Russia Approves Plans for Next Generation Bomber

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.

36 Comments on "Russia Approves Plans for Next Generation Bomber"

  1. 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?

  2. Still not interested.

  3. 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.

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

  5. yawn…..just another grand Russian plan

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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?

  9. Looks very awesome though.

  10. Tribulationtime | April 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply

    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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

  14. 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

  15. USS ENTERPRISE | April 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply

    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.

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. "…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.

  22. 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.

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

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

  25. 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

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

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

    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!

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

    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!

  32. My friend just used gasoline thinking it was mouth
    wash haha

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

  34. It was 1987 when Russia invaded Afghanistan & started this whole ME mess.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*