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    Russia's Legendary Su-24 Celebrates its 50-Year Anniversary

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    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    • Legendary Su-24 Celebrates Its Half-Century Anniversary
    © Sputnik/ Ramil Sitdikov
    A major problem in developing the new plane was to design the aiming and navigation system (ANS) to give the pilot as much automatic control over all major flight and tactical deployment procedures as possible.
    Photo: A Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer tactical bomber prepares for takeoff from the Hmeimim airbase in Lattakia, Syria.

    Fifty years ago, the Sukhoi Su-24 flew for the first time. For more than two decades of production, this supersonic all-weather attack aircraft had a significant role in the Soviet and then in Russian aviation. The Su-24 and its modifications were operated and remain in service with many air forces to which they were exported.

    The two-seat, all-weather Su-24 tactical bomber, which can operate around the clock, was developed in order to counter the USAF F-111 multi-role tactical fighter. Development of the Su-24 started in 1961 under the internal codename T-6. The first prototype, the T-6-1, was completed in May 1967 and was first operated by Soviet test pilot Vladimir Ilyushin on July 2. It was the first Soviet tactical attack aircraft to feature an integrated digital navigation/attack system. On February 4, 1975, the Su-24 was accepted into service, kicking off an important stage in the development of the USSR's national aircraft industry.    

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