A patent application filed with the Federal Intellectual Property Service of Russia, on behalf of the manufacturer Tupolev, may have revealed the first sketches of the PAK DA (Russian for “Long-Range Aviation Complex”), a wing-shaped stealth bomber that has been in development for several years.
Patent RU 209424U1 contains illustrations of an engine air intake device, with a ventilation duct inserted into the fuselage. In some ways, it’s a design reminiscent of the design of the air intakes on the US Air Force’s B-2 Spirit bomber engines.
The maiden flight of PAK DA is expected to take place between mid-2025 and 2026, followed by entry into service with the Russian Air Force by 2027.
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Last year, Russian Minister of Industry and Commerce Dennis Manturov told Russian news agency Interfax that production of PAK DA prototypes was underway, but did not reveal further details.
The stealth bomber is one of Russia’s top projects and will replace the old Tu-95 turboprops and the supersonic Tu-22M3 and Tu-160.
Although it is designed to fly below the speed of sound, the PAK DA will have an armament capacity superior to that of the current bombers in the Russian fleet, according to the country’s press.