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  Thursday, April 9, 2020
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Russia's Air Force has suspended all Su-24 strike aircraft flights following a crash in the country's Far East early Thursday
Russia's Air Force has suspended all Su-24 strike aircraft flights following a crash in the country's Far East early Thursday, an AF spokesman said. An Su-24 Fencer tactical bomber crashed Thursday about 115 kilometers (70 miles) southeast of the Khurba airfield in the Khabarovsk Territory, but both pilots successfully ejected from the aircraft. In recent years Russia has been gradually phasing out the planes, which have a patchy safety record. "The commander of the Russian Air Force has ordered the suspension of Su-24 flights until the causes of the August 24 crash are established," Colonel Alexander Drobyshevsky said. The spokesman said a special investigation commission, which has arrived at the crash site, is considering technical failure as a probable cause of the incident. The Su-24 is a two-seater, twin-engined strike aircraft similar to NATO's Tornado and Mirage 2000 planes. The plane has been in service with the Russian Air Force since the mid-1970s and is currently being replaced with advanced Su-34 Fullback tactical bombers. Last year, flights of Su-24 were suspended twice following three crashes in various regions of Russia. Two pilots were killed in the latest crash in western Russia, in July 2006.
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