The collapse of Russia’s arms industry in the 1990s really hurt the SU-34′s development, but it has recovered. A development journey that began with the aircraft’s maiden flight in 1990, as the T10V/SU-27IB, ended in 2010 with deliveries and fielding under a 5-year production contract, followed by a 2012 full rate production order. RIA Novosti put the plane’s mission simply: “The Su-34 is meant to deliver a
sufficiently large ordnance load to a predetermined area, hit the target accurately and take evasive action against pursuing enemy planes.” Other reports have gone further, stating that the plane is also meant to be able to handle enemy fighters in aerial combat. Given its base platform characteristics, it would likely match up well in the air against many of America’s “teen series” aircraft.