The Sukhoi Su-2 was a mixed construction close support aircraft used by Soviet forces.


Developed from the ANT-51, the Su-2 first flew - as the BB-1[N 1] - in April 1940. The wooden monocoque fuselage contained a bomb bay which could carry a max load of 600 kg, located directly under the two crew cockpit, and a Duralumim escape hatch under the space between the gunner's station and the tail. The main armament of the Su-2 consisted of four ShKAS machine guns located in the wings of the aircraft and a secondary ShKAS machine gun located in the ball turret for defense.[2]

The armor protection was generally around 9mm thick around the cockpit. Problems quickly arose with the hand cranked ball turret and its defensive capabilities. 

The wooden tail fin was supplemented by a two piece metal horizontal stabiliser. The two spar all metal cantilever wing was fitted in ling with the pilot's compartment, and had flush riveted outer panels to reduce drag. Power was provided by a M-88B 14 cylinder radial, driving a three bladed VISh-23 variable pitch propeller. By September 1941, the type was being built at the rate of five a day.[1]


The Su-2 did not have any extensive lines of variants after it, mainly in part to it being outclassed by the Ilyushin Il-2, but one type of modified production model was created. Although not being given an official designation, this variant is often referred to as the Su-2 M82 for its main introduction, the much improved M82 radial engine. Around 600-700 of the Su-2s created were of the M82 type.[3]


A damaged Su-2 undergoing inspection.

During the first few weeks of Operation Barbarossa, the Su-2 successfully carried out short range bombing, reconnaissance - using a camera located in a special photo turret on the starboard side of the fuselage - and artillery spotting missions. Encounters with Bf 109 fighters rapidly led to mounting losses, with attrition rates becoming severe when the Su-2s began to be used as emergency fighters.[N 2] By the end of 1942, surviving Su-2s were relegated to second line tasks. Total production reached 889 aircraft, serving with a total of 15 air regiments.[1]


  1. BB = Blizhny Bombardirovshick (Short Range Bomber).[1]
  2. One Su-2 was used by female pilot Yekaterina Zelenko to make a ramming attack in September 1941.[1]


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