A Russian Air Force Su-34 strike aircraft crashed during a training flight in the Voronezh region. Both crew members aboard the aircraft safely ejected.
The Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement regarding the incident, confirming that the Su-34 aircraft went down at approximately 10:00 Moscow time. The aircraft was engaged in a routine training flight when the accident occurred.
“The crew of the aircraft, consisting of two people, ejected successfully and were evacuated to their home airfield. the Ministry of Defense reported. “There is no threat to their health.”
According to pictures shared on social media, the aircraft crashed in a field. No damage or injuries were reported other than the loss of the airframe. The ministry said that the Su-34 was not carrying any ammunition during the training flight. An investigation into the incident was opened.
The last accidental loss of a Russian Su-34 occurred on the evening of October 17, 2022, when a fighter-bomber crashed into a residential building in the city of Yeysk, on the coast of the Sea of Azov. The two crew members managed to eject, but 15 people were killed on the ground.
What is the Su-34?
Developed in the 1980s, the Sukhoi Su-34 ‘Fullback’ has been in production since 2005. It is a fighter-bomber capable of conducting strike missions on air, sea, and ground targets. One distinguishing feature of the Su-34 is its two-person crew configuration, where the crew members sit side by side in the cockpit.
The aircraft has a maximum payload of around 8,000 kilograms (18,000 pounds), though some sources claim it can carry up to 12,000 kilograms (26,000 pounds) of ordnance. It can reach a reported top speed of Mach 1.53 (1,900 kilometers per hour) and a maximum flight altitude of 17,000 meters (55,000 feet).
Su-34 strike aircraft have been the workhorse of the Russian Aerospace Forces during the invasion of Ukraine, flying bombing missions from bordering bases, such as the ones in Morozovsk and Malshevo.
According to the Oryx blog, which documents the visually confirmed loss of equipment during the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, 21 Su-34 strike aircraft were lost in the conflict.