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.
The Su-34 contains 57,000 items which must be assembled in the correct order. Some components, such as the engine, are being produced in other plants, where they are tested, and then shipped to the assembly plant, where they are mounted in the body of the aircraft.
The small holes are pre-drilled on the machine, and then on the stocks the correct diameter is drilled.
The air intakes are assembled here.
The third stage of the assembly shop is the most interesting. This is the check of the aircraft for leaks. The machine is driven into a huge box and water is applied.
The crane for heavy parts.
A top view on the workshop.
Several aircraft are being produced at the same time.
The fuel system.
Inspecting the work.
A part of the wing is being transported.
Every plane is tested.
A new steel bird, made a short run, climbed off the ground and disappeared after a few seconds into the low clouds. It flew toward the sun and to the place of its habitat.