18 Jan 2019 23:06

Rescue teams find body of 3rd pilot from Su-34 in Sea of Japan - Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax-AVN) - Rescue teams have found the body of the third pilot from one of the two Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers that collided over the Sea of Japan on Friday.

"The dead body of a pilot has been found in the search-and-rescue operation area. The vessel involved in the search in this area has taken the dead pilot's body on board. The search-and-rescue operation is ongoing," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Defense Ministry had said earlier that one of the crewmembers, a navigator, had been rescued and the body of another had been retrieved from the water.

The Russian Defense Ministry had said earlier on Friday that two Su-34s of the Far Eastern Air and Air Defense Forces had collided while practicing maneuvers during a routine training flight over the Sea of Japan 35 kilometers off the coast. The pilots ejected.

The planes did not carry weapons, it said.

A Su-34 crew includes two people seated side-by-side.

The Su-34 is designed to destroy ground, naval and aerial targets and infrastructure facilities covered by air defense systems and located at long distances away from a base airfield, using guided and unguided aerial weapons in daytime and at night, under favorable and adverse weather conditions and in a hostile environment with counter-fire and electronic warfare (EW) counter-measures deployed, and also for aerial reconnaissance missions.

The Russian Armed Forces used Su-34s in the operation in Syria.