Russia has started manufacturing the prototype of its first stealth bomber, state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.

Local media reported that material was being shipped for the project and that work had begun on the cockpit of the bomber, known as the PAK DA.

“The final assembly of the entire machine should be complete in 2021,” one of the sources was quoted by TASS as saying. It is also understood that aircraft maker Tupolev — which is part of United Aircraft Corporation — is in charge.

Three PAK DA prototypes are expected to be constructed and the aircraft is expected to enter serial production in 2027, according to the 2020 Izvestia report.

Earlier in the year, we reported that the Russian MoD had signed a contract with the developer of PAK-DA long-range stealth bomber to commence production for a possible delivery by 2027 according to state media.

The aircraft is expected to be of subsonic speed, have a 12,000 km operational range and a capability to continuously remain in the air for up to 30 hours while carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads up to 30 tons. The aircraft is expected to have a crew of 4.

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Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

Looks like a plastic mock-up. Having just finished reading Peter Westwick’s excellent book on Stealth, I wish them luck! It’s one thing designing a stealthy aeroplane. Quite another making one. Meanwhile the US is powering away with their third generation stealth bomber, the B-21.

Clanc
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Clanc

Won’t be long before stealth is obsolete with better radar!.be all about drones now.back when the F-117 Nighthawk came out in gulf war British radar could pick them up just about!.

Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

I doubt it. The only radar that the British claimed could pick up a F117, and only from certain angles, was the Type 965, a VHF set on certain RN ships of the time, now all long since retired. Long wavelength radars like the 965 can sometimes pick up stealth air vehicles but there’s not much you can do with the information. As soon as you switch on your E/F or I/J band radars to get a proper target indication and fire control solution on the air vehicle there’s nothing there. F117 rode into Bagdad into one of the world’s… Read more »

Big Vern
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Big Vern

Can anyone explain the lack of fin / vertical stabiliser?

Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

This design mimics the American B-2 bomber. That hasn’t got vertical stabilisers either. Nor does the new B-21 successor. Scissor type ailerons near the wing tips opening and shutting under control from the FBW system control yaw stability instead. This improves stealth further.

Peter Shaw
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Peter Shaw

They keep on producing new defence products with a relatively small defence budget. Either they are producing defective equipment or they are significantly more efficient than the UK and US. Looking at the number of submarine and aircraft accidents they have had for instance indicates it is the former rather than the later. No point in pumping out all this defence equipment if it is defective, poorly made and lasts only a few years. Look at their aircraft carrier for instance being pulled along by tug boats…All in all I don’t think it will hold up to close scrunity but… Read more »

Tim
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Tim

It seems to me russia hasn’t realised it’s not a superpower anymore and it’s trying its hardest to replace everything it once had however it doesn’t have the economy to support it

Sammy love
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Sammy love

Yes the are not super power any more but try the and see if New York will not turn to ashes in a minute.

Sammy love
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Sammy love

Do you know how many F35 that have crashed or how many F22. You sound brainwashed. If Russia lays hand in type of money America is wasting America will be a century behind.

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

They don’t tend to put them into mass production, they will build a prototype and show it off with some outrageous performance claim but a few months after the reveal it will be quietly cancelled.

crabfat
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crabfat

Spot on, Wz. June’s edition of Air Forces Monthly has a report on work resuming on the T-160M strategic bomber. In the same report the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov, is quoted as saying “… we have postponed the next-generation PAK DA bomber, to gain experience and restore technology” while [the modernized Tu-160M] “will suit the armed forces until [the] 2050s or even 2060s”.

Abraham
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Abraham

Don’t be foolish. Of the 3 of the nuclear triads, they have the best land based ICBMs, some of the best SLBMs and hypersonic weapons in which the US still lags behind. They have more nuclear warheads than the US and those weapons are pretty cheap to produce in Russia because all the re materials are found in Russia. Have you ever wondered why the US for instance sells too expensive but fake weapons such as they did to the Saudis Patriots SAMs that can’t even intercept Houthi made drones? My friend go back to your books again. And yes… Read more »

Glass Half Full
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Glass Half Full

Outside of CGI it will probably be absolutely invisible once operational, so we’ll only ever see the prototypes. We won’t have to wait long to find out though since its apparently going to proceed from first assembly to serial production in just 6 years, assuming on the off chance that it is actually visible.

