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    PAK-DA: News

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    Mindstorm
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:23 pm



    Well true a guy who spent reading books and obtained 3 degrees and spend time reading books and publication knows more that the person who has commanded the third arm of triad and spent most of his time flying and commanding the bombers.

    Of course Austin is so, and sometime the knowledge's gap become so crushing that someone feel truly embarrassed for the declarations that those brass hats release without a bit of shame (a very common instance when a person don't know what it don't know).
    Austin and that, of course, don't happen only with some Russian Generals but with French, Australian ,USA ,UK ones ; this "gallery of horrors" include samples coming from any place of the planet there exist only the embarrass of choice Very Happy Very Happy


    Well what has the world come to these days , I too then qualify to know more then the Generals in my country coz i have read books and publications.


    Austin i highly doubt (rather i am totally certain) that you, even under the effects of hallucinogenics, would ever conceive a similar "Frenkstein".

    "General Nikolai Makarov cited the following data at the hearings in the Public Chamber : the fire range of the Israeli tank Merkava MK4 makes six kilometres, whereas the fire range of the Russian tank T-90 – only 2.5 kilometres. The US rocket artillery system HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) hits the targets at a distance of 150 kilometres, and the fire range of the Russian artillery rocket system makes 70 kilometres."

    The reality is that any professional journalist recording similar self-embarrassing assertions by part of a general of any country at world (i could bring the examples, even more comic , of "monsters" by part of US Generals on F-15E ,JDAM , PAC-3 etc... Laughing Laughing ) should simply stop and say that:

    " General ,i will feign that your last assertion was never uttered ,and will completely avoid to transcribe it, ok ? Now you have the chance to reformulate it (if you have any chance to access quickly to the required informations) or leave a part the subject completely.
    That will prevent to you to offend the respectability of the Nation you have sworn to defend and of the same Uniform you wear"



    Mindstorm you too are quite intelligent and attentive person .....you are aware that future cruise missile carried by such bombers for time sensitive targets will be Hypersonic type Zircon-A and then at a later stage cruise missile of Mach 12-13 speed being researched by Tactical Missile Bureau.

    For conventional role and non time sensitive fixed targets they can always use the stealthy Kh-101 and Kh-555


    Austin probably mine example has been not clear.

    Mine reference to Nadym as a possible delivery point (for TODAY stand-off low observable cruise missiles of TODAY Russian strategic bombers) useful at obliterate a critical USA target such as Elmendorf Air Base, was NOT aimed at highlight the TIME intervening between salvo of Kh-102s' release and effective destruction of Elmendorf AB ,but to show the TOTAL IRRELEVANCE of any "STEALTH" feature or high end ELECTRONIC WARFARE system implemented in a strategic platform capable to employ similar stand-off weapons and conceived to ,almost exclusively, carry on similar strategic missions.

    To be even more clear : There wouldn't been ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL in efficiency ,reliability or survivability between a future PAKDA and a today TU-160 or Tu-22M3 in executing a similar strategic attack employing TODAY strategic cruise missiles -such as Kh-102- and there wouldn't been ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL executing the same mission employing FUTURE strategic range hypersonic cruise missiles (if them would even only merely have 3M-25A's performances !!).
    The unique substantial difference that would be present for stratergic missions would be only that PAKDA would be much more costly and much more maintaining-intensive than actual TU-160s and TU-22M3s (wanting to be silent on the enormous economic and intellectual resources wasted in the R&D and construction phases).

    The UNIQUE feature capable to really add strategic operative relevance (and here we talk of a true titanic leap with increase in strategic mission efficiency some order of magnitude greater...) to strategic bombers is only a shift toward sub-orbital HIGH HYPERSONIC PLATFORMS.


    If instead the "focus" ,of those measure is to assure a secondary tactical bombing capability anyone can easily realize how with a very little fraction of the resources allocated for the R&D of a "low end" PAKDA would be possible to construct several hundreds SU-34s more and equip them with cutting-edge weapons and EW systems capable to carry on similar tasks infinitely better and without putting a risk a very, very costly national strategic asset.


