PAK-DA Maiden Flight

According to Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister responsible for procurement, Yuri Borisov, the maiden flight of the PAKDA new-generation strategic bomber for the Russian Air and Space Force (RuASF) is tentatively planned for the 2025–26 timeframe followed by series production by 2029. The dates given amount to a two to three-year delay compared to the original development and production plan. The delay was caused by plans to invest heavily in the Tu-160M2 upgrade planned to be launched in production in 2023; as many as 50 examples are expected to be procured by the RuASF. Developed by Tupolev, the PAK-DA strategic bomber is expected to feature an aerodynamic flying wing layout and subsonic speed. The low-observable bomber will be armed with longrange cruise missiles fitted with either conventional or nuclear warheads. Borisov also claimed the entire RuASF Tu-160 inventory, amounting to 16 aircraft, will undergo an upgrade featuring an all-new avionics system.