Russia has begun the construction of its first PAK DA strategic stealth bomber, TASS reported citing a source in the military-industrial complex.
“The production of airframe elements will be handled by one of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)’s plants; development of working design documentation is complete, material shipping has commenced,” the source was quoted as saying.
Another source reportedly told TASS that the construction of the plane’s cockpit is already underway.
The report added that the assembly of the bomber is expected to be complete by 2021.
within the Perspective Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA) program, also known as “Product 80” and “Courier”, a source in the military-industrial complex told TASS.
The Tupolev PAK DA (Perspektivnyi aviatsionnyi kompleks dal’ney aviatsii, “Perspective Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation”), also called Izdeliye 80 (“Product 80”) and Poslannik (“Courier”), is a next-generation stealth strategic bomber being developed for the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) by Tupolev, part of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
The PAK DA is set to complement and eventually replace the older Tupolev Tu-95 long-range turboprop bombers in Russian service.
The subsonic bomber is expected to have a 12,000 km operational range and a capability to continuously remain in the air for up to 30 hours while carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads up to 30 tons. The aircraft will have a crew of 4.
The bomber will be similar to the U.S. Air Force (USAF)’s currently operational B-2 Spirit stealth strategic bomber and its under-development B-21 Raider bomber. China is also developing a similar bomber for its People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), designated Xian H-20.