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  flamming_python on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:12 pm

    GarryB wrote:The critical thing here is cost.

    Enormous speed is of course useful, but it is much more cost effective to have hypersonic and stealthy weapons than to have a hypersonic and stealthy bomber.

    I think with improved engine technology that a super cruising strategic bomber is affordable in a tailed flying wing form, with a large internal volume for a heavy weapons payload for conventional strike and also for enormous amounts of on board fuel plus a strategic payload for strategic missions.

    The problems of penetrating air defences is moot because enemy air defences will be in tatters after the ICBMs and SLBMs have hit. the standoff range of long range cruise missiles... whether stealthy or hypersonic will only compound the problems of the air defences.

    The main stumbling block to hypersonic speeds is that conventional turbojet engines choke on supersonic airflow, so a mature scramjet engine design is what is needed for a hypersonic bomber... lets get a few hypersonic missiles using scramjets into service and perfect their design and performance before we take the risk of a strategic bomber using scramjet engines.

    Even scramjet powered UCAVs should come before a scramjet powered bomber.

    The purpose of the strategic bomber should be as a flexible leg of the nuclear deterrent triad, the only one that actually gets used (in conventional operations).

    I think work should be done on hypersonic aircraft, but interceptor/recon aircraft would benefit from this technology first, and when it is mature then look at strategic bombers.

    Question is - what exactly would this hypothetical new aircraft be able to offer, that the Tu-160 cannot?
    A new bomber program will be hideously expensive anyway; whether it attempts to maximise stealth or maximise speed. And maximising speed would be a lot more useful for Russian requirements; such bombers could prove highly difficult to intercept or hit, and against any lesser countries they may not be able to be intercepted at all.

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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:29 pm


    Enormous speed is of course useful, but it is much more cost effective to have hypersonic and stealthy weapons than to have a hypersonic and stealthy bomber.


    An high hypersonic nuclear missile's vector (bomber is truly a word of the past for those perspective vehicles) don't need any stealth feature to be ,in perspective, several hundreds times more survivable than the more stealthy vehicle operative today or in work for future in any place of the planet ,also USA scientists are perfectly aware of that and have resolutely taken this road (even if is worth to notice,here, that the Russain approach to the resolution of the sustained hypersonic regime of flight's problem would allow to obtain ALSO a enormous reduction of the ultimate radar detectability of such a strategic vehicle....).

    About cost-efficiency factor of the two choices, the difference is obviously evident : an high hypersonic vector for hypersonic weapons would represent a solution immeasurably more cost-efficient than a supersonic vector with hyopersonic weapons..

    In facts to obtain startegic mission efficiency even only near to the former option you should equip a supersonic platform with high hypersonic weapons with ranges near to today Kh-102 missiles (in the 5500 km class at least) a factor that would render those missiles not only much more big and heavy ,therefore reducing enormously the number of enemy strategic targets engageable by each of those bombers) but would also cause theirs price-tag to skyrocket to the stars -in facts the price of all such hypersonic vehicles grow almost exponentially at the growing of sustaining time of the hypersonic flight regime ,an element which would render the cost of similar long range hypersonic missiles not significantly lower than those of a long range hypersonic vector !.

    A long range high hypersonic vector,on the other side , allow to you to transfer in the cost of construction of the platform itself the enormous costs related to allow an hypersonic weapon to cover the same distance ,allowing effectively to a similar "bomber" to carry a significantly larger amount of immensely less costly hypersonic weapons each of which reatin,moreover ,the same destructive potential of the long range version employed by the supersonic counterpart.

    I repeat the difference in both mission efficiency and economic profitability of the two options is SIMPLY CRUSHING in favour of an high hypersonic vector.



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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Austin on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:29 am

    Mindstorm let me ask you a simple question , Does Russia have the technology to develop Hypersonic Bomber ?

