As the saying goes: "If you're going to dream, dream big."
That's exactly what Russia did when it was evaluating designs for its next-generation bomber, dubbed the "PAK-DA" — which literally means "prospective aviation complex for long-range aviation."
The initial concept was supposed to be a stealthy and insanely fast hypersonic aircraft. But then reality set in, and so far the idea's been more wishful thinking than reality.
The PAK-DA will be a subsonic aircraft designed for high payload and long-range flight. It's expected to replace the aging Soviet-era turbo-prop Tu-95 "Bear" and the Tu-160 strategic bombers. Developed by Russia's Ministry of Defense and Tupolev, the PAK-DA is scheduled to begin testing in 2019, according to KRET, the Russian company responsible for designing its radar system.
About three months ago an animated video surfaced showing the PAK-DA's blended wing-body design, which looks a whole lot like a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber knock-off. It's probably not the aircraft's final design considering the style of the video, which is strikingly similar to those published by Russia's propaganda media arm, Russia Today.
Here are two other articles with the same animation style we've written about:
- Russia is designing a transformer to sucker punch the US
- Here is (not) the US military's answer to Russia's flagship Armata tank
The final design is still under wraps, so for now, Russia will just have to keep the dream alive. Here is the animated PAK DA video: