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.