    Right now they dont have a single hypersonic cruise missile that uses Scramjet engine , there is Ziron-S under development which will take 5-7 years of development.

    Can you list out the technologies needed to develop a Hypersonic Bomber , in what time frame it can be developed and how many and what cost it will be to develop such bomber.

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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:26 am

    Mindstorm let me ask you a simple question , Does Russia have the technology to develop Hypersonic Bomber ?


    Short Response : YES , absolutely .

    Overall ,the scientific knowledge in this specific sector ,both theoretical and experimental, is likely greater than that of the rest of the world combined!
    Take into account that not less than 80-90% of the explorative or technology demonstrator researchs executed or still in work around the world in Europe and USA are strongly based on scientific knowledges or experimental emergences (very often at lest 10-15 years old for domestic standards) coming from Russain scientific Institutes when not from direct collaboration with them !! (including NASA, EADS, ONERA, INCIM etc..with TsAGI ,Raduga, TsNIIMash, CIAM, Vympel, etc.. )

    Even highly publicized and now "available" foreign products in the sector ,such as the recently completed Meteor AAM, has been effectively allowed only by the Russian -CIAM mostly- technology (anyhow outdated for that available to the Institute at the time) sold to ONERA in the '90 years.
    The latest of those "collaborations" with foreign institutions is that between Russian Lavrentiev Institute of Hydrodynamics and EADS Innovation Works for Continuous Detonation Wave Engine Technology .

    The only real problem (one that have its roots even in plain Soviet times!!) is that those knowledge ,very often representing the benchmark at world level, are segmented among tens of different Scientific Institutions none of which is ready to share them with the others in the hope that big National projects....and the relative economic resources.....will be committed to them in virtue of theirs specific "knowledge's pool" in the sector.


    Can you list out the technologies needed to develop a Hypersonic Bomber , in what time frame it can be developed and how many and what cost it will be to develop such bomber.

    I can only say to you that three Scientific Institutions cited in this response and two others, own already today all the technologies in need to realize a cutting edge systems of this type , the problems and the necessary breackthrough ,instead, should be achieved ,at limit, only in the engineering phase of the project .....that is the sector where USA truly lead the rest of the world (it is the quality that has allowed in the past to them, only to provide two well known examples, to transform Ufimtsev's equations in metallic flying products such as F-117 and B2 or the Yakovlev's revolutionary solutions in the actual "unique" F-35B engine ).


    Merging this enormous capital of scientific knowledge under the "flag" of a big national program would allow ,in the middle term, not only to acquire a very wide MILITARY lead against any potential enemy worldwide both in the offensive and defensive department, but also ,in perspective, to open a true new era in CIVIL AIR TRASPORTATION, allowing effectively to capsize completely the current equilibrium in this immensely lucrative market (capable by itself to repay ,in few years, the entire cost of the project !! ) ,rendering suddenly totally obsolete not only the entire enormous Boeing and Airbus aircraft fleets but also theirs entire related construction's know-how and tradition slowly collected in all those years.



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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  flamming_python on Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:25 pm

    I am sure that the theoretical knowledge exists.

    However the materials and engineering/manufacturing would be a problem. Russia's industry is advancing reasonably rapidly, and new composite materials production, high-tech electronics factories, etc... are opening in Russia; many of these are absolutely world-class and as good as anything that is made in the US, Europe, Japan, etc...

    However hyper-sonic materials are on a different level and are quite different to say - stealth. They are more comparable to the sorts of materials that Russia uses in its space program I would imagine - but many of them would be completely new and something that is not made anywhere in the world. Over the last few years the Russian economy and engineering industries have displayed their capability to catch up with the West. But as actually innovating and putting some for now theoretical parts and technologies into production - well this remains to be seen. This would be tough I would imagine, to build such parts and materials and to the required quality, without having the benefit to learn from anyone else's experience; especially as Russia is still catching up to the West in manufacturing technologies; and some things such as computer processors - it's still behind in.

