Home » Air » Russia Approves Plans for Next Generation Bomber

Russia Approves Plans for Next Generation Bomber

by Mike Hoffman on April 15, 2013

The Russian air force is developing a next generation bomber similar to the efforts by their U.S. counterparts.

Russia’s effort took a step forward April 11 when Russian Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev signed off on the conceptual design and specification for the PAK-DA strategic bomber, according to a report by the state owned Russian International News Agency.

Russian plans to replace its Tu-95MS Bear Tu-160 Blackjack bombers with this next generation bomber.  Russian air force leaders hope to get the plane into production by 2020 and then into the active service by 2025. Further, the Russians would like to develop an unmanned version of the bomber by 2040.

Russian leaders had discussed the pursuit of hypersonic technology, similar to the U.S., but it appears the first iteration will not feature the engines that could propel the plane to speeds five times the speed of sound. Last August, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the Russian air force would not settle for a U.S. B-2 clone and would try to develop a hypersonic bomber.

Instead, the Russian development will focus on mounting long range cruise missiles that could have hypersonic capability. The Russian air force also hope to take leaps with advanced electronic warfare systems.

The Russian aerospace company, Tupolev, won the contract to design the strategic bomber fleet. Officials have said the bomber will have stealth capabilities and a “flying wing” shape similar to the B-2, according to Russian media reports.

U.S. Air Force leaders continue to press for the development of their own next generation bombers listing it Friday as one of the service’s top modernization priorities despite forthcoming budget cuts.

Plenty of questions remain whether the service could realistically design hypersonic engines for a bomber within budget over the next decade especially when considering a few of the set backs the service has experienced recently.

In August, the X-51 Waverider failed to complete its test over the Pacific Ocean when the missile fell into the water after only 15 seconds. Engineers had hoped the missile designed to fly up to 4,500 miles per hour would fly for 300 seconds.

The hypersonic aircraft uses scramjet technology to reach such high speeds meaning it doesn’t have moving parts and uses oxygen in the air opposed to liquid fuel. The test failure occurred at an inopportune time as it was the last budgeted test meaning the service will have to fight for funding to keep the program alive.

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{ 153 comments… read them below or add one }

blight_ April 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

These images look more blended wing body than flying wing. That said, I find it interesting that they're upgrading the strategic bomber fleet, making more Iskanders, working with India on the Brahmos.

Strategic priorities?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

China maybe. I said in a comment down below that the Chinese will just make a crude copy, or buy, this aircraft. Russia might be trying to signal that it doesn't want that, so its making something that China doesn't have the capability to produce. That said, just looking at the tail fins, this isn't very stealthy. Also, at 90 degrees, will it survive hypersonic flight? Look at the SR-71. I have some SERIOUS doubts that Russia can pull this off. They haven't even flown a hypersonic aircraft yet (officially). I think, personally, the US next gen bomber will out class this. And even it isn't built, I would rather fly in a B-2 or B-1B or B-52 than this. They are proven systems, and especially the B-1B, can launch cruise missiles. I don't understand why you need hypersonic speeds to launch missiles. What purpose will that have?

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blight_ April 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

They're just throwing things at the wall until something sticks.

It's vaporware like our NGB.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:07 am

Lets hope it fails.

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bum291 July 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

Don't expect that picture to actually be the final aircraft… The russians have a slightly different mentality and approach at such things. The Mig-25 was finished even if it's adversary wasn't there, for example. With Putin at the wheels, new groundbreaking bombers is a high priority. He wants to raise Russian military profile. There is more sense in this than in the strategic bomb flights that they are doing right now. It will probably not "fail", but budget might overrun and target preformance might not be met, but transparency is just not there in Russia, don't express congress to vote it down in mid-developement. The went trough with the Ka-50/52 and Mi-28 and made effective helicopters out of them even if the cold war was over and defense research budget was minimal.

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Uncle Bill April 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Still not interested.

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Musson April 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm

How can you say that? We MUST prevent a mineshaft GAP!

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FormerDirtDart April 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm

They'll see the big boards.

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tiger April 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I'm sorry Maj.Kong, We bearly have enough fuel to reach the weather ship at Tango Delta…..

