Dec 25, 2013
Russia to Test-Fly New Bomber in 2019
The Russian Air Force plans to begin test flights of a new strategic bomber in 2019. Development work will begin in 2014, and the first test flights are scheduled for 2019. The aircraft should enter service in 2025.
The new bomber, known as PAK-DA, is planned to carry hypersonic missiles. The bomber is also to feature modern stealth technology and be built by Tupolev.
Russia’s strategic bomber force comprises one leg of its nuclear triad and consists of 63 Tu-95 variants and 13 supersonic Tu-160s, which combined can carry more than 850 cruise missiles. Russia also flies the intermediate-range Tu-22M.
The Tu-95MC is expected to remain in service until at least 2040. The Tu-95 first flew in the Soviet Union in 1956 and is powered by four NK-12 engines based on a Nazi wartime project and the most powerful propeller engine ever built.