    The other problem is that for such an expensive, tech-heavy bomber to be successful, it would need very good quality control. This is another area where the Russian military-industrial complex is behind the West. Comparing Russian and European defense products lets say - the Russian ones may be more innovative and high-tech, but at the same time will be rougher around the edges, there will be a higher proportion of defective models, the production quality won't be as high, etc... although the difference is pretty much marginal or often negligible - for a hypersonic bomber it can quickly become vital.
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Sujoy on Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:54 pm

    At the November 2010 APEC conference in Japan , New Zealand Prime Mininster John Key( who sometimes behaves like a child in a candy store when meeting leaders of large nations) asked the then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev - "how long it would take a Russian missile to reach New Zealand ? " The former Russian president asked a staffer who made a quick calculation. Medvedev turned to Key and said, “Twenty-two minutes,” (and added reassuringly, “but I will call you in advance.”)

    Now, the only reason I share the above anecdote is to highlight the fact that Russian ICBMs can still target almost any location , anywhere in the world virtually unopposed at very short notice ( and probably the same can be said about US ICBMs) . So that begs the question , why this sudden need for a Hypersonic Bomber / Missile ?

    Conventional wisdom suggests that if Russia ( or the US / China ) is to launch an ICBM ( with a conventional warhead)to carry out a prompt strike anywhere in the world it would immediately trigger the Early Warning Systems of USA and China. Therefore, an ICBM launch will incite a crisis larger than the one that it was meant to solve.The armed forces are certain that in the near future it will need to operate with this kind of speed against threats that appear and disappear in a flash. However, the technology that goes behind designing hypersonic bombers/missiles have not reached a stage , till date , where they can be used successfully against high value targets at the blink of any eye. Here is why .

    The technology to :

    (a) boost the hypersonic vehicle to near space .... Exists
    (b) to insert the aircraft into atmospheric hypersonic flight .... Exists
    (c) achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight ..... Does Not Exists


    US military planner believe that a warhead flying through the atmosphere might be harder to intercept than one carried into space by a missile. Hypersonic vehicles need to cut through the atmosphere, and the dynamics of how to do that have not been found yet in any corner of the world. And all this billions of dollars poured into a program to get hold of a vehicle that will have a throw weight which will pale into insignificance before the 1210 kg throw weight of the RS 24.






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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Austin on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:14 pm

    Mindstorm , Although many technologies exist in bits and pieces with different scientific institute , to gather them and make into a Aerodynamic capable , hypersonic bomber and a reliable platform that can meet the rigiours of day to day flight that a strategic bomber does will take around 20-25 years.

    So yes russia can make hypersonic bomber but thats a 20-25 years task of dedicated research and multibillion dollars poured into it.

    I suspect that though a Hypersonic Bomber will be the ultimate goal intermidate they will build a supersonic stealth bomber while they will keep Hypersonic research on funds permitting.
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:18 am

    The potential usefulness of a hypersonic bomber is enormous because if you can get to hypersonic speed in a bomber then what you are saying is that you have a bomber that could be modified eventually to take off from a conventional air port and dock with the international space station and then land again.

    The main barrier to this is the heat generated by travelling that fast inside the atmosphere and engines and structures that can survive and operate at those temperatures.

    It is not possible with a jet engine or a ramjet, you need a scramjet and rocket propulsion.

    I agree that Russia should explore such technologies, and should build air launched missiles with high speed and long range, such things are becoming attainable right now, but without a fully working scramjet engine, or in fact a variable cycle engine that allows the aircraft to take off and accelerate to very high speed and very high altitude and then maintain that high speed and high altitude for hours is not available now... except in nuclear ram jet engines.

