Tu-160 bomber

The Russian Defence Ministry has selected Kuznetsov Design Bureau to manufacture engines for the national air force’s new bomber aircraft.

Kuznetsov Design Bureau executive director Nikolai Jakushin was quoted by The Volga Commune as saying that the company will develop powerplants for the perspective aviation complex for long-range aviation (PAK-DA) next generation bomber aircraft.

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The selection happened ‘not so long ago,’ Jakushin added, noting that the deal guarantees a stream of funding and production for more than 20 years to the company.

Having 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, the Kuznetzov however, suffered a long-term decline until the recent revival, according to Jakushin.

Jointly manufactured by Tupolev Design Bureau and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the PAK-DA is a next-generation strategic bomber, and is scheduled to replace the Russian Air Force’s existing Tu-95MC Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers, and Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range bomber aircraft.

"The aircraft is expected to be armed with advanced electronic warfare systems."

The aircraft, which is designed to penetrate through and suppress modern air defences, 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 reported by RIA Novosti.

Image: A Russian Air Force’s Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber in flight. Photo: courtesy of Presidential Press and Information Office.

Defence Technology