Russia could deploy unmanned bomber after 2040

August 3rd, 2012 - 12:00 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 2 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia could deploy a sixth-generation” pilotless strategic bomber aircraft after 2040, Lt. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of the Long-Range Aviation Command, said Thursday.

“That could be around 2040-2050,” Zhikharev said.

Russia’s Tupolev design bureau is currently developing a new-generation strategic bomber aircraft - PAK DA - due to be in service around 2025. The new aircraft will replace the existing fleet of Tu-160, Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3 bombers.

The future development of Russia’s long-range aviation in Russia has been the subject of some debate in recent months.

At present only Russia and the US operate intercontinental range bombers. Most other nuclear-capable nations rely solely on intercontinental ballistic missiles based on submarines or in land-based silos, or cruise missiles.

Russia’s strategic air forces operate a total of 63 Tu-95MS and 13 Tu-160 bombers.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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