    To make a hypersonic bomber for the 2020 period the Russian designers would need a lot of money spent on scramjet propulsion and variable cycle engines... unlike Brahmos II they wont be able to fit a rocket engine to accelerate it up to speed for launch they will need to develop new engines that can operate low and slow and accelerate to a reasonable height and speed for the ramjet to take over. Not ramjets don't need high speed to run and generate thrust though they are much more efficient at high speeds and high altitudes. I remember seeing ramjets being tested on an I-16 Polikarpov fighter. The ramjets added about 45km/h to the aircrafts top speed, which is pretty impressive considering the extra weight and drag those ramjets created.
    In addition they are going to have to solve problems of heat and the entire aircraft will likely need to be made of Titanium... which is a very expensive material to build aircraft with, and difficult to make and maintain.

    Pumping fuel through the hot bits could be one option to manage the heat but a lot of work needs to be done.

    I would think the easier goals of hypersonic missiles and perhaps a hypersonic recon drone would be a much cheaper idea to work through the problems with the PAK DA being a large flying wing with a more swept wing than the B-2... something more akin to the Tu-160 with a moderate sweep back used for supersonic flight, plus a horizontal tail surface to allow supersonic cruising for most of its flight.

    This should give much higher average speed than a subsonic cruise and supersonic dash near the enemy territory of the Tu-160, and would be much faster than the Tu-95 subsonic all the way there and back.

    It would be an in production bomber that could replace all in service heavy strategic and heavy theatre bombers in service now and its low cost to buy and operate should make it more useful. And of course for strategic missions hypersonic and stealthy cruise missiles will allow a stand off launch range that will keep them relatively safe while in conventional conflicts those same weapons would do the same against enemies with real AD networks and against those without like separatists a high altitude flight profile with a large weapon load of a range of guided weapon types would make it very versatile.

    Even today the US can't afford to keep the SR-71 in service, and it is pretty much the only titanium aircraft that made service... though the B-2, F-22, and F-35 could be called gold plated Twisted Evil

    I am not against a hypersonic bomber, I just think the current and near future political situation doesn't warrant such an expensive endeavour right now.


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Firebird on Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:51 am

    On the question of the 3 "bomber" variants.

    1)I cant see the attraction of the subsonic to replace Tu-22 and Tu160.
    Ok maybe it can replace some Bears. And IF it can be subtsnatially more stealthlike than a supersonic bomber, then maybe that has advantages.

    2)A 4 engined development from the Pak Fa would be interesting and probably quite cost effective.
    My question is does this restrict range - like the Tu 22 is restricted. Also, are there payloads that could not be carried on this option that could be carried on a "new Tu 160" replacement

    3)Also the Tu 160 is fantastic craft. I wonder how much Tu160 work can be used in a Tu160 replacement?
    How far towards a stealth variant could it be modified?

    4)My last query is, what would happen if 6 engines from the Pak fa were used, instead of using a modified Tu160 engine?
    Is this viable?

    In comparing the 3, I'd say that supersonic is vital. The rest depends on budget, objectives, the state of ABMs, missiles available, even bases available. So many factors.
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:03 pm

    The advantage of subsonic would be low operating costs where instead of having a fast bomber to penetrate air defences or a stealthy bomber to penetrate enemy air defences, you have even faster missiles or even stealthier missiles that would be better able to penetrate those defences from standoff distances.

    Let me be clear the B-2s stealthiness only has value as a first strike weapon and even then that first strike capability is questionable against first class air defence networks.

    The US is looking at hypersonic bombers presumably to penetrate the future Russian air defence network and if they succeed in creating such a bomber then the obvious defence weapon is a semi mobile laser, whose speed of light interception performance means that even mach 8 plus targets can be intercepted as they manouver inside or outside the atmosphere.

    High speed is expensive and requires new engine technology and exotic materials like Titanium.

    5th gen engine technology is low bypass high thrust engines and with the equivalent 5th gen bomber engine you could easily and cheaply achieve supercruise performance in a bomber sized aircraft. This could also translate to civilian airliners travelling at mach 1.5-1.8 perhaps burning not much more fuel than a subsonic aircraft of similar size and arriving much quicker.

    A four engined bomber the size of the Tu-22M3 already exists and is called the B-1B and is a significant step backwards from the Tu-160.

