Russia to Build Lethal PAK-DA Stealth Bomber—with Hypersonic Weapons?

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Despite its economic struggles as oil price remain stubbornly low, Russia is pressing ahead with plans to develop its new PAK-DA stealth bomber while simultaneously resuming production of the Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic bomber. However, Moscow will delay the PAK-DA effort in favor of the advanced Tu-160M2 derivative of the Blackjack, but the program will not be cancelled.

“We certainly are not going to stop the work on the development of PAK-DA,” Yuri Borisov, Russia’s deputy defense minister told the Moscow-based TASS news agency on April 15Continue reading

America’s next superbomber to be shrouded in secret for years

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Almost every aspect of America’s newest bomber is top secret, but experts predict the warplane will be very “stealthy,” packed with sensors — and able to deliver nuclear payloads anywhere.

The Pentagon this week announced Northrop Grumman as the winner of the much-anticipated contest to build the Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRSB, in a decades-long program that will likely end up costing in excess of $100 billion.

The Air Force wants 100 of the warplanes, which will replace America’s increasingly antique B-52s — originally designed in the 1950s — and its B-1 bombers that first saw action in the 1980s. Continue reading

US Air Force Will Soon Unveil Next Super Bomber to Replace Cold War Machines

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Washington:  The US Air Force is getting ready to announce the winner of a multibillion-dollar contract to build a new generation of long-distance bombers that will replace aging, Cold War machines.

Dubbed the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) program, the Air Force will in the coming weeks award the mega-contract to either Northrop Grumman or a team made up of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The program envisions the creation of between 80 and 100 strategic bombers to replace America’s fleet of B-52s and B-1s. Almost everything about it is classified, save for the cost of each plane, which was set at $550 million per unit in 2010 dollars. Continue reading

Get Ready, America: Russia Wants a New Stealthy, Long-Range Bomber

There is little concrete information about the new Russian bomber—but a stealthy long-range penetrating strike aircraft is not cheap. The Pentagon’s secretive new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program is aiming to develop an aircraft that will cost roughly $550 million per jet. Developmental costs for the American aircraft—which will supposedly rely on “mature” technologies–are likely to be in $50 billion range. While the Russia PAK-DA is not likely to be nearly as expensive, it is going to cost tens of billions of dollars at a time when Russia’s resource-based economy is collapsing into what could be a prolonged recession. Unlike the Soviet Union—which had a more or less full-service, if dysfunctional, economy—modern Russia is little more than a glorified petro-state. There are very real questions as to whether Russia can afford to complete the development of the PAK-DA.

Nonetheless, Russia’s Tupolev design bureau appears to be moving full steam ahead with the development of the new aircraft. Mikhail Pogosyan, head of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)—a state enterprise that includes Tupolev—told RIA Novosti, a state-run Russian new agency (now known internationally as Sputnik International), earlier in the year that development of the PAK-DA had started in earnest in 2014. Pogosyan said that preliminary design work for the new aircraft was completed in April 2014 and some components are already being fabricated. Continue reading

U.S. Navy Warns It Can’t Meet 30-Year Funding Needs

The U.S. Navy can’t meet its funding needs for surface warships and a new class of nuclear attack submarines from 2025 to 2034, according to the service’s latest 30-year shipbuilding plan.

The congressionally required blueprint, submitted late last week and obtained by Bloomberg News, says the Navy’s plan “requires funding at an unsustainable level” unless spending on shipbuilding is increased. Continue reading