Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Sukhoi Su-34 has undeniably made headlines, not only for its apparent formidability but also for its frequent crashes.

The Sukhoi Su-34, NATO codenamed “Fullback,” is among the world’s most formidable and versatile twin-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber aircraft developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Corporation. It has earned a reputation as a symbol of Russian military power, combining advanced technology with robust design features.

From Concept to Combat Deployment

The development of the Su-34 Fullback began in the late 1980s as a response to the need for a modern, all-weather, long-range strike aircraft to replace the aging swing-wing Su-24 Fencer fleet. Sukhoi, the renowned Russian aircraft manufacturer, embarked on a design program to create a capable aircraft that could perform a variety of missions, including precision strikes, interdiction, and electronic warfare.

The Su-34, derived from the Su-27 Flanker—naval trainer variant “T10KM-2” specifically—airframe, features a sleek, aerodynamic design optimized for low-level flight and high-speed operations. Its distinctive duckbill nose houses a terrain-following radar and electro-optical targeting system, which allows for precise navigation at low altitudes and in adverse weather conditions.