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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Air Force to receive 20 modernized Su-24 bombers

RIA Novosti

03/12/2007 15:58 MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) - An Air Force regiment deployed in Russia's Far East will be equipped with 20 upgraded Su-24M Fencer tactical bombers in the near future, a spokesman said Monday.

"An Air Force regiment based at the Pereyaslavka airfield in the Khabarovsk Region will receive 20 modernized Su-24 aircraft," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said.

The first six Su-24M fighter-bombers have already been upgraded at the Novosibirsk aircraft manufacturing plant and could be deployed with the regiment by December 10.

Another six Su-24s are currently being modernized at the same plant, the spokesman said.

The Su-24 is a two-seat, twin-engine strike aircraft similar to NATO's Tornado and Mirage 2000 planes.

The plane has been in service with the Russian Air Force since the mid-1970s, and in recent years Russia has gradually been phasing out the planes, which have a patchy safety record.

According to the Defense Ministry, the Su-24 will be gradually replaced with new Su-34 Fullback strike aircraft, which has the potential to become the top plane in its class for years to come.

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