Russia's future PAK DA bomber to be delayed by Tu-160M2 production

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Russia's future PAK DA bomber to be delayed by Tu-160M2 production
Nikolai Novichkov, Moscow - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
20 July 2015


Russia's new PAK DA bomber programme is going to be delayed past 2023 due to the country's efforts to restart production of the Tu-160 'Blackjack'. Source: PA

Russia's new-generation PAK DA bomber will be delayed past 2023 due to the development of the new-build Tupolev Tu-160M2 bomber, according to Russian deputy defence minister Yury Borisov.

"According to the plans, serial production of the [Tu-160] aircraft new version [the Tu-160M2] is to be implemented starting from 2023," Borisov said during a visit on 17 July to the Samara-based Kuznetsov Plant of the United Engine Corporation.

Answering a question about a possible shift in the PAK DA's timeframe because of the production of Tu-160M2s, Borisov said, "The PAK DA project will be somewhat shifted beyond [2023, when it is currently to begin entering service], otherwise there is no sense in it."

The Tu-160M2's production programme timeline has been defined, Borisov said, with design assignment and negotiations for the first contracts with industry currently ongoing. Design work on the Tu-160M2 is scheduled to be completed by 2023. He added that the Russian Air Force (VVS) would get at least three batch-produced Tu-160M2 per year after 2023 and that the aircraft will be in service for at least 40 years.

"We plan to install NK-32 series 2 [engines] on Tu-160M2. The motor has been upgraded, its main aggregates have become more cost-effective. Therefore, NK-32 series 2 has improved performance, and its range of flight will be increased by at least 1,000 km, compared with existing engines," Borisov said. JSC Kuznetsov will begin work on the NK-32 (Unit R) series 2 engines for the aircraft in 2017 and will produce 20-22 engines per year.

Borisov also said that the VVS was looking to improve serviceability within Long-Range Aviation (LRA). "We have an intense plan to reach 80% serviceability of all LRA's aircraft by the end of the year. The solutions to all troubles/issues have been defined in accordance with State Defence Order (GOZ)-2015."

Russia is also developing several new missiles for the Tu-160M2 and PAK DA, Borisov said. "They drastically change the aircrafts' combat performance. The missiles are to be installed on the PAK DA in the course of time. We are developing new missiles to be integrated on board all types of strategic bombers," he said.
Russia's future PAK DA bomber to be delayed by Tu-160M2 production - IHS Jane's 360
 

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