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Su-32 Fullback

The Su-32 plane is a special-purpose version of the Su-27. Over time there has been some confusion as to the relationship between the Su-32 and Su-34. In 2003 it was reported by Western aviation press that the Russian military adapted the Su-32 designated for the Su-27IB variant. However, by 2007 it seemed established that the Su-32 designator was used for the export version of Su-34. The two-seat Su-32 fighter-bomber is designed for tactical deployment against air, ground and naval targets (including small and mobile targets) on solo and group missions in daytime and at night, under favourable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fire and EW counter-measures deployed, as well as for air reconnaissance.

The main distinctive features of the fighter-bomber are:

  • large ordnance load and a broad line-up of guided air-launched weapons,
  • high load capabilities engineered through reinforced design of the airframe and landing gear, and increased fuel tankage.
  • probe-and-drogue flight refuelling capability,
  • improved damage control (cockpit and essential systems armoured, explosion safety improved by engineering protection and filling the fuel tanks with PU-foam),
  • advanced avionics line-up, including multi-purpose PAA radar, onboard optical search and track station and an integrated defensive aids suite,
  • a state-of-the-art HUD system incorporating multi-role indicators with push-button panels.

The Su-32 two-seat fighter-bomber is intended to defeat aerial, ground, sea and surface targets, including small and moving ones, while conducting autonomous and group combat actions by day and night, in any weather and in conditions of enemy's jamming, fire and information opposition, as well as to conduct aerial reconnaissance. The Su-32 multirole aircraft combines properties of an air superiority fighter, an air-defense suppression aircraft and a strike aircraft. It can equally defeat diverse aerial, ground, and sea targets. All stages of its flight including low-altitude nap-of-earth flying, as well as solo and group combat employment against aerial and ground targets are automated.

The Su-32 weapons complex enables it to deliver a preventive attack against any aerial targets, including stealth ones, effectively fight against air superiority fighters, electronic warfare and airborne early warning aircraft, and flying command posts, neutralize air-defense weapon control systems when performing en-route flight to a target, and deliver standoff attacks against ground and water-borne targets. The Su-32 is developed on the basis of the Su-27 fighter with due account for the combat use of the Su-24 front-line bomber and its modifications, the Su-25 close-support aircraft and its modified versions, as well as advanced weapons and the most up-to-date technologies.

The crew of two ensures effective control of tactical aircraft group actions and efficient workload distribution during simultaneous control of the aircraft and weapons, fully implementing the wide capabilities of advanced avionics systems. Side-by-side arrangement of the crew enabled developers to avoid redundancy of some instruments and controls, ensured excellent forward and downward out-of-cockpit view, maintained reasonable ergonomic and sanitation standards and made provisions for rest and full healthy meal during multi-hour flights. The cockpit entrance is provided at the cockpit rear wall through the nose wheel bay and a built-in step ladder mounted on the nose LG. The pilot and the navigator-operator are seated in the K-36DM ejection seats featuring improved ergonomics. For the first time in the world practice for aircraft of this class, the cockpit is made as an armored all-welded titanium capsule. The emergency escape system enables the crew to abandon the aircraft throughout the entire flight altitude and speed envelope, as well as during taxiing or staying in the parking area. The Su-32's crew ejection system operates almost three times quicker than that of the Su-24M aircraft.

In terms of its aerodynamic configuration, the Su-32 is an integrated unstable triplane with a thoroughly selected geometry of the wing root extensions and parameters of a controllable all-moving canard. In close maneuvering combat, the Su-32 is capable of successfully fighting against any modern fighter, including the F-15, F/A-18, or Eurofighter-2000. The aircraft is equipped with an in-flight refueling system. It can be refueled from the I1-78 (Il-78M) flying tanker or other aircraft equipped with unified fuel dispensing units.