    In terms of stealth the Tu-160 is actually pretty good, but a thorough redesign that removes the swing wing component that is heavy and complex and adopts a new sophisticated fixed wing design that allows super cruising performance could lead to an aircraft that is perhaps a little bigger, but much cheaper to operate and use with better performance and that can be produced in numbers that make it a viable replacement for the existing types, so instead of having two strategic bombers and one theatre bomber they could have one bomber for strategic nuclear and conventional missions and also for theatre conventional bombing missions.

    Regarding a 6 engined bomber, it is not ideal and would still have less thrust than the current Tu-160 with 4 engines even if the thrust of each engine was increased to 16 tons that would be 96 tons of thrust, but with 6 engines mounted and all the extra piping and wiring. Personally I think upgrading the existing NK-32 engine and adapting it so it can be fitted to both the Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 for the moment would save a lot of money in the near term by replacing over 300 engines with a newer more powerful and more fuel efficient engine.

    With a super cruising flying wing design with a rear tail surface you could probably get away with three engines instead of 4 and you could probably design a long range interceptor aircraft based on the same design for the VKKO too.

    Remember just because the flying wing with a rear tail surface is a super cruising aircraft doesn't mean that for certain periods in its flight it couldn't engage the ABs and put in a supersonic dash here or there either.

    In fact you could design it so that it could fly very fast because in the space made vacant by the removal of one engine you could put a single scramjet position, or perhaps you could arrange the three engines so there are two large spaces between the three engines and at high speed you could open the airflow between the engines and shut down the three turbojets and use scramjet engines in the gaps between. This means you take off with the three normal jet engines and climb to altitude and then supercruise in dry thrust most of the outward trip and then shut the intakes to the jet engines and open the ramps to two scramjet engines and accelerate through to mach 4 or more.

    The speed limit for most jets is the lack of thrust as you get faster and faster because turbojet engines choke on supersonic air. The engines of the Mig-25 and Mig-31 is what limit those aircraft to Mach 2.83. The SR-71 pretty much blocks the air going through its turbojet engines and uses bypass air as a ramjet for propulsion up to about mach 3.5... A large heat protected aircraft powered by scramjets would be limited by how much heat it could take...


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  George1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:43 pm

    New Russian bomber: needless expenditure or future necessity?

    On the threshold of the 100-year anniversary of the Russian Air Force, holiday events are steadily increasing in number. A round table with the participation of the most prominent Russian military analysts, devoted to the development of a potential new bomber for the Russian Air Force, has taken place in Moscow. However, while estimating the need for “aircraft of the future”, the specialists have differed in their views.

    There was at least one thing on which all the participants of the round table, which was held in the Rosbalt information agency, have agreed upon: Russia should continue maintaining the existing fleet of strategic aircraft in a proper condition and continue to upgrade them. The resources for the Tupolev Tu-95MS, Tu-160, and Tu-22М3 allow these aircrafts to remain in service for many years. In these conditions, the improvement of their equipment and weapons is one of the key tasks.

    Such works are under way now. The Tupolev Tu-95MS and Tu-160 fighters are undergoing modernization and the first upgraded Tu-22М3М has already been handed over to the troops. Updated aircraft can use modern weapons, including non-nuclear precision-guided munitions, which makes them very useful in case of local conflicts. It is noteworthy that Russia currently has approximately 200 long-range aircrafts, including 66 Tupolev Tu-95MS and 16 Tupolev Tu-160s (the rest are Tupolev Tu-22М3s), and it is at the very least wasteful to leave all these heavy combat aircrafts without the possibility of carrying out non-nuclear tasks in local conflicts.

    Despite the capabilities of the modernized Russian bombers, their resources are not infinite. They are to be replaced in 2030-2050 due to wear and tear on the airframes. Meanwhile, taking into account modern combat aircraft’s terms of development and serialized production, it is necessary to start development now in order to get a new aircraft by the beginning of 2030s. However, some specialists do not support this point of view. During the round table, Deputy Director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Andrey Frolov was the main opponent of new strategic aircraft development.