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FormerDirtDart April 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

"Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find:

- One forty-five caliber automatic
- Two boxes of ammunition
- Four days' concentrated emergency rations
- One drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine,
vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
- One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible
- One hundred dollars in rubles
- One hundred dollars in gold
- Nine packs of chewing gum
- One issue of prophylactics
- Three lipsticks
- Three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

Ben April 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I could be way off here, but wouldn't flying at hypersonic speeds make you a huge target on any IR tracker? That doesn't exactly sound stealthy to me.

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Sev April 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm

What missile is going to catch them?

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ziv April 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Sev, if the long range cruise missiles are flying at you at hypersonic speed, it would be a simplified version of a Ft. Greely missile hit to kill intercept. Like Ben mentioned, their IR signature would be huge, but a Standard would probably be able to hit them pretty easily from the front, but there isn't going to be an up the tail-pipe option for shooting them down, as you correctly noted.

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Restore Palestine April 15, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Standard? Nah. It's useless against Russian and Chinese missiles. All their missiles have been designed with Standard in mind.

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William_C1 April 16, 2013 at 12:53 am

And each new upgrade of Standard has been designed with those threats in mind.

blight_ April 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Which Standard missile in particular? And which "Russian and Chinese missiles" in particular?

The family has gone through several upgrade cycles mixing new boosters and seekers to the point that they share few parts in common. The high altitude TMD versions (SM-3) have three booster stages, SM-6 is two-stage, slower, but uses an AMRAAM seeker head.

Asides from the obvious fact that any weapons designer must plan for enemy radar and counter-missile systems and designs accordingly, designing for something-in-mind is rarely a gurantor of 100% effectiveness. And this is true on both sides of the coin.

extreme_one April 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

S-400! Mach 5.0

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Russians missiles shooting Russian aircraft. Brilliant.

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Restore Palestine April 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Well, do you have a better solution? Compared to Russian missiles, American missiles are second rate. Your best shot will be to steal the missiles or technology from the Russians, like the US has frequently done with most things high tech.

Dfens April 15, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Not to mention the fact that a missile going Mach 5 for a second is not going to catch an airplane cruising at more than Mach 3 and 100,000 ft altitude. Hell, even if you launched the missile at the same altitude just as the airplane was abreast of the missile, the missile still wouldn't catch it. Plus, when did we get infrared radar? What a bunch of goof balls.

ChuckL April 18, 2013 at 12:14 am

The problem is that we did not develop th infra red equipment to do the seach and tacking of this plane. So far only the ussians have it.

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Liv April 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

This reads like it was copied directly from the RT website. PowerPoint aircraft are amazing, which is what this will only be.

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Big-Dean April 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

yawn…..just another grand Russian plan

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john July 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm

You think too great of yourself. After all they first to sent a satellite, first rocket and the first man into the space. If they want, they can do. Armstrong landing on moon is still questionable and no one has ever verified it other than the Americans themselves.

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The Old Bear April 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

And the Chinese are also developing a similar design for use as a Long Range Heavy Bomber. I give a 50-50 chance that they will team up to jointly develop a new heavy bomber capable of projecting their power across the world and attacking America if it gets too uppity.

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Musson April 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Why? If they already have missiles why build a bomber?

Remember, a shipping container is also a nuclear delivery system.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

My thoughts exactly. Actually, it very oxymoronic to me. Why build a hypersonic bomber, and then just load it with missiles? I mean, that is what submarines are for.

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 12:00 am

To induce the US into another wasteful spending spree, followed by a fake "successful defense project" like the fake manned lunar landing some of the guys here have talked about.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 10:56 am

Bro, do you even understand history? Look, we landed on the moon. Get the Hubble telescope to focus on "Tranquility Base" or another landing site, and you will find the bottom half of the Lunar Module. FACT.

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blight_ April 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Balance of power. As long as we have B-2 bombers that can deliver a bomb to Beijing and Moscow through rings of anti-air missile batteries and surveillance radars, they will want a similar capability. They are not sacrificing their multi-pronged strategic deterrence.

Perhaps the PRC will move to acquire long-range bombers and SSB's; or SSBN's?

