Actually its a four aircraft in one. You forget to mention trainer.
Correct .And a deadly trainer for that matter .
The fighter aspect of the SU 34
is often underplayed and it's not difficult to see why . In an airforce where there are already premium aircrafts like MIG 31 , SU 35S and SU 30 SM what is the need for the SU 34 to perform the fighter role ? Two words sums it up prospective clients
. Who in all likelihood will not have deep pockets and therefore cannot afford the variety that a Russia , US or China can afford . Nevertheless , they would want their fighter to perform the role of a fighter , bomber and a recon aircraft .
It's necessary to walk down memory lane to fully understand as to why the SU 34 can perform the role of a fighter .
(1) The SU 34 has been in existence for almost 20 years now . Though it was named back then as Su-30MK. Then the name was changed to the Su-32MF and it was only ten years later that the plane got its current name. The SU 34 is therefore an upgrade of the Su-27 series, including the Su-47, and is also capable of doing everything that the Su-24 can.
(2) The SU 34 can perform the same tasks as the Su-27, but with double its range and two and a half times its combat effectiveness.
(3) Excellent aerodynamics. The Kh-31P antiradar missile, which is capable of engaging all types of radar system of medium- and long-range air defence missile systems, with the carrier remaining well outside of the counter-fire range.
(4) 10 hardpoints designed to accomodate R 73 and R 77 missiles , an internal 30mm GSh-301 gun with 180 rounds rounds out its weapon array.