    “At this stage, maintaining the full-fledged nuclear triad is very burdensome for Russia. In this connection, developing a new long-range aircraft of the fifth generation may become one of the programs that do not make sense, but demand a lot of financial resources,” Frolov stated.

    Other participants of the discussion supported the development of new aircraft. “Russia needs strategic bombers of the fifth generation, first of all, in order to support its status of a nuclear power,” the National Defense magazine Editor-in-Chief Igor Korotchenko said.

    According to the analyst, it is “the aviation component of the strategic nuclear forces that is most adaptable to the task of sending signals to the opponents in critical moments, reminding them of the fact that the Russian armed forces are capable of solving any problems in case of a war.”

    The head of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis Alexander Sharavin has also supported the new development: “I do not oppose the idea of upgrading old aircrafts. But what shall we do in 30 years? It is clear that such aircraft as the PAK DA project cannot be produced in three, five, or even ten years. Such tasks take many years to be fulfilled.”

    The fate of PAK DA – the Prospective Air Complex for Long Range Aviation – is not clear yet. Arguments of all the participants contain a core of common sense. It seems that the general conclusion from all the above can be formulated as follows:

    1. Today, maintaining the classic nuclear triad – long-range aviation, land-based missiles, and nuclear underwater missile carriers – is a topic for discussion.

    2. Nevertheless, the development of a new long-range combat aircraft seems to be necessary. Given the length of Russian borders and the need to respond to potential threats, which may occur in different regions, Russia needs a unit of aircraft capable of readily hitting targets beyond the range of tactical aircraft without refueling in the air.

    3. Until it comes to serial production of the new aircraft type, its development is not unduly wasteful, and it may be stopped, slowed down, and resumed at any point without special expenses.

    4. Until convincing proof is received that new types of weapons – such as remotely piloted delivery systems and other aircrafts – can effectively replace the classic long-range bomber, this work should be continued. Development of an aircraft up to the moment of launching a series usually takes 10-15 years. It is a sufficient term for determining the prospects of the program.

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_07_30/New-Russian-bomber-needless-expenditure-or-future-necessity/
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  George1 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:07 pm

    Russia Develops Requirements for Future Long-range Bomber

    Russia is developing requirements for its Future Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA) next-generation bomber, according to air force commander Gen. Victor Bondarev. “The defense ministry is working on a complete range of requirements for the PAK DA, and after these are firmed up the industry will be able to complete the technical [design] of this aircraft,” Bondarev told reporters at the Russian air force centennial celebration earlier this month at Zhukovsky airbase near Moscow.

    The PAK DA bomber would supplement and partially replace the Tu-160s, Tu-95MSs and Tu-22M3s in service with the long-range aviation establishment in charge of Russia’s land-based strategic bomber aircraft. Russia plans to fly the PAK DA in 2022, said Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, commander of the strategic bomber force. A basic design has been completed and accepted, and industry is beginning full-scale research and development of the aircraft.

    A first-phase modernization and upgrade of the current fleet of Tupolev bombers will extend their service lives, by up to 30 years in the case of the Tu-160. Ten of the swing-wing, supersonic Tu-160s will undergo a second phase of modernization starting in 2016. “This will turn it into a completely different airplane, with new instruments and avionics,” Zhikharev said.

    By year-end, four Tu-22M3s will be outfitted with the SVP-24-22 avionics suite already in use on Sukhoi Su-24M front-line bombers and tested on a Tu-22M3. The ministry of defense has awarded contracts for the work to the Gefest ET avionics development company in Zhukovsky. The upgrade improves the accuracy of navigation and strike systems, and allows operations into airfields lacking glideslope guidance. Earlier this year, the air force said it intends to upgrade about 30 Tu-22M3s during the next eight years. Reportedly, between 50 and 60 of these “Eurostrategic” strike aircraft remain airworthy.