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Tad April 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

It's taken the Russians awhile. I mean, the B2 has been operational for what, 20 years or so, and there has been no US attack on them. I'm guessing the Russians want something and this is their way of signaling to the US that it's time to head to the table and they'll use the development of this bomber as an item up for negotiation. Just a guess, and I don't know what they want right now, but they've used this tactic before. Who knows, maybe it's not a message intended for the US but for China.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I don't know about that. But I do agree, its strange that Russia would all of a sudden want a long range bomber. I mean honestly, why? I would say that right now, the US bomber fleet is the best in the world, and even though Russia has bombers, its got a LONG way to go. No matter how good the TU-160 is (scaled up copy of the Lancer.) Honestly, I would jump for joy if this was meant to threaten China, but I could see China just ripping them off and making a crude copy of the bomber to "counter" it.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

I don't know. Bombers are a really expensive asset for a country. And only a few countries can afford it. I mean, even the impressively robust B-52 comes with expense. Russia might want to tip the balance of power, but it sure has chosen to do so after the US has made some serious leaps ahead of them. Except in space flight.

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Che chang April 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Can you imagine where we would be if we all worked together instead of each having to spend tons on R&D.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm

A totalitarian military enforced communist dictatorship?

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Belesari April 15, 2013 at 5:51 pm

But in reality that can't happen. Plus I'd say Military R&D has lead to much of the modern world. The US Gov. was the group that supported the microchip for almost a decade before that it was just unessesary.

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blight_ April 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Not much but tax cuts and gold plated Maybachs. Your point?

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Paul April 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Sure, we would all be part of a social welfare system that does not spend on technology but strives on trying to make everybody equal. At least competition drives innovation.

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Hoopla May 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Yes can i get three Egg Roles um some rice and some tsue chicken with a side of soy sauce yes thak you and if its not here by 8 o'clock your fired you no good China Town

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tiger April 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Why does Putin need a mach 5 bomber? Sure, the Bear & Blackjack are due for the bone yards. But is Russia thinking about the USA as a foe?? Who else will take their mail order brides, LUK oil & Vodka?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I think that Russia is trying to begin isolating itself from the US. Why? I don't have answer. But recently, they have been making "provoking" actions, such as trying to move missiles to their Eastern shores, there by being able to take out any US city (though they can do that with ICBMs). Russia should really be taken more seriously. I say crank up the US defense and space sectors to the max, a bit like in the 60's with Apollo. And the Blackbird.

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Belesari April 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Most of Russia's actions are directed internally. Not that they wouldn't Love to fuck us over but. China is the Russians biggest concern I think.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hmph. Yes. I mean, China is a nuclear state, and it is close to Russia. But it raises this question: Why would China attack an ally? I mean, lets be honest here, Russia and China love to hate on the US. Personally, I would be most afraid if Putin or some other Russian "politician" did the unthinkable, and turned Russia into a communist state again. That would be bad.

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XYZ April 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

They don't need to be a communist state. Putin knows they're past that. But they're not going to be a Western-style democracy if he can help it. Russia, China, pretty much anyone with power who's not in our sphere of influence (re: Europe and Japan) are angling against us. It's a balance of power issue – nationalism will not allow for just one superpower.

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, of course ;)

bum291 July 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

Watch russian state news on TV fow a while and you know USA is their foe… Economy, adoption issues, military/foreign policy and weapon developements, all is put out to be a threat to Russia/Imperialist-world dominating behaviour.

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Ricky April 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Looks very awesome though.

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Tribulationtime April 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

They have not Super-carriers. So make sense they have a vector to bring "Awe and Shock" nights elsewere. But they will need a lot of development, there is a "toilet-papel long" list of problems. I´ll exchange hyper for high supersonic cruiser and a lot of range and loitering time (not at High Mach of course).

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

I agree. I mean, look at the -71. It leaked fuel on the ground, as it panel gaps that would allow the aircraft to "grow" under the extreme heat and stress the fuselage went under. Mach 5 is something else. I mean, look at the X-15. It was essential a rocket that was going horizontally. Heat will be a massive issue, and I don't want to seem to patriotic to the US, but Russia, I HIGHLY doubt, has the capabilities to, at least by themselves, make this all work.

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JoeSovereign April 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm

The Long Range Hyper-Sonic (Stealth?) cruise missle is obviously the most logical path for both the Russians and the US. They could be launched from air, ground or sea platforms and can be replaced less expensively as technology advances.

Building giant billion dollar manned bombers that have to avoid detection refuel and return to base is a huge unnecessary expense. Any kind of Long Range Air Craft could be built or converted to carry these missles to the region of the world needed and the long range cruise missles fired from a safe distance.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Well, what happened to the submarine fleets?

