Kuznetsov Design Bureau has completed bench tests of a new propulsion system being developed to power the Russian Air Force’s next-generation bomber aircraft.
Undertaken from an undisclosed location, the trials support the Russian Government’s plan to complete the first flight of the aviation complex long-range aviation (PAK DA) aircraft by 2019, Flightglobal reported.
In June, Kuznetsov was selected by the Russian Defence Ministry to manufacture engines for the PAK DA bomber.
Kuznetsov executive director Nicholas Jakushin said the bench tests validate research and development investments in a production engine.
Even though the architecture and performance of new engine remain classified, images released by the company reveal that the engine proportions are not unlike the scale of the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that power F-35 fifth-generation fighter.
Kuznetsov has already designed the turbine jet and propeller engines, which power all three of the bombers in the Russian fleet, including the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers.
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Jointly manufactured by Tupolev Design Bureau and United Aircraft Corporation, PAK-DA is a next-generation strategic bomber and is scheduled to replace the Russian Air Force’s existing Tu-95MC Bear, Tu-160 Blackjack bomber and Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range bomber.
The aircraft is designed to penetrate through and suppress modern air defence. It is expected to be armed with advanced electronic warfare systems and new nuclear-capable long-range cruise missiles, on recommendations of the Russian Defence Ministry.
In addition to this, the bomber will feature a new airframe, stealth technology and a broad spectrum of high-precision conventional weapons, including hypersonic weapons.
The Russian Air Force currently operates a total of 32 Tu-95MC6, 31 Tu-95MC16 and 13 Tu-160 bombers, which when combined can carry 850 long-range cruise missiles, as previously reported by RIA Novosti.