The Russian Air Force PAK DA is a fifth-generation strategic bomber intended as the replacement of aging Tu-95MS, T-22M3 and Tu-160. The PAK DA is being developed by Kazan Aircraft Production Association of Russia. The PAK DA stands for Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Dalney Aviatsyi which means “long-range future aviation complex” for Strategic Air Forces.
The PAK DA is going to be heavily based on Russia’s current supersonic bomber Tupolev Tu-160 and is expected to have it’s maiden flight by 2015. However it was also speculated that the PAK DA would be similar to the stealthy design of the America B-2 Spirit bomber.
Currently, the Russian airforce has Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, as well as long range Tu-22 bombers. They can carry bombs and cruise missiles. The aircrafts of these type are currently undergoing modernization. There have also been reports stating that this new bomber will have stealth characteristics.
The Russian Air Force has made tactical and technical requirements for new generation strategic bombers, as reported by Interfax. This strategic bomber would be used in both conventional and nuclear conflicts using high-precision weapons. According to Russian Air Force commander Aleksandr Zelin, Work on the new bomber has already begun. “The requirements are formulated, and many firms are now implementing plans” – said Zelin.
Russian Major Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev has stated that the new bomber will replace both the turboprop-powered Tupolev Tu-95 and the supersonic Tupolev Tu-160. The PAK DA concept relies on the ability to fly at stratospheric altitudes (50,000 meters) with stealth features to avoid enemy air defenses.