​russia Will Need 20 Years to Replenish Aircraft Lost in Ukraine War

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Su-34 production / Archive photo
Su-34 production / Archive photo

The production of planes in russia fell by more than 2 times, the russian defense industry is raking out old leftovers

Summarizing all the available data from open sources, we will find out that in 8 months of 2022, the russian defense industry supplied the armed forces of the russian federation with only 10 military aircraft, and even those were produced under old contracts signed back in 2020.

In particular, it is known that in June 2022 the russian "Novosibirsk aviation plant named after V.P.Chkalov" delivered four Su-34M aircraft, which probably became part of the 227th Aviation Regiment of the 303rd Composite Aviation Division of the 11th Air Army of the Eastern Military district.

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The delivery of these aircraft took place under the 2020 contract with the ministry of defense of the russian federation. The terms of the contract provided for the delivery of 24 Su-34M aircraft over 2021–2024, but in fact only 8 aircraft were delivered (that is, 4 aircraft per year). And it is unlikely that the russians are now able to increase the production rate of the Su-34M to 8 units per year in order to comply with the terms of this contract.

Test flight of the russian Su-34
Test flight of the russian Su-34, May 2022 / Open source photo

As of August 2022, the russian plant "Aviastar-SP" in Ulyanovsk handed the third made over this year Il-76MD-90A transport aircraft over to the russian armed forces. Of these 3 planes, only the first, handed over in April 2022, entered the operational unit – probably it went to the 235th Air Regiment of Military Transport Aviation.

These three Il-76MD-90A were manufactured under a contract signed back in 2012, which provided for the delivery of 36 transport aircraft, and only 12 planes of this type were delivered.

russian Il-76MD-90A
This russian Il-76MD-90A is the third one built in 2022 / Open source photo

On September 10, 2022, news appered that the aircraft factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur handed over three Su-35S type aircraft to the russian aerospace forces manufactured during the current year, those, according to the message, already "flew to the base airfield", i.e. were transferred to one of the aviation units of the Eastern Military district.

These aircraft were manufactured under a contract signed back in 2020, which provided for the delivery of only 8 Su-35S aircraft. The other 5 units were manufactured and delivered in 2021.

Delivery of new Su-35S to the russian Air Force, September 2022
Delivery of new Su-35S to the russian Air Force, September 2022 / Open source photo

The spotlight on the fact that the above-mentioned 10 aircraft were manufactured under old contracts means that the components for the manufacture of these planes were purchased by the russian defense industry long before February 24, 2022.

Therefore, it is forced to literally "rake out the leftovers" from previous supplies in order to at least somehow fulfill its contractual obligations. And at the same time, the actual rate of production of new aircraft fell by 2 times, because in 2021, the russian aerospace forces received 21 combat aircraft.

Even if we assume that, under "ideal" conditions, the russian defense industry will be able to deliver 10 to 15 new aircraft per year, then the russian federation will need 20 years to recover the losses of its military aircraft suffered during the war against Ukraine.

russian combat losses as of September 12
russian combat losses as of September 12, according to the Ukraine's General Staff
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