I sometimes speculate that all these CGI wonder weapons coming out of Russia are just to drive up US defence industry stock prices, where Russian’s in the know have their money … via shell companies.

Watcherzero
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Watcherzero

For example look at the Tu-160M2. First flew in 2017…. only it was an uncompleted one from the 90’s that they just put together. They announced they would built 50 of the upgraded model but only ordered 10 with the first new one now expected in 2021 and a production rate of 3 a year from 2023. Only they haven’t yet got a working new engine to put in it, they are building a more primitive version of the engine from the 1970’s that powered the original TU-160 although this new version of the engine wont be capable of afterburning… Read more »

nathan
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nathan

A salient lesson on the importance of investing in the continued development of your engineering teams.

Sovereignty is more than fielding weapon systems or having political independence – it is the ability to give substance to your choices and sustain your independence in times of difficulty.

Dean Bainbridge
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Dean Bainbridge

It’ll be like the Stealth fighter, the Su-57, which has so far been almost 20 years in development. First flown in 2010, it’s still yet to enter service, with a date of 2028 pencilled in, the latest of many, many dates.

Russia is all mouth and no trousers.

Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

And despite all the rip-off copies and prototypes, neither Russia nor China have still produced a proper functioning stealth fighter or bomber that’s gone into production and become fully operational. One thing is to design a stealth vehicle, quite another to put it into production, as the Americans found out to their great cost.

tj
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tj

what do ya know Russia copies anothe US aircraft. atleast not as bad as China i dont think they have ever created something original aircraft or otherwise. lol

davyro
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davyro

What do you mean all of accidents their aircraft and submarines have had, where, when how many and how long ago. If I’m not delusional the US has suffered a crashed F-22 & F-35 in the past few weeks. If I remember correctly its the 1st time since 2011 that a rocket manufactured in the US has successfully taken humans into orbit today. That was done by a private company not the US government. I wonder how US astronauts have gotten to the ISS in the past 9 years. Maybe it was by the most reliable rocket that has ever… Read more »

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

It’s got Winglets!
How are Winglets stealthy?
They will increase the RCS even in a head on aspect let alone a side aspect

Taxi for Mr Tupolov.

Daveyb
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Daveyb

Winglets can be stealthy, if they’re made form a carbon composite. However, if it’s all composite, you will have erosion problems on the leading edges. This is why the F35 for example is still metal with a RAM coating that can be more easily repaired.

Daveyb
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Daveyb

The overall design has a lot of merits in being a blended wing body rather than a flying wing ala B2 and B21. By using this kind of design it gives you a large volume bomb bay in a clean aerodynamic shape. Cranfield University when teamed with NASA developed a blended wing body that is 35% more efficient than a standard aircraft configuration of main plane + tail plane + fin/rudder. Cranfield’s design became the X48 test aircraft that flew in 2012. It’s a pity it never went any further. The PAK-DA has a few issues though. From the CGI… Read more »

G Hanson
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G Hanson

Its a paper plane IMHO Russia has a GDP about the same size as Italy and it joints the 100,000 ton aircraft carriers nuclear powered missiles, Armata, its all just a paper exercise to appease some of the Russian people who seem to think corruption, poverty and ignorance are things worth protecting

Daveyb
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Daveyb

I agree it is “probably” Russian wishful thinking. But they do have a habit of building outstanding prototype aircraft. As a paper aeroplane, I think this has the greatest chance of being made. I would not be surprised to see a very small number of these built say 10, much like they are currently doing with the Su57 (PAK-FA) aircraft. Because of what it is, it would be very doubtful if the PAK-DA is something they’d put up for export. There has been very little said about the Mig 29/35 replacement the Mikoyan Light Multi-Function Frontal Aircraft (LMFS). What has… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Love that film. Wish they had made Firefox 2, like the book.

nathan
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nathan

Perhaps its just a development exercise to keep / nurture their engineering and skill?

nathan
Guest
nathan

Merely for the sake of irony, we should buy a dozen stripped down versions and fit with our own avionics, weapons systems and engines. That being said, they do look pretty cool.

G Hanson
Guest
G Hanson

Join the discussion…They may look cool but they are all flamed when they come up against the west’s (particularly USA) hardware in an armed exchange. Think Pantsir, AAA system bristling with the latest radars, missiles and guns flamed by an Israeli drone that looked like it was made as part of a school science project.