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Development of the Su-2 began in the year 1936, to replace the Polikarpov R-5 biplane; the first prototype, called ANT-51, which was designed as the "Ivanov" aircraft, had its first flight on 25th August 1937 and was flown by Michail Gromov. At least it failed against Il-2, which had a better armor and was better armed, only in terms of flight performance the Su-2 was superior.
After testing with different aircraft with different engines, in 1939 the BB-1 was built (BB = Blishni Bombardirowshtshik = Close-range bomber), it was powered by a M-87A engine, and in 1940 it was equipped with the new M-88-engine and entered service as the Su-2.
At the beginning of 1941, a new upgraded derivative with a more powerful M-88B engine was built. Now it was equipped with two, instead of four machine guns, to make room for six unguided RS-82 missiles.
In autumn 1941 a Su-2 with an ASh-82 radial-engine was unveiled. In 1942 it was modified into the Su-4 with a better amored fuselage. It also had a better M-90 engine with a power of 1,520 kW and then it was armed with two 12.7 mm machine guns and two 7.62-mm machine guns. However this derivative never entered operational status.
The Su-2 was produced until autumn 1942, all in all 793 aircraft were built.