The Su-32 is equipped with a new avionics complex, incorporating:

  • a forward-looking phased-array multifunctional radar;
  • the most up-to-date ECM system;
  • an optronic fire control and navigation complex incorporating a data display system, a plotter, and a laser/TV station;
  • communication facilities and other equipment.
The avionics complex assures execution of the following missions:
  • search, detection and identification of ground and waterborne targets, as well as target designation, aiming and weapon employment in the VFR and IFR weather conditions;
  • day/night all-weather detection, identification and determination of coordinates of hostile aircraft and missiles, as well as target designation to the air-to-air missile guidance system and ECM equipment;
  • day/night all-weather support of aircraft group actions;
  • day/night all-weather low-altitude flight with semiautomatic and automatic aircraft control;
  • opposition to electronic weapon control systems of hostile air defenses, to enemy's fighters and missiles;
  • conducting jamproof encoded telecommunications with automatic control posts and interaircraft data exchange;
  • indication of information about tactical situation, flight parameters, as well as data regarding the operation of aircraft systems and units on the pilot's and navigator-operator's multifunctional liquid-crystal color displays;
  • instrumental monitoring data recording.
The multifunctional control consoles are the core of the avionics control system. The powerful multimode enhanced-definition phased-array radar enables it to detect small-size ground targets and simultaneously track several aerial target in a track-while-scan mode. The radar features a ground-mapping mode and ensures nap-of-earth flying.

The weapon control system ensures automatic missile launch with preset intervals and in assigned sequence. The Su-32 is equipped with a navigation complex incorporating a laser gyro-based inertial navigation system combined with a satellite navigation system receiver, and radio navigation facilities. The automatic flight control system makes it possible to perform a planned-route flight and return to a preprogrammed airfield in the manual, automatic or director flight modes, including a prelanding maneuver, landing approach down to an altitude of 50 m and repeated approach for landing. The aircraft is equipped with a powerful automated ECM system which can be further upgraded. The system incorporates an electronic reconnaissance and active jamming station, an infrared radar intended to detect launch of missiles by an attacker by means of referring to their thermal radiation, and a chaff/hot decoy dispenser intended to set up passive jamming.

The aircraft's external weapons are suspended from 12 hardpoints and include:

  • a wide array of air-to-surface guided weapons (missiles and controlled bombs) provided with laser, radar (active and passive) homing, TV and IR guidance systems intended to defeat ground targets;
  • 30 mm built-in gun, type GSh-301;
  • to fight against aerial targets while breaking through to a ground target the fighter-bomber is equipped with air-to-air missiles;
  • the aircraft is equipped with all types of unguided weapons in existence.

Take-off and landing performance of Su-32 permit to base it virtually at all airdromes. Its landing gear allows operation of the aircraft from runways with a low-grade pavement. Its high flight performance, advanced avionics, powerful ECM system, and diverse weapon options make the Su-32 the world's most powerful new-generation fighter-bomber. Owing to multi-hour flights with in-flight refueling, the Su-32 is capable of loitering over wide areas and executing deterrence missions, quickly ferrying to areas, which pose a threat. Engineering solutions invested in the design of the Su-32 open up wide potentialities for developing the entire series of advanced modifications of this aircraft at customer's request.

Su-32 Fullback Program History

Work on a two-seat strike version of the Su-27 had been underway at the Design Bureau since the early 80s, the aeroplane being initially regarded as a variant of the two-seat trainer Su-27UB. Officially work to produce a two-seat fighter-bomber was initiated by a decree of the government of 19th June 1986, the Design Bureau having assigned the new plane the manufacturer's designation T-10V.

In May 1988, the plane's conceptual design was presented for critical design review. The conventional Su-27UB-style cockpit configuration, with the pilots seated in tandem, one behind the other, was for the first time combined with an alternative option of a "side by side" pilot-seating arrangement. The latter option was selected as the principal solution. The new configuration made the crew more comfortable: the cockpit overhead space behind the seats allows the pilot to stand up, with the crew boarding the plane using an inbuilt ladder through the bay in the nosewheel landing gear unit and the service hatch in the back wall of the cockpit.

R.G. Martirosov was appointed head of the 10V project, the plane's detailed design being completed in 1987-1988. The first prototype T10V-1 was built in 1989-1990 on the platform of the production Su-27UB. Its first flight was performed by the design bureau's test pilot A.A. Ivanov on 13th April 1990. Production of the aeroplane was set up in Novosibirsk, at Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Assoc (NAPO), which produced the Su-24 family. The first pre-production craft was built at the end of 1993; its first flight was made on 18 December 1993 by the design bureau's test pilots I.V. Votintsev and Ye.G. Revunov at the NAPO's airdrome.

