Russian engineer guzzles away secret Su-34 part

At the beginning of summer engineers from Ulianovskoe Designing Bureau of Device Construction received an order from Novosibirsk aviation workers who needed a control assembly part for a SU-34 plane. It took three months to complete the order. Two designers were supposed to deliver the expensive shipment to Novosibirsk .

“We always send people in two’s,” the firm’s employer explains, “the orders are usually pretty expensive and we try to provide some kind of insurance this way.”

Unfortunately the day before the trip one of the deliverers got sick. There was no time to look for a replacement leaving Bureau’s employee Pavel Pahomov to take the train from Volgograd to Ulan-Ude by himself. Precious cargo that cost 30,000 Euro was packed into an ordinary looking cardboard box to conceal its value: here is a regular passenger taking gifts back to his family.

Once he took his seat Pahomov got to know all his train neighbors. Someone offered a toast, and one thing led to another: to women, to Russian factories… Three bottles of vodka didn’t feel like enough, and Pavel came off the train in Ufa in search of more alcohol. While he was waiting in line he missed his train.

Burned in the furnace.

Extremely worried designer got a taxi and caught his train at the next station. His happy return then was celebrated for another 24 hours. This time the party was held in the restaurant-carriage. Pahomov recalled the fact that he was delivering an expensive order only when the train was approaching Novosibirsk . Pavel went back to his seat and found the box missing. He jumped out of the train and rushed to the police station nearby.

“It was the Americans who got me drunk and stole the part! Those damned spies!” from the confused account mumbled by a hangover victim authorities perceived that he was carrying a secret part to the military plant and called the Federal Security Servcie.

As it turned out there were no ill-wishers and state enemies involved in the incident. While Pavel was partying and getting intoxicated with his new friends a stewardess decided to clean up the area where their seats were located.

After finding a cardboard box filled with apple leftovers, empty cans, dirty newspapers and other trash (which had the secret part somewhere at the bottom) the woman simply grabbed it and threw it in the furnace.

P.S. The case of unfortunate designer is currently being investigated. Aviation factory is trying to sue the Designing Bureau.

Specialist’s commentary

Yuriy Butov, the director’s assistant for supplying Chkalov ’s Aviation Factory in Novosibirsk :

“Without this part the bombardment aircraft SU-34’s serial production cannot be launched. And we have a pending order for 24 planes. That is one billion Euros! Now the Designing Bureau is desperately trying to construct the part but they need another two months to complete it. We are facing serious financial losses.”


SU-34 is considered one of the top priority programs within the Russian air force. The aircraft itself is a military plane of the fifth generation.

The bombardment plane is intended for air and land target destruction, including the small and mobile one, during daytime and nighttime, in bad and good weather conditions.

Currently besides further modification of SU-34 Russia is working on coming up with its new variations such as a spying plane.

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12/2008 02/2009


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