Source AP ©

Su-24 bombers grounded after crash in Russia

Russian fleet of Su-24 bombers is grounded after one of the planes crashed.

Air Force spokesman Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky said the decision was made after preliminary investigation indicated the plane crashed due to technical problems rather than pilot error, according to the news agencies ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti.

The crash took place Thursday in the Khabarovsk region while the plane was on a training run; both pilots reportedly ejected safely.

Su-24s, which came into service in the early 1970s, are not one
Su-24s, which came into service in the early 1970s, are not one
The crash came as Russia is shopping its latest military aviation technology at the Moscow international air show. It took place less than a week after President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian bombers were resuming runs over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans in the revival of a Soviet-era practice.

Su-24s, which came into service in the early 1970s, are not one of Russia's most advanced warplanes. The Air Force plans to replace them with Su-34s as the military's post-Soviet funding crisis eases.

The Su-24, also known by its NATO nickname, Fencer, has a range of about 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles), compared with 8,500 kilometers (5,100 miles) for the Tu-95 bombers that are conducting the revived missions over the oceans.