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blight_ April 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Russians are slimming down. Typhoons are going out, replaced with smaller, less observable SSBN's. Alfas are going away, their unique liquid sodium reactors were maintenance hell. They have a new SSN in the pipe. They still have the trusty Kilos.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

They have subs, like you said, the Kilos. Also, they have missile cruisers. Once again, fast aircraft equals why?

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blight_ April 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Kilos are SSK's, they don't deliver strategic attack. Some export Kilos have Klub missiles, others have surface to air. But no land attack.

Steve B. April 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I'm thinking that a stealth capable bomber that you can park over some potential enemies capitol, gives nightmares to the potential enemy. Somewhat influences the decision making process when you don't really know if your adversary is about to drop a couple of bunker busters on your head. So even a few of them become a useful tool, as the U.S has discovered with the B2

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david April 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm

How does Putin intend to fund this new bomber? With the money he's "allegedly" stolen from the Russian people?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Well, that is a good point. Its not that Russia is broke, it isn't. But the money required to produce such a craft would be a lot, and I don't think that Russia is up to the plate. But then again, I am not well versed in how Tupolev gets money to make aircraft. Though I would imagine it gets money from the Russian government, a bit like, say, Lockheed Martin.

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Will Leach April 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

This story was not clear, and it seems that this whole discussion is based on some bad infotmation. Here is a clearer page.
http://theaviationist.com/2013/04/12/pak-da-conce

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Hmph. Defense Tech.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Likely, yes. Subsonic, eh. I don't know. On the one hand, just look at the TU-160. On the other hand, look at the TU-95. Its kinda hard to tell what the Russians will do. A flying wing is something I doubt. The reason is because A) well, they stated they don't want one and B) Because of, and this isn't really a requirement, more of a sense of pride and patriotism, but basically, it will seem to the Russian public that Russia is just copying the US B-2. I mean, the TU-160 and B-1 have similar looking traits. It sounds weird, but I think that such thoughts have at least some bearing on the final results, whatever it will be.

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Dave Barnes April 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm

One can only hope the Russkies piss away a lot of money on these.
And, if they are successful, we can copy them.

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l_veda April 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

This is just Russian old propaganda to kick start super-trillion dollar US's bomber project to bankrupt the country. LM is smiling hahahha… lolz

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Dfens April 15, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Yeah, clearly our socialism is still better than their socialism.

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William_C1 April 16, 2013 at 1:00 am

So lets just sit on our asses while our current bomber fleet ages and shrinks, right?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

B-52 has aged for fifty years, but it is still good. And 20 B-2 Bombers? Are you including that? That fleet isn't shrinking. The Lancers are getting upgrades, and we have a bunch of those.

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superraptor April 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm

what is more concerning that they are building new nuclear warheads while we are dismantling ours to create this world free of US nuclear weapons thanks to our great leader.

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Dfens April 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm

What they really need is a bomber blimp that could rocket in at 60 mph!!!!!!

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blight_ April 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

It would need 40mm Bofors and steampunk to fight Iranian speedboats, oneoneone!

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

Well, doesn't the Good Year blimp do that with ads?

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Elstan April 16, 2013 at 1:22 am

By the time the Russies and Chikies have the third generation bombers the Yankees would have conquered space with another technology, and shoot any mosquito entering the US Space…And it will be too late for any competitor to enter the space market, instead to negotiate with the conquerors.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thats bit generous to the USA. Before we can 'take out any fly that enters US airspace' we need the money, and the government isn't exactly getting along well here. So US government, HINT HINT, give generously to possibly the most the best symbol of America. That is NASA.

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anonymous April 16, 2013 at 1:37 am

"…uses oxygen in the air opposed to liquid fuel."
It'll still need fuel. Successfully burning fuel in a scramjet engine is the difference between producing just enough thrust to overcome the enormous amount of drag present at hypersonic speeds, and not being take your forehead off the dashboard.

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Wen April 16, 2013 at 4:31 am

Is anyone paying attention? …Take a look at the time frame mention do put this in play. The Russians perhaps already have stolen U.S. testing technology for this project or have an agent in place working w/ the R&D team similar to the Manhattan Project. If not, they will simply work in-concert w/ the Chines to hack it. And upon development completion, will repackage the technology in a slightly different design to convince the rest of the world that they have been working with this technology all along.

