Here’s Russia’s (badass) next-generation stealth strategic bomber

This last week has been pretty hectic in terms of next generation concepts: Boeing unveiled the updated version of the F/A-XX sixth-generation fighter concept, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk  Works released a new UCLASS Concept video and, after some years of evaluation and study, Russia’s PAK-DA conceptual design was given the official approval.

In a meeting with Russian lawmakers, Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said that all the relevant document were signed allowing the industry to begin the development of systems for the plane.

With its flying wing shape and radar-evading capabilities, the subsonic PAK-DA is destined to replace Moscow’s aging fleet of 63 Tu-95 Bear and 13 Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers.

According to the RIA Novosti, Russian Air Force commander insisted that the aircraft will be equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems and armed with new nuclear-capable long-range cruise missiles, and will be able to carry a wide array of conventional precision guided weapons.

The new plane will enter production stage by 2020 with the first bomber in active service by 2025-2030 timeframe.

The PAK-DA will not be hypersonic (even if it will probably carry hypersonic missiles) as opposed to the American X-51, Falcon HTV-2 and other hypersonic development programs on which U.S.’s perspective strike capability will be based.

A “sixth-generation” pilotless strategic bomber based on the PAK-DA could came around 2040-2050.

Top image shows PAK-DA concept. It’s not believed to be an official image and it may not depict the plane as it is intended to be. According to some readers, it may be Sukhoi T-4MS design which lost out to the Tu-160 Blackjack in 1970.

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Ridiculous. The Russians can’t even bring their PAKFA to a 5th generation level. This is NOT going to happen. There is no capacity and infrastructure/braintrust, no modern avionics, no quality engines, poor material sciences, etc. This is just more of the usual bloviating and braggadocio….the only truly functional weapons in the Russian arsenal.

    • You talk like you have intimate knowledge about the PAK-FA program and Russian aerospace industry as if you work there but you sound like a 14 yr old child.

      Russia has built literally thousands of airframes in two decades since the fall of the USSR both for itself and its customers world over. Their aircraft are aerodynamically superior, have longer ranges, fly faster and higher and farther than western aircraft yet you post inane nonsense about their capabilities. Thousands of fighter aircraft sold to dozens of countries, including countries having access to Western aircraft does not lie.

      • IAF just ignore this guy. Ask him to visit wikipedia and for further information. Even south korea wanted to buy SU-35 but opt for F-15S. Does not mean it is superoir because US threatened won’t supply the amunition if the the other is purchased. Even the Isrealies are afraid of Russian products. Russian products could be considered inferior but look at thier capability, US take years to come up with ideas. Whereas, Russians look at the design and come up with infact better and mass produce within short period. Don’t believe, ask him to read it from wikipedia. Furthermore, F-35B does not even belongs to US. The idea originated from YAK-141. F-14 from MIG23. They stealth capability is from German scientist perfected by Russian Scientist. All info available from wikipedia. Let him argue all he want but cannot change the fact, Russians were the one sent the first sattlelite, First rocket to space and the first man into the space.

      • IAF101, ask him to visit “Variable Swing Wing” in wikipedia. The idea not even from US. it originated from Germans. When U-2 incident occured, they made new plane F-111 for counteract. Meaning, each time US thought they had an upperhand in the air, Russians proved them wrong. Due to the fact, prompted US to manufacture many planes to stay ahead. Even now, one of the Senate member do agree the S-300 could have the ability to detect F-22. Even the Isrealies do not want the S-300 at thier borders worrying their aircrafts would not even take-off from their bases. Looking at the history. Russians have proved they can recreate a better product at cheaper and faster rate. Read about F-111, it might have taken the first flight earlier than the rest but never overcome the problems until 1974. By then Russians produced two similar designs and already operated them. The economic crisis could have slowed down the Russians but according to some articles in suggest that Russians are catching up and closing the technological gap at tremendous speed. Anyone could undermine Russian capability but no one can deny the fact they are the one sent the first satellite, First rocket and the first man into the space. Some might claim US sent man to the moon. In wikipedia, there were total of 6 manned landings on the moon. All from US. Why not from Soviet? Soviet send unmanned to moon too. If US had ever landed on the moon, Soviet would have followed because they would want to know what they could be doing there. soviet did everything what US did till the Buron space shuttle similar to US space shuttle. Sending a man to the moon would have been like snapping the fingers for them. If Neil Armstrong had landed, soviets would have known. No one else has actually verified Armstrong ever landed on the moon. Even 2% of Americans themselves believe it could have been faked. Surprisingly, the only space station ever built was by soviets. So, the proverb could be true “empty vessel makes the most noise”. Just because Russians are always secretive does not mean their products are inferior. The products they sell to others could be inferior. even US engaged Russian Mi-21 to salvage their Chinook and AN225 to transport heavy, very big odd size goods. This is the testomony for their products. Furthermore, read about Stealth capability in wikipedia, The idea originated from a German Scientist and perfected by a Russian scientist infact the periodic table too. Infact most of US aircraft designers were those thrown out or escaped from Russia during the revolution including shikosky. Some from German and one of them helped US to launch the thier first rocket into the space. Even the F-35B is not from US. Lockheed got the YAK-141 design from Yakalov. US might have the money for research but the Russian has the skill and expertise to do it. If they have the money, they could do wonders. Overconfidence is the first flaw for failure.

        • He is not totally lying
          the F-35 borrowed lost of tech from the YAK-141
          Russians were the first to send a satalite, animal and a human to space
          Modern stealth tech was invented by Nazi germans

    • and vertical stabilizers the size of barn doors. I understand they’re probably not visible from below, but I expected the rooskies to copy our B2 and go without.

      • LOL
        This is a failed cold war design! Its not the true PAK-DA just wait until they actually show it

  2. Gold is a commodity, just like currency. There is not intrinsic value to gold. You can’t eat it, you can’t even use it to cook your food; at least you can burn money.

    Also, high debt to GDP ratio alone is not enough to determine the likelihood of default of even an ability to service debt. Libya has a debt to GDP ratio of less than 5% but has a much higher likelihood of default than the US even though the US has a debt to GDP ratio of about 75%. In fact, Libya doesn’t even have a credit rating.

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