Russia has partially resumed flights of Su-24 Fencer tactical bombers after one of them crashed in Russia’s Urals, Defense Ministry spokesman Col Vladimir Drik said on Tuesday.
“After tests, unit commanders… will receive permission to resume flights of this type of aircraft,” he said.
All Su-24s were grounded after one of them crashed in the woods of the Kurgan region during a routine flight on February 13. Both pilots ejected safely.
The crash was the third of a Su-24 in Russia over the last four months. The two previous crashes occurred in October and December 2011.
The Su-24 is a two-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber similar to NATO's Tornado and Mirage 2000 planes.
It has been in service with the Russian Air Force since the mid-1970s. However, in recent years Russia has gradually been phasing out the planes, which have a patchy safety record.
According to the Defense Ministry’s plans, the Su-24 will be gradually replaced with new Su-34 Fullback strike aircraft, which has the potential to become the top plane in its class for years to come. (Cihan/Ria Novosti)