According to recent unconfirmed reports, the Russian Military has started construction of its new bomber. A patent drawing of an engine uptake duct recently emerged on the internet, which is believed to be the design of Russia’s first-ever stealth bomber, the Tupolev PAK DA.
According to some reports published by the eurasiantimes, The drawings come from a patent that Tupolev was awarded earlier this year that covers specifics of an aircraft engine inlet.
The front, top, and side views of the intake could be seen clearly in the design drawings. Even though the pictured jet is not described as the PAK DA bomber, it is almost consistent with semi-official and unofficial claims of the bomber’s general design.
Since 2007, work has been underway on the long-range subsonic bomber, ultimately intended to replace the Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear-H and Tu-160 Blackjack.
However, despite widespread reports of a flying wing design, no official models or artworks have been confirmed. Currently, the Tu-90 and Tu-160 bombers are being used by Russia to fire cruise missiles on Ukraine.
Earlier, a Russian aircraft building industry source told the Russian news agency TASS that a demonstration model of the PAK DA long-range bomber aircraft is expected to be put together by 2023. The Russian officials are hopeful of a first flight by 2035.
In addition, Russia’s deputy defense minister Alexey Krivoruchko stated in an interview in December 2019 that the PAK DA design project had been approved and that the Tupolev design bureau had started creating functional design documentation. None of it has been released in the public domain yet.
In contrast with Russia’s lagging low-observable bomber program, the US B-21 Raider stealth bomber will finally be revealed to the public later this year.
Even the American bomber remains shrouded in mystery ever since its inception. Nevertheless, unlike the Russians, the US Air Force released a rendering of the B-21 last year.
What Do We Know About PAK DA?
It is anticipated that the PAK DA will not have the supersonic capability. The Russian bomber will continue to fly at subsonic speeds instead, depending on its low visibility to avoid hostile interference.
It is expected to have a range of 15,000 kilometers (9,300 miles) and the capability to continuously remain in the air for up to 30 hours.
The PAK DA will likely transport a substantial payload of conventional or nuclear munitions with four crew members.
According to several reports, the PAK-DA will be able to carry more than 30 tons of payload in total. The PAK DA’s engines are expected to be derived from the NK-32-02 used in the Tu-160M.
New-generation standoff missiles on a pair of rotary launchers housed in interior weapon bays are among the anticipated weaponry. Twelve new Kh-BD long-range subsonic cruise missiles, which are meant to have a more extended range than the Kh-101/102 already in use, are most likely to make up the main basic load.
Regardless of the connection between the patent’s aircraft design and the finalized PAK DA configuration, this seems to be the latest development in the enigmatic plane’s narrative, which is intended to replace Russia’s current manned bomber fleet. To date, this program has been dogged by delays and limited funding.
Crippling sanctions imposed on Russia’s defense industry and its contracting economy in the face of invasion could either delay the program or boost it.
Currently, there is an initial picture, and the popular vote is that the Russian design has some similarities with American bombers but might not be stealthy enough.