The Russian Ministry of Defense would have approved the final design of the stealth bomber PAK DA, said a source on the RIA Novosti last week.
The aircraft developed by Tupolev will be a flying wing similar to the US Air Force B-2 bomber as expected.
“The program’s development work is in the process of being detailed, the construction of several prototypes is underway,” said a person familiar with the matter.
The stealth bomber’s described characteristics are not surprising, with an internal armaments compartment, subsonic speed and long range, but among the possible capabilities of the aircraft would be a flight with a high level of automation.
In addition to carrying long-range weapons, the PAK DA will also be able to control groups of unmanned aircraft. The flying wing format was tested to assess the radar signature and the results were promising.
The Russian Air Force plans to introduce the PAK DA in 2027 in order to start replacing the Tu-95 and Tu-22M bombers and perhaps the older Tu-160s.
PAK DA (acronym for Perspective Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation) is one of three new stealth bombers currently in development. The US is finalizing two prototypes of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider while China is close to completing the H-20, a project by the Xian manufacturer.