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  • Sukhoi Su-24 (Fencer) Long Range Strike / Attack Aircraft

    Even after its Cold War-era decades of service, the nuclear-capable Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer strike platform still presents a lethal foe and is in active use with Russia and others.

     Updated: 6/18/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Sukhoi Su-24 "Fencer" was the Soviet answer to the American General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark. The Soviet design was no doubt inspired by the impressive and powerful "swing-wing" American design and attempted to follow suit with an equally capable mount worthy of her Soviet airmen. After some 35+ years of active service, the end is near for the impressive Fencer, gradually outdated in many facets of her makeup. She was debuted in anger during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and saw combat in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, actions against Chechen rebels of the Chechen Republic and thought to have participated in recent operations over South Ossetia in the 2008 "limited war" with Georgia. In all, approximately 1,400 Su-24s have been produced by Sukhoi OKB in three distinct operational variants and delivered to a handful of foreign operators.

    The Sukhoi Bureau and Their Su-7 "Fitter"

    The Sukhoi design bureau had its origins in wartime 1939 and became something of a household name throughout World War 2. In the post-war world - 1959 to be exact - the firm delivered their first Su-7 "Fitter" jet-powered fighters to the ranks of the Frontal Aviation (Frontovaya Aviahtsiya), this being the tactical component of the Soviet Air Force. The initial Su-7 was a dedicated tactical air superiority fighter design while the follow-up Su-7B was introduced as a ground attack version in 1961. One of the pre-requisites of the Soviet Air Force's acceptance of the Su-7 into service was that the firm also develop a suitable all-weather strike variant to be tied with a new navigation/attack system known as the "Puma".

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    Sukhoi Su-24 (Fencer) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1974
    Type: Long Range Strike / Attack Aircraft
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): Sukhoi OKB - Soviet Union
    Production Total: 1,400

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 80.71 feet (24.6 meters)
    Width: 57.87 feet (17.64 meters)
    Height: 20.31 feet (6.19 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 49,163 lb (22,300 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 87,524 lb (39,700 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Saturn/Lyulka AL-21F-3A turbojet engines with afterburner developing 24,690 lb of thrust each.

    Maximum Speed: 1,439 mph (2,316 kph; 1,251 knots)
    Maximum Range: 652 miles (1,050 km)
    Service Ceiling: 57,415 feet (17,500 meters; 10.87 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 29,525 feet-per-minute (8,999 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 23mm GSh-23-6 internal six-barreled cannon

    Mission-specific ordnance on eight/nine external hardpoints up to 17,635lbs can comprise of any of the following munitions:

    2 OR 4 x AA-8 "Aphid" (R-60) air-to-air missiles
    2 OR 4 x AA-11 "Archer" (R-73) air-to-air missiles.
    AS-7 "Kerry" (Kh-23) air-to-surface missile
    AS-9 "Kyle" (Kh-28) air-to-surface anti-radiation missile.
    AS-10 "Karen" (Kh-25ML) air-to-surface missile
    AS-11 "Kilter" (Kh-58) air-to-surface anti-radiation missile.
    AS-12 "Kegler" (Kh-25MP) air-to-surface missile
    AS-13 "Kingbolt" (kh-59) air-to-surface missile
    AS-14 "Kedge" (Kh-29) air-to-surface missile
    AS-17 "Krypton" (Kh-31) air-to-surface anti-radiation missile.
    TN-1000 Nuclear Weapon
    TN-1200 Nuclear Weapon
    KAB-500KR TV-Guided Bombs
    KAB-500L Laser-Guided Bombs
    55mm S-5 Rocket Pods
    80mm S-8 Rocket Pods
    120mm S-13 Rocket Pods
    Gun Pods
    Conventional Drop Bombs
    Drop Tanks

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Algeria; Angola; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Iran; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Libya; Russia; Soviet Union; Syria; Ukraine; Uzbekistan

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    T6 - Original Proposed Design by Sukhoi firm; fitted with additional 4 x auxiliary lift jets for shorter take-off performance.

    T6-1 - Initial Prototype Model Designation of the T6 series.

    T6-2IG - Secondary T-6 Prototype with variable swing-wing function and sans auxiliary jets.

    Su-24 ("Fencer-A") - Limit Production Model for live operational developmental purposes.

    Su-24 ("Fencer-B") - Initial Major Production Model series.

    Su-24 ("Fencer-C") - Secondary Major Production Model series with improved avionics suite.

    Su-24M ("Fencer-D") - Definitive Fencer Model with in-flight refueling probe fitted, terrain following radar, improved avionics and weapons delivery system, fences on wing roots and redesigned nose assembly.

    Su-24MK ("Fencer-D") - Export Production Model of the Su-24M; sans wing root fences; limited avionics and weapons suites.

    Su-24MR ("Fencer-E") - Dedicated Reconnaissance Variant; fitted with Shtik side-looking radar array; sans terrain avoidance radar system; IR/TV camera sensors; provision for specialized reconnaissance equipment and external pods.

    Su-24EW ("Fencer-E") - Communications Jammer Derivative

    Su-24MP ("Fencer-F") - ELINT Derivative