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Mark April 16, 2013 at 8:18 am

I would hope we could convince the Russians that the Chinese are a bigger strategic threat to them than we are.

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Nicholas Roach April 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

that would take alot of persuasion and luck to pull off seeing as the u.s. is still the most advanced military on the planet.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

True, but just the fact that Chinese are right next to Russia is something. Also, I doubt the US will ever really fight the Russians, or at the very least, start a conflict with them, simply because there isn't a need to do so.

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Restore Palestine April 17, 2013 at 12:43 am

Mark, if you don't stop this kind of delusional / wishful thinking and outlandish daydreaming typically found among mentals (e.g. BS ENTERPRISE & STumpler), you will be like them in no time.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

US astronauts landed on the moon

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Lance April 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Given Russia economy tanked again this month you wont see any Russian Stealth Bomber till the mid 2030s.

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Mikey April 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Blah Blah Blah, this is all Putin Tootin his horn. . . Stuff like this doesn't make any since in today's world. Smaller wars are the order of the future. Large conflicts are a thing of the past.
We, that's you and I and our kids are going to be fighting Terrorist cells, Pirates, and some home grown nut ball that lives down the street from you and that thinks he is saving the world by not paying his taxes, or having Car insurance. The idea of some super bomber is no longer viable. Oh well I've vented. . . Chrees

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Well thought out statement. I agree whole-heartedly. Only "major" wars I see will be NK and Iran, and that is assuming those two actually survive long enough.

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MIKE April 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Sounds like another good reason to remake the movie "Firefox"… of course with Clint Eastwood as the director. Besides a good movie, I don't think Russia is within 10 years of having such an aircraft. However, 10 years goes by fast – it was 10 years ago that we invaded Iraq!

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Dfens April 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

10 years goes by fast when it takes us 30 years to develop a new fighter jet.

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blight_ April 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Develop new jet: Intermediate.

Develop new doodads and then integrate them on this new jet after realizing that you should've developed the platform around the technology instead of the other way around: Hard.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Lets just skip to Star Trek and make the Defiant class.

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Rob C. April 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

I will believe it when i see it fly. Russian economy been struggling for a long time. They've still haven't gotten their quality control they lost since the cold war.

If they do, it might motivate US Congress to actually stop monkey around with development of the defense systems like the next gen bomber. Yes their defense contractors are ripping off US DoD, but their messing up because requirements for these new systems like the bomber while their in middle developing them.

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Dfens April 17, 2013 at 7:43 am

I think we should clearly cancel the F-35 right before it goes into production after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on its design and development. Then we should cancel the subsonic, next generation bomber right before it goes into production. That way we'll seem way tougher than a country that proposes to build a Mach 5 bomber.

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Ronald L. Hughes April 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

agreed!

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Chris April 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I sense there are 2 ways to take this.

The first is, as many have already mentioned, that this is a political project with a rather slim chance of becoming reality. I think there is some use to such projects in that while the plane itself may never be commissioned it provides a milestone with which to influence lawmakers and thus budgets. The XB-70 would be an example, one which the specifications read quite close to the PAK-DA only a bit faster and stealthier. If they take it seriously enough the obstacles they solve in the course of creating this thing will be of great value to Russian aerospace. If you can make a bomber go that fast, you can make a lot of other platforms go that fast too. The Russians know, just as we know how expensive bombers are to keep up to date and fueled, as well as just how vulnerable they are. So I hope for their sake that this is only a cool milestone that has all the right keywords to get funded for awhile.

The other possibility (and this is real speculation here) is that as a UAV capable of carrying other drones and cruise missiles it could be seen as a kind of flying and disposable carrier. To make this system work you would have to have dedicated ISR type drones launch from standardized cruise missile bays. Given Russia's love of the cruise missile, beginning with the Bear, to the Oscars, to the Ekranoplans, etc, it is conceivable they they might build one to get a lot of real time data with fast drones with which to fire a myriad of platforms. This would package Shock & Awe into a platform that could get itself close to your problem in a few hours. It would have to be simple and modular to make this project worth it, since we already know the technology it is being designed around today will be obsolete long before this thing flies. Cruise missiles are a very modular platform, so it would make sense to build a fast host if you could nail down the intelligence gathering issue.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Well, I can see that is a well thought out comment. But this is what I see wrong. You said that this could serve the role as a "disposable flying aircraft carrier" for drones. But the thing is, is that this aircraft would have to be so advanced, at the very least, fro the Russians, that if they lost one aircraft, that is millions, if not billions of moneys lost. Its kinda like the US carrier fleet, except that US carriers have a defense wall that MIGHT protect it, and we do possess the capability to build more. Here, the loss would be way more staggering. Finally, how does one land on a flying bomber? It has no runway. If you have it connect to a sort of boom like in mid-air refueling, you create drag that would not allow such quick flight. You can't launch something like this in flight, as opening the bomb doors and dropping something at Mach 5 is ridiculous. Overall, making a "disposable flying airport" is not really the answer.

