Algeria has ordered 12 Su-34 long-range strike bombers from Russia.
“We have resumed talks on the sale of export Su-32 bombers to Algeria,” Sergey Smirnov, director general of the Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association was quoted as saying to Russian news daily Vedomosti by National Interest Tuesday.
Su-32 is the export variant of Su-34 bomber.
“We’ve had talks with this country over the last eight years, but they have not taken any steps on their part. But recently Rosoboronexport received an official application from Algeria to supply our aircraft,” he added.
Meanwhile, the production of Russia’s domestic Su-34 continues at a steady pace of roughly eighteen aircraft per year until 2020. But the jet has not yet reached its full potential, Smirnov said.
The Su-34 will continue to be improved based on combat experience and its capabilities will be expanded. These modifications could include additional electronic warfare (EW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other capabilities added via external pods, Smirnov said. “After a year or two, I think, our factory will start production of the modernized Su-34,” he said.
In addition to short-range R-73 high off-boresight dogfighting missiles, the Su-34 carries the long-range radar-guided R-77 air-to-air missile. That means like its nearest Western equivalent, the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, the Fullback able to conduct “self-escorted” strike missions. It also has an unorthodox rearward facing radar to warn the crew about threats approaching from behind.
Algeria is also in negotiation to buy upgraded version of Su-24 for the nation’s ongoing force re-alignment and modernization program. Algeria is fighting Islamic insurgency and will become the first nation to order Su-34 Fullback aircraft.
The deal might be part of the $7.5 billion Algerian-Russian arms deal signed in 2006 for the supply of anti-missile systems, aviation, sea and land-ward defense equipment and technologies.