The next-generation stealth strategic bomber PAK DA being developed for Russia’s Aerospace Force will undergo trials at the Flight Test and Development Center in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow, the Tupolev Aircraft Company announced on Friday.
“There are big plans ahead for testing and further developing the heavily upgraded Tu-22M3M, Tu-160 and Tu-95MS aircraft along with large-scale work for testing the prospective complex of long-range aviation [PAK DA],” the company’s press office quoted Tupolev CEO Alexander Konyukhov as saying at a festive meeting devoted to the 70th anniversary of the Zhukovsky Test Flight and Development Center.
As the Tupolev chief executive said, the Zhukovsky Flight Test and Development Center will be used in the future as the site for conducting work on the medium-haul military transport plane, and also the next-generation supersonic passenger jet “jointly with the leading sectoral research institutes and enterprises.”
“The plans also envisage creating and launching a maintenance station for Tu-204 and Tu-214 aircraft at the Zhukovsky Flight Test and Development Center by the end of 2019,” he added.
The Tupolev Aircraft Company’s Flight Test and Development Center was set up in Zhukovsky on the initiative of prominent Soviet aircraft designer Andrei Tupolev in 1949. The Zhukovsky Flight Test and Development Center was used to test and develop all the planes designed by the Tupolev Aircraft Company.
Head of the Defense and Security Committee in the upper house of Russia’s Parliament Viktor Bondarev earlier said that the R&D work on the PAK DA multirole aircraft designed to replace Tu-22M3, Tu-95MS and later Tu-160 bombers was nearing completion.
The deliveries of the long-range strategic bomber PAK DA to Russia’s Aerospace Force are expected to begin in 2025-2030 after trials. In January, Tupolev CEO Konyukhov said that the timeframe of creating the PAK DA is comparable with the term of creating the Tu-144 supersonic passenger plane and would equal about five-seven years.
Then-Deputy Defense Minister and currently Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at the time that the new strategic bomber might take to the skies in 2025-2026 and go into series production in 2028 or 2029.