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Ronald L. Hughes April 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm

All of us should recognize that the latest of defensive or offensive air-born weapons should be unmanned! Hell, we have been training young people for the last 30 years or so to fly these things, via remote control!

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Ronald L. Hughes April 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

BTW, any remote controlled aircraft would by design, be able to out maneuver any manned aircraft, and as a direct result, would be smaller and able to carry out orders to actually fly into the incoming attackers as one would direct a missile!

Thus they would be cheaper, more efficient and deadlier!

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Chris April 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Such systems are also much easier to kill, both physically and in terms of the kind of clearance required to engage the target.

This is just speculation as real drone on drone on man conflict has yet to happen, but today while visual ID is not always required I imagine it is most often preferred. If however your aircraft is shaped like a drone the pilot / AA battery may be cleared to fire without as much clearance or concern. Moreover, while an advanced UAV may be able to out fly a manned aircraft in a knife fight, it will not outpace an AWACS or Aegis guided laser from 100+ miles away. First rule of Drone War : the drones die first.

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Brandon April 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

My friend just used gasoline thinking it was mouth
wash haha

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Stratege April 26, 2013 at 12:31 am

The bomber picture posted above is a speculation which is based on the Tupovel's old design.

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greg April 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

So they have finally made a copy of the rq-170. I knew this was the real reason they wanted it.

I wonder how good their software will be to control this plane with very few control planes.

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Kim S April 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

The original town mentioned was Dallas rather than Vegas (look at his lips when he says it), but seeing that JFK had just been assasinated before the film's release, Kubrick found it prudent to change the word.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I would imagine it would be have to be pretty advanced. Honestly, it think a lot of programming for this bomber will come from leaked files concerning the B-2.

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

As if you actually knew anything about the "rq-170" HaHa

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Japan is in our "sphere of influence". And really, the major powers of Europe are serious US allies. Russia might not be communist, but I don't think that we will see this government last for a long time, like the US government has, for instance. I don't know, but I do know that Russia is about to do some crazy stuff.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm

But will the missiles that will be strapped to this thing will be like a tomahawk? Or a nuke?

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tiger April 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

After nuking a place, Vegas sounds more fun with pills,gold & a .45……

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tiger April 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Who do they need to nuke? Obama would turn all of our stockpile into plowshares if given the chance. Nor is China coming over the hills. So who is really a threat to the Russians?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 11:03 pm

That is my point, at least, in another comment somewhere around here. Why does Russia need this plane? What message are they sending us with this new development?

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blight_ April 15, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Putin-style is about machismo and showing that Russia is clawing itself back into strategic parity with America.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 15, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Haha. No. I don't want to, (once again) sound overly patriotic, but Russia is still coming back from the old USSR days. Also, while we talk defense, culture and politics inside Russia are the driving force that make use of the weapons we discuss. So really, what we need to ask is this: What is Putin trying to do? He is going to attack something, I mean why waste money on a plane that will sit in a hanger, but the question is who? Its not NK, as well, they are kinda neutral, and really, this plane, supposing somehow Russia makes it is serious overkill. China is kinda like the little bro to Russia. Idolizes it, copies it, etc. So no there. Okay, lets get honest here. Who in their right mind would attack the US with such a craft? We say that Russian defense sites and whatnot are "invincible" but the might of the US, at full "war machine" level, is quite frightening. I think its safe to say that if the US dedicated itself to a war with even half of the commitment it made in WWII, we would hold off on our own. Anyways, that leaves who for Russia to fling this plane at?

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Dirk April 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

Why would the US develop a S-400-type system when the Russians/Chinese have nothing that requires it? SM-3/Patriot/THAAD are quite sufficient for the time being.

