Tupolev PAK DA
|Role||Multi-purpose strategic bomber|
|Manufacturer||Tupolev, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)|
|Primary user||Russian Air Force|
The Tupolev PAK DA (or PAK-DA) is a proposed Russian next-generation strategic bomber being developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau. The PAK DA acronym (ПАК ДА in Russian) stands for перспективный авиационный комплекс дальней авиации (perspektivnyi aviatsionnyi kompleks dal'ney aviatsii) literally meaning "prospective aviation complex for long-range aviation". The PAK DA was planned to be a new stealthy strategic bomber and is expected to enter service in 2025–30, with the first aircraft previously planned for delivery in 2020, but delivery will now allegedly occur some time beyond 2023.
In 2008, it was reported that the Russian Air Force had tactical and technical requirements for a new generation of strategic bombers. According to some early reports, the PAK DA would be heavily based on the supersonic Tu-160 bomber. Later references[when?] to the new bomber, including a televised address from then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seemed to imply the aircraft would be an entirely new design.
In June 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev's Cabinet, Dmitry Rogozin, announced the project was in doubt and the new bomber design might not be needed. The Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, responded by saying that work was still ongoing and that the design was superior to American aircraft. On 9 June 2012, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the PAK DA was confirmed as planned.
Speculation about the design include a combat radius of around 3,500 kilometers with full payload, a loaded weight of 100 to 120 tonnes, 4 engines and the possible use of some equipment from the Sukhoi PAK FA project such as avionics and engines. President Vladimir Putin also said work is to start on PAK DA despite the complex technology and monetary requirements. On 27 August 2012, Jane's Defence reported that Dmitry Rogozin had recently called for the bomber to be capable of hypersonic speed in order to match and better the air defenses of the United States. It is unclear whether Rogozin's comments refer to the bomber being hypersonic or to its ability to carry hypersonic air-launched missiles. In March 2013, it was reported that the selected PAK DA design would be a subsonic flying wing.
General Anatoly Zhikharev has said that an unmanned strategic bomber may follow the PAK DA after 2040.
On 30 August 2013, a Russian Defense Ministry source revealed that the PAK DA will be equipped with advanced types of precision guided weapons, including hypersonic weapons. The bomber itself will fly at subsonic speeds. A Russian hypersonic missile is in development, but is currently only able to fly for a few seconds. Hypersonic technology is being pursued so Russia does not fall behind American development of similar weapons. Russia is in development to speed up work on the bomber, which will be a flying wing design to begin production in 2020. The planning stage was completed in less than one year, and development work will begin in 2014. First flights will commence in 2019, and the bomber is to enter service in 2025. Russia's existing bomber fleet will also be modernized with advanced avionics and electronic warfare systems. Two of 13 Tu-160s have undergone this overhaul as of December 2013 and the intermediate-range Tu-22M will be included in the program. Sixty-three Tu-95 bombers will be upgraded and the Tu-95MS is to remain in service until 2040.
In 2014 Andrey Boginsky said that Russia was attempting to get Chinese investment in the project. In April 2014, Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia's UAC, announced that the Tupolev design bureau had finalised the design of the PAK-DA and that the project was moving to the intermediate phase - i.e. completion of the design and construction of a prototype.
Some of the technology and components from the PAK DA will be derived from existing aircraft. The current engine is a non-afterburning variant of the NK-32 used on the Tu-160, certain avionics such as the radar will be based on those developed for the PAK FA project.
A 2016 report mentions an expected 30-ton weapons payload, range of 6,740 nautical miles, first flight in 2021 and deliveries in 2023.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- "Russia to develop new strategic bomber by 2017". RIA Novosti. 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
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- Russian’s Air Force to Receive New Generation Long-Range Bomber in 2023 - En.Ria.ru, 22 May 2014
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- Russia’s New Bomber to Carry Hypersonic Weapons - Rian.ru, 30 August 2013
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- "Russian Space-Age Stealth Bomber to Hit the Skies With Hypersonic Weapons". sputniknews.com. RIA Novosti. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
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