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Russian Air Force to get new Su-34 bomber in 2006

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NOVOSIBIRSK, October 17 (RIA Novosti, Maxim Koshmarchuk) - The Russian Air Force will receive new Su-34 bombers in 2006, Air Force Commander Vladimir Mikhailov said Monday.

He said the 2006 state defense order for the new plane would amount to a 20-fold increase of the 2005 defense order, which was worth 100 million rubles ($3.5 million).

Mikhailov said he was visiting the Chkalov Aircraft Production Association in Novosibirsk to discuss all the problems and plans for the future.

"The plant is facing serious tasks," he said referring to the Su-34 production.

The designing of the new Su-34 bomber began in the late 1980s to replace the outdated Su-24 bomber.

According to experts, the new bomber has the potential to be the best plane in its class for years to come.

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