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Dirk April 16, 2013 at 12:18 am

Yeah, let's steal their superior Bulava technology, our ICBMs are far too reliable currently.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

That cause we have a first rate air force that doesn't need SAMS. But we do have them, and the aren't exactly bad either.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

"…..like the US has frequently done with most things high tech" okay then. Explain this :http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/28/business/28hack.html?_r=0 Seems like the Motherland has been up to some hacking on its own. Read facts.

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greg April 16, 2013 at 9:06 am

Your right I don't. I don't claim to neither.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

Like as if you know anything. US operates the RQ-170. What happened over Iran is beyond me, and I am free to admit that it was a US error. But we our Drone tech is way past Middle Eastern Stuff.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

Before STempler gets this. Arabian Gulf.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

Well yes. They could do that. Unless we have F-22 to take the Pak Fa's, and B-52s/B-1Bs to pound something.

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 11:49 am

It doesn't matter how many BS "upgrades" the US would make on the Standard, it doesn't work against Russian and Chinese missiles.

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Perhaps you should ask Reagan or his trusted advisers or sponsors. His administration started the ambitious "STAR WAR" defense program. Granted, the BS plan has failed spectacularly. But the reasons for the program haven't changed yet, have they?

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ChrisB April 17, 2013 at 9:50 am
Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

correction: a first rate FAKE air force, one that couldn't even handle Indian Air Force.

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IronV April 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Your repeated demonstrations of expansive and intimate knowledge of aerospace engineering is impressive.

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Eretz Israel April 16, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Well, a better air force than the one the palestinians have, that´s for sure

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Yeah, lets just forget that the US swept the skies during both Gulf Wars, held one of largest bombing campaigns in modern history after WWII almost singlehandedly (Kosovo). Yeah, fake.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Funny. In a discussion a while back, you said that both India and the US were, at best second rate, meaning they were on par with each other. You can't even stay straight with your own crap. No wonder everything you say is a lie.

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blight_ April 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

It borders on magic faith in the superiority of the Slav and the Asiatic!

/sarc

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Nah. More like expansive and intimate knowledge of the track record of US defense industry, the extent of expertise US defense contractors have demonstrated, the utter incompetence of US politicians, the pathetic state of US financial quagmire, and limits of engineering based on Physics and Mathematics.

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the probability of the US completing any major defense engineering project as planned and advertized is about the same as that of landing a fair coin on its edge.

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IronV April 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm

"The limits of engineering based on physics and mathematics?" Oh, now you're a theoretical physicist too!

Your comments are laughably absurd on their face. In fact your nonsensical babble serves only to prove you know precisely, zero about either US or Russian defense technologies and capabilities.

You are a mere troll with a myopic, infantile political agenda.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

What do you know about either math or science? Both of those fields required knowledge in FACTS.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

You were inside the government during Reagan?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Ehm. I think that China is the main concern in cyber warfare. Russian cyber warfare and tactics are something that I am still trying to decode. As for air, uh, F-22. Enough said.

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whatever April 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

huh? Restore Palestine has at least been right on about the track record of US defense R&D and the corrupt incompetent government. What have you come up with? Bull**** and lame insult.

you should rename yourself "IronIdiotV" or simply "IdiotV"

or have you just misspelled your name?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I think you have misspelled your name. Its "Restore Palestine" not "whatever". Really, please go off and read some comments that were made by you I MEAN Restore Palestine.

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

BS ENTERPRISE mental, that's not me. You should take your psychiatric medications before turning on the computer. But then you wouldn't be BS'ing here if you are properly medicated. Right?

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Restore Palestine April 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm

What does a mental like you know about FACTS? HaHa.

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Restore Palestine April 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

Not if you factor in the cost.

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Restore Palestine April 17, 2013 at 12:31 am

ALL Standard missiles. ALL Russian and Chinese ICBMs with maneuverable reentry vehicles.

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Restore Palestine April 17, 2013 at 12:44 am

BS ENTERPRISE mental. Enough said.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

US astronauts landed on the moon.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

US astronauts landed on the moon

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

US astronauts landed on the moon

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

US astronauts landed on the moon

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USS ENTERPRISE April 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

US astronauts landed on the moon

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blight_ April 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

…that's pretty moot; since hitting a target in terminal re-entry is already difficult enough without a nuclear warhead. The Russian ABM system (and our old Safeguard) rely on a nuke to get around the accuracy problem.