In June 1995, having been renamed the Su-32 from the T10V-1, the airplane was for the first time shown abroad at the air show in Le Bourget. In the summer of 1999, the Su-32 was used to establish 7 world records of lifting loads to high altitude. In June 2003, the plane successfully completed the first stage of governmental testing. Preliminary Opinion on the machine's compliance with Air Forces requirements having been delivered, next stage testing got under way.

By 2004, the Novosibirsk facility had produced a development batch of 8 Su-32 airplanes. In the long term, the Su-32 was expected to become the main strike asset of front-line aviation of the RF Air Forces, replacing all the Su-24 and Su-24M planes currently in service.

In 2007 Sukhoi started noticeable international marketing of Su-32 (export version of Su-34). First potential customers are those who operate Su-24 attack planes. At the last year's air show in China, where the Chinese specialists paid special attention to Su-34, Rosobornexport expressed readiness to deliver this aircraft


When the Su-34 was sent to its first international airshow, Le Bourget in 1995, the aircraft was given the designation Su-32FN. This commercial designation was adopted by Sukhoi, to stress the aircraft's potential as a shore-based maritime patrol and strike aircraft for potential export customers.

Su-32FN (Fighter Navy) is the two-seat multi-role reconnaissance and strike export version of the Su-34 fighter-bomber. This a variant of the Su-27IB/Su-34 optimised for maritime strike. Only one prototype had been seen - side number 44 -- by 2007. It was reportedly fitted with a 'Sea Dragon' avionics suite and may have MAD gear in the tailboom. It will be able to carry sonobuoys on a centreline pod and two massive ASM-MSS (Kh-41) 'Moskit' missiles. It has also been seen carrying two underwing 'Yakhont' anti-ship missiles.

The Strike Flanker was developed, originally, in the late the 1980s for the insistence of the pilot of tests Viktor Pugachev, who had the task to discover a way to train for landings on an aircraft carrier. The prototype Su-32FN flew on 28 December 1994 with the pilots Igor Votintsev and Evgeny Reunov.

The Su-32FN has the same has aerodynamic design as the Su-33 and the Su-35/37, of triple surface of command with the addition of canards in the front of the aircraft. However, it is a different airplane. All the fuselage, from the nose to the "sting" between the engines, was redesigned. The aircraft had been equipped with with landing gear strengthened in tandem with double wheels.


In 1999, the Su-34 was designated as Su-32MF [MF = Mnogofunktsionalniy - Multi-role] on the MAKS 1999 Moscow International Air Salon to stress its multi-role capability. Performance specifications Crew Two Weight - normal take-off 38,240 kg - combat load 8,000 kg Maximum speed - at the altitude 1,900 km/h - at sea level 1,400 km/h Maximum range (with internal fuel reserve) 4,000 km Service ceiling 15 km Endurance with in-flight refueling 10 hours Engine type, quantity, thrust, kgf AL-31F, 2 12,500

Su-32 Sales to Algeria

The $500 million Russia spent on the military operation in Syria may soon pay off for the Kremlin, business daily Kommersant reported 01 April 2016, as Moscow expected $6-7 billion worth of new arms contracts. According to the newspaper, potential customers were looking to buy the weapons proved in action. These are armaments in the inventory of Russian military or already bought by another country.

For six months the Russian military turned Syrian land into de facto testing ground. At first, they relied more heavily on proven techniques like the upgraded bomber Su-24M and Su-25SM, but soon hooked bombers Su-34, Su-30 cm and, finally, the latest Su-35S. In Hmeymim also been deployed helicopters Mi-8P, Mi-24, Mi-35M, Mi-28N and Ka-52, and the very air base was covered by a dense ring of anti-aircraft missile and gun complexes "Carapace-C1", as well as air defense systems "Buk-M2", and S-400 "Triumph".

"In Syria, we achieved two goals. On the one hand, we demonstrated the combat capabilities of our military technology and attracted the attention of customers. On the other hand we tested more than half of our fleet in combat conditions, one source said.

Kommersant reported that after the campaign began, in December 2015 Algeria requested 12 Su-32 bombers (export version of the Su-34). According to the director of the Chkalov Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant Sergey Smirnov, the negotiations had been going on for eight years, but developed slowly. The first squadron of the Su-32 will cost the Algerian military at least $500-600 million, and in the future it can not be excluded that Algeria would execise an option to purchase another 6-12 machines.

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Page last modified: 28-11-2016 19:38:19 ZULU