SOCHI, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will begin the full-scale R&D work on its future strategic bomber in 2014, a senior aircraft-manufacturing industry official said Thursday.
The project, known as PAK-DA (an acronym meaning “future long-range aircraft”), has been in the works for several years but was given the formal go-ahead by the Russian leadership last year.
“A decision was made this year to expedite the development of the PAK-DA aircraft,” Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, said at a meeting on the future of the Russian air force chaired by President Vladimir Putin.
The Defense Ministry insisted that the PAK-DA should be equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems and armed with new nuclear-capable long-range cruise missiles in addition to a variety of high-precision conventional weapons.
The new bomber is expected to go into production by 2020 and will most likely be built at a new aircraft assembly line at Russia’s Kazan plant (KAPO), according to defense ministry officials.
Pogosyan said Thursday that the preliminary tests of the modernized Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers have been completed and they will now undergo a series of inspections by a state acceptance commission.
According to aircraft industry officials, the modernized bombers feature new weaponry, improved electronics and avionics that double their combat effectiveness.
Full article: Russia Speeds Up Development of New Strategic Bomber (RIA Novosti)