Of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maneuverable_reentry

There's a reason why NMD has focused on boost and pre-separation: to get the RV's before separation. If you wait until the missile separates RVs, you've already lost, maneuverability or not.

The Russians still have SRBM/TBM's. The Iskander is a pretty cool little missile, and is maneuverable to get around ABM systems. It's more or less intended as a short-range doorkicker, and combines the agility of a cruise missile with the potential range and speed of a BM.

The United States doesn't have anything to match it. Though we have CM's; but that's not an exact analogue.

The Standard is meant to target the BMs when the problem is much easier. It probably has a terrible P(kill) against terminal phase non-maneuvering RV's, let alone maneuvering ones. But nobody has a good solution without using nuclear warheads.

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blight_ April 17, 2013 at 11:10 am

Yes it does: to hedge bets against program failure.

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greg April 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

WTF is your problem? You just contradict everyone that is in here. You make reading the posts incredibly annoying. I really don't like you. Your a punk ass too hiding behind the computer.

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guest 78701 April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

are you kidding me? Restore Palestine is one of the most fun and entertaining posters here. YOU, however, are a ****ing semi-illiterate dumb fart who can barely write grammatical English.

i mean what the **** are you doing here in the first place? shouldn't you be doing your overdue junior high homework?

stop littering in here you **** dog.

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Restore Palestine April 19, 2013 at 2:43 am

greg, it's not really my problem. It's actually your problem. First off, I have never contradicted everyone, just several frequent BS'ers and mentals. Second, I contradict them because they are "contradictable". Third, I can't and have never forced you to read any of my posts. It's not my fault that you are too dumb to learn to skip posts by people you dislike. Fourth, it would seem that you have not reached the minimum level of education to participate in a defense technology forum.

Sorry for contradicting you. But then, you are so easily "contradictable"

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USS ENTERPRISE April 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Hey, Restore Palestine can change his name!

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curious April 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

You are not seriously suggesting that the US possesses any capability in shooting down a Russian or Chinese missile in the boost phase, are you?

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blight_ April 18, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Taking a target out in boost is pretty much the only way to do it. The present NMD is mid-phase, and while a few missile systems are terminal phase, it's better not to trust all your missile defense eggs to that basket.

If you don't take it out in boost, you hit it in mid-phase.

The Safeguard (and A-135 counterpart); along with Nike-based ABM systems were terminal, and used nuclear warheads to increase the P(kill).

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USS ENTERPRISE April 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Bring back STAR WARS (not with Darth Vader, but with Reagan, obviously).

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curious April 19, 2013 at 12:44 am

The US does not have a defense system capable of taking out Russian or Chinese missiles in the boost phase, mid-phase, or terminal phase.

The Standard system can't even protect itself in a real combat scenario.

Besides, no US military satellite would survive in a armed conflict with Russia or China.

Using nuclear warheads is almost like committing suicide considering how cheap it is for Russia and China to send a few hundred decoys mixed with real warheads over US skies.

Those US engineers who came up with this nuclear defense option were not exactly of sound mind in my opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some lunatics working in the US defense sector. I just hope the sane ones are in control.

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Restore Palestine April 19, 2013 at 3:08 am

How many times do you hallucinate about this a day?

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blight_ April 19, 2013 at 7:58 am

"The US does not have a defense system capable of taking out Russian or Chinese missiles in the boost phase, mid-phase, or terminal phase. "

Only if the Russians are stupid enough to launch in coastal range of some DDG's. The TEL/silo force would probably be firing over the north pole: I suppose with global warming you could park some DDG's over there, but I'm not optimistic.

If anyone remembers, the Navy experimented with radar picket submarines (the Triton). An interesting demonstrator project might be to put a SPY-1 radar on a submarine, and use TMD in the VLS tubes. Surface, acquire missile targets, fire a missile, submerge. Pie in the sky, but it's an option.

More optimistically, if you know where a Russian SSBN is, you could conceivably box it in and shoot down its missiles in the boost phase. Big if.

Otherwise, the GBMD is configured to take out missiles from the west, not from the north. I suppose it could track northern targets, but nobody's really talked about it. Or if the PRC uses FOBS…but going FOBS means a longer time-to-hit in exchange for evading defenses.

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