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Birth anniversaries of a few legendary humans are marked in style with many people across the world recognising it. Turns out, the same doesn't apply to legendary aircraft, as the legendary Sukhoi SU-24's 50th anniversary was just marked by one report on a Russian news reporting website.
The Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer, a tactical bomber and supersonic attack aircraft used by the Soviet Union and afterwards by the Russian Aerospace Forces first flew on 2nd July, 1967. Development of the aircraft began a few years earlier as the Soviet Union was in need of an aircraft to counter the F-111 multi-role tactical fighter developed by the United States.
The manufacturing of the Sukhoi SU-24 played an important role in the development of Russia's aircraft industry. The aircraft attained cult status and is still in service today with a few countries' air forces, 50 years since it first flew.
The Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer has played vital roles in many wars so far, like the Soviet War in Afghanistan, Operation Desert Storm, 2011 Libyan Civil War, Syrian Civil War, etc. The Algerian Air Force, Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Russian Aerospace Forces, Syrian Arab Air Force, Sudan Air Force and Ukraine Air Force have all flown the Sukhoi SU-24.
The Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer was succeeded by the Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback, which would slowly replace all the Sukhoi SU-24s in the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Aircraft play a vital role in the defence of a country and the Sukhoi SU-24 has done that in former Soviet Union and now Russia, for a few decades. The Indian Air Force never operated the Sukhoi SU-24, but they did operate the Sukhoi SU-27 in the past and now operate the Sukhoi SU-30 MKI.