The Command of Russian air forces has approved the design of advanced fifth-generation long-range bomber. The vehicle will replace Tu-95MS and Tu-160 bombers, Izvestiya reports.
According to a source, the Tupolev's concept design – flying wing aircraft – has been approved. Due to its great wingspan and some structural features, the aircraft will be unable to break the sound barrier, but it will have outstanding stealth capabilities. «Several design bureaus took part in the tender, besides Tupolev. They have presented several supersonic and one hypersonic aircraft, however, the choice was made in favor of the stealth capabilities”, — a high-ranking source from the Ministry of Defense reported.
Dmitry Rogozin said two weeks ago that PAK DA will be a hypersonic bomber. Nevertheless, a source close to aircraft industry explained that the hypersonic aircraft should have perfect aerodynamics and smooth lines, while in order to have stealth capabilities it must have angular form.
Now Tupolev design bureau should complete work on performance characteristics of PAK DA and present the budget for research activities in early 2014. At that the bomber’s serial production must be launched in 2020.
It is expected that development of PAK DA will cost several trillion rubles. However, the air forces will require only a few score of these aircraft, because the number of strategic bombers is stipulated in the Russian-American Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and such vehicles will not be exported.
At that the new bomber will be equipped with not only with nuclear missiles, but also with nonnuclear missiles, smart and ballistic bombs.