Warplanes: Su-24 Breakdown Bonus


September 23, 2007: For the third time this year, Russian Su-24 bombers were grounded because one of them had crashed, and the reason was not immediately known. The Su-24s have been in service for 32 years, and about a third, of the 1,400 manufactured, are still in service.

The Su24 was something of an "F-111 Lite." The 43 ton, swing-wing bomber has a crew of two and can carry up to eight tons of weapons. The aircraft has inefficient engines, and lots of electronics. When everything worked, the Su-24 was an all-weather bomber capable of delivering dumb bombs quite accurately. Most of the time, everything didn't work. Nevertheless, the aircraft performed well in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

The basic design of the Su-24 was good, and Russia is spending lots of money to upgrade the electronics and engines with more reliable equipment.


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