Hudi's Russian Aircraft Guide

Attackers

Attacker

The best attacker in WWII was the IL-2, however after the war the idea of a heavily armoured attacker was dropped in favor of speed. The direct result of such approch is the MiG-27 - a derivative of the MiG-23. However the Vietnam War showed the need for an dedicated attack plane which can withstand a lot of combat damage. Also, in order for the pilot to visually identify the target and engage it in the same run, the plane needed to be slow. At the end of the 70ies, both American and Soviets started to develop slow, rugged and uncomplicated attack planes out of which A-10 and Su-25 grew. However the Soviets did not give up the idea of super-sonic strikers and also developed the Su-24 and recently the Su-34.

Attackers

MiG-27
MiG-27   Front line attacker
The Bear was in service since the late fifties and has been the backbone of the Soviet/Russian strategic bomber force for over 5 decades. It's purpose and weapon system evoled over time from a nuclear bomber to missle carrier. Despite its age, Tu-95 will be in service untill 2030s and would be the longest serving aircraft of all times.
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Su-24
Su-24   Tactical attack aircraft
Towards the end of the fifties, the introduction of guided missles forced bombers to go low, below the radar range. It also became apparent that an attacker needs to operate under all weather conditions. To counter the American F-111, Soviets started their own programs. Sukhoi mimiced the F-111 and used its seating condiguration and variable geometry wings. The Su-24 is still being used today but is being phased out by the modern Su-34.
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Su-25
Su-25   Dedicated attack plane
In 1967, during the Dniepr manuvers, the Soviets discovered that inorder to be effective in ground attacks, a plane needs to be slow, manuverable at low altitute while being heavily armoured. Sukhoi responded with the Su-25 which was underwent its first combat trail in 1980 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. It performed very well and thanks to its heavy armour, despite 23 losses, no pilot was killed by direct hit or shrapnel. Desert Storm showed need for dedicated anti-tank capabilities and Su-25T was devised, its armed with 12 Vikhr supersonic missiles and the Shkval target aqusition system.
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Su-34
Su-34   Long range fighter-bomber
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