Russia threatens the world that it could have a stealth strategic bomber by 2025
Russia wanted to demonstrate its supposed military might by announcing that the manufacturer Tupolev has the PAK DA (Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Dalney Aviatsyi), i.e. Prospective Air Complex for Long-Range Aviation, in the works. This prototype will be its new strategic stealth bomber capable of flying at supersonic speed.
The first test unit is expected to roll off the assembly line within three years, with the aim of replacing the aging Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers from 2028.
The new PAK DA will be built according to the “flying wing” aerodynamic scheme with no tail unit and a fuselage separate from the wings. It will use only intrafuselage weapons to decrease its radar visibility: advanced long-range cruise missiles and hypersonics. It will have a new aerodynamic design, built on the basis of the central fuselage of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic bomber, from which it seems to be inspired for its construction and is expected to be able to lower operating costs, maintenance, flight cost per hour and advanced maintenance, for the operation of this type of aircraft, with four powerful turbine engines installed in the central fuselage and variable geometry wings, with an internal weapons loading bay installed behind the two-seater cockpit and between the engines, in the shape of a flying wing.
Its engines will be able to operate in all weather conditions, taking into account the extreme Russian climates: between -60º and +50º. It is also known that, according to the technical documentation, these engines will be able to withstand the radiation of a nuclear attack and could operate up to 30 hours uninterruptedly, so that they can perform any air route without the need for technical stops.
Also impressive is the on-board technology, with many of the functionalities automated to such an extent that even an unmanned version is being worked on, although in principle it will be operated by two crew members, the pilot and the defensive systems operator, seated side by side in a widened two-seater cockpit, similar to that of the Su-34 supersonic bomber or the U.S. Stealth B-2 Spirit. Moreover, along the same lines as other aeronautical projects such as the Future European Combat Aircraft, it will be able to control groups of unmanned aerial vehicles, in swarm mode, and will use the full range of air-to-air missiles.
Just a fanciful drawing
The reality is that what Russia has so far is nothing more than a fanciful drawing of an aircraft it would like to have. This announcement is nothing more than an attempt to compensate, through propaganda, for the news coming from the U.S. strategic stealth bomber, whose first six testing units are already in various stages of construction (the first one is already finished) and whose flight tests will be carried out in six months, at the end of this year or early next year.
Do the Russians have the technology to build such an aircraft?
No. Absolutely not.
Today’s Russia is only a faint echo of what was once the mighty USSR that shared the world with the United States during the Cold War. Its economy is no bigger than that of European countries such as Spain or Italy (with twice the population) and its technological development came to a screeching halt in the 1990s.
To understand the magnitude of the Russian economic-technological collapse, it is enough to see that in 2022 they have still not been able to fly a stealth fighter equivalent to the US F-22, fully operational since 2005. The same thing that happens with the stalled Sukhoi Su-57 program happens with many of the most advanced programs that the Russian propaganda announces with great fanfare but then neither their engineers are able to make them work nor their politicians have the necessary budgets to finance them.
And if you still doubt it, answer this question: what tanks has lately Russia deployed in Ukraine: modern T-14 Armata or Cold War T-64s?