Russia is taking advantage of the latest conflicts in which it has participated, Syria in previous years and Ukraine now, to test new weapons, planes, battle tanks… One of those that is currently in the chamber is that of the manufacturer Tupolevwhich at the end of last year announced the PACK DA (Perspektivnyi Aviatsionnyi Kompleks Dalney Aviatsyi), i.e. Prospective Air Complex for Long-Range Aviation. This prototype was planned to be a new stealth strategic bomber capable of flying at supersonic speed, although various sources say that it will be subsonic, a detail that Russia has not officially revealed to date.
In an advanced stage of development, the first operational unit is expected to roll off the assembly line within three years, with the goal of replacing veteran bombers. Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS Y Tu-22M3.
The new PAK DA will be built according to the “flying wing” aerodynamic scheme without a tail unit and with a fuselage separated from the wings. It will use only intrafuselary weapons to reduce its visibility on radar: advanced long-range and hypersonic cruise missiles. It will have a new aerodynamic design, built on the basis of the central fuselage of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic bomber.which seems to be inspired for its construction and is expected to lower operating costs, maintenance, cost of flight per hour and advanced maintenance, for the operation of this type of ship, with four powerful turbine engines installed in the central fuselage and variable geometry wingswith an internal weapons loading bay installed behind the two-seat cockpit and between the engines, in the form of a flying wing.
Your engines can operate in any weather conditions, taking into account the extreme Russian climates: between -60º and +50º. It is also known that, according to the technical documentation, these motors will be able to resist radiation from a nuclear attack and could operate for up to 30 hours continuouslyso that they can carry out any air route without the need for technical stops.
Also impressive is the on-board technology, with many of the functionalities automated to such an extent that it works even in an unmanned version, although in principle it will be operated by two crew members, the pilot and the defensive systems operator, sitting together side by side in a widened two-seater cabin, similar to that of the Su-34 supersonic bomber or the American Stealth B-2 Spirit. In addition, along the same lines as other aeronautical projects such as the Future European Fighter Plane, it will be able to control groups of unmanned aerial vehicles, in swarm mode, and will use the entire range of air-to-air missiles2, according to the media Russia Beyond.
What is also important is that the PAK DA concept prioritizes “stealth” technologies with appropriate usage tactics, including long-range weapons.
“The subsonic PAK DA will be armed with hypersonic weapons,” the TASS public agency said last year, although the need for the device to be supersonic as well has subsequently been put on the table.
The minimum service life of each aircraft is assumed to be no less than 12 years, with an extension to 21 years after maintenance procedures.