The Su-17 Fitter aircraft was considered equivalent with the Chinese MiG-19 Farmer than fighter. Therefore they gave quick reaction alert. Each standby Su-17 Fitter-C was two SPPU-23 gun pod suspended.
The 43rd Fighter Bomber Air Regiment lost five Su-17 Fitter-C between 1974 and 1979, from which four is known:
- Two collided before the flight.
- Training exercise, the exploding bomb's shrapnel shot it.
- One got a big overload during air combat training.