The Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO designation Fullback) was developed primarily for the strike/attack role to replace the Su-24 Fencer. It is a derivative of the Su-27 Flanker, easily distinguished by its side-by-side cockpit and the 'platypus' nose. First flown in 1990, this aircraft was originally designated the Su-27IB. In 1995 a pre-production aircraft, designated as the Su-32, was revealed. Development was slow due to limited funding. Until 2004 a total of 8 pre-production aircraft were built for trials and evaluation. A couple of years ago Russian Air Force has adopted the Su-34 designation for this aircraft.
The Su-34 officially entered service with the Russian Air Force in 2014. As of 2015 Russian Air Force operates 76 of these attack aircraft. It was stated that total Russia's requirement is for 200 interdictors of the new type. The Su-34 is also proposed for export customers, however, it has received no orders to date. Upgrade programmes continue for surviving Russian Su-24s to extend their service lives. The Su-34 Fullback design retains the Su-27s basic layout, construction of the airframe, engines, most of its wing structure, tail and a substantial part of the onboard equipment. It also uses canards of the Su-30 for improved maneuverability. Aircraft has entirely new nose and forward fuselage with the cockpit. The advantage of a side-by-side cockpit is that duplicate instruments are not required for each pilot. It is also more comfortable on longer missions. The Su-34 has a modern glass cockpit, with color multi-function displays. The nose section of the Fullback accommodates advanced multi-mode phased array radar, capable of terrain following. Cockpit and some other crucial components and systems are armored. Aircraft is fitted with comprehensive electronic countermeasures equipment.