genuine interest in this plane and I believe it has very good export future," the deputy defense minister said.