    The Red Star, the official publication of the Russian defense ministry, reports that all Tu-160 commanders are flying more than 100 hours a year; Tu-95 crews are logging twice that amount; and some Tu-22M3 commanders are flying more than 300 hours a year. The newly released figures provide evidence that the country’s long-range aircraft are flying considerably more than in the past.

    http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ain-defense-perspective/2012-08-24/russia-develops-requirements-future-long-range-bomber
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:02 am

    This article raises some good points... just because they are developing the PAK DA does not mean they will have to scrap perfectly good aircraft.

    The Tu-160s can continue to be used, and the Tu-95s are still relatively young aircraft that are cheap to run.

    The Tu-22M3s have a problem that although their engines have very similar performance to the engines used in the Tu-160, they are actually different and not compatible.

    A new unified engine that can be used in upgraded Tu-22M3Ms and Tu-160Ms and also the PAK DA makes a lot of sense economically and in terms of performance.

    Just the same as unified engines with PAK FA and the Flanker family.

    Remember that the Flanker family is actually larger in size and weight than the PAK FA, but the 5th gen engines for the PAK FA are so much more powerful for the different requirements they fit the larger Flanker family quite well and improve their performance too.

    When designing aircraft you can't just put in any old engine... if it is too big it will probably burn up the on board fuel too quickly and leave the aircraft short ranged. Too small and performance can be adversely effected.

    Extra engines means better reliability and lower purchase cost because more engines means they can be less powerful than if you were only fitting one... you can of course make a 50 ton thrust engine and fit it to a Tu-22M3, but it is likely to be huge and less efficient than the two 25 ton thrust engines currently fitted.

    It generally all comes down to the engine.

    If you could make a 50 ton thrust turbojet engine that wasn't too heavy and was efficient then fitting it to a Tu-22M3 would improve the design as long as it didn't burn more fuel than the current two engines, and was lighter overall, and wasn't too big.

    Some people look at twin engine designs and think that is twice the fuel consumption which means it is bad. In actual fact the only problem with twin engined aircraft is the larger frontal area that increases drag which is the real problem with twin engine aircraft.

    The larger frontal area on, say, a Mig-29, means it needs a slightly higher throttle setting than something like an F-16. With a similar fuel burn rate and a similar throttle setting both aircraft will burn the same fuel... the difference is that all the fuel is going into one engine in the F-16 which will have double the fuel consumption of the two engines in the Mig.

    Very simply if thust x is needed to keep both aircraft in the air there is only one engine in the F-16 so it has to provide all that thrust ie x. For the Mig-29 however it has two engines so each engine only needs to provide half of x or x/2 thrust each.

    In other words while cruising a 4 ton thrust setting on the F-16s engine would require a 2 ton thrust setting on the two engines in the Mig. The smaller lighter less powerful engines in the Mig can be designed to be as efficient as the big engine in the F-16 yet less expensive because you are talking about 8 ton thrust engines instead of 12 ton thrust engines.

    Of course two engines will cost more to operate because there are two engines to maintain and extra piping and cables etc, but a Mig pilot can do something an F-16 pilot can't... he can shut down one engine and fly home.

    Also when you introduce thrust vector engine control with two engines you can greatly increase roll rate at any speed simply by differential use of the engines... ie point one up and one down to generate a roll force... even in a stall where no air is flowing over the wings to give you control of the aircraft.

    This means that in an aircraft with positive thrust (ie more thrust than weight) you can point your nose up and climb out of trouble just using engine power alone.

    BTW Imagine a twin engined Tu-160 with two 50 ton thrust 5th gen engines that would enable it to supercruise...


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  George1 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:33 am

    Deputy PM Repeats Call For Hypersonic Bomber

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin repeated his appeal on Monday for Russia to develop a hypersonic aircraft for its PAK-DA long-range bomber requirement.

    "I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans," he said on Rossiya 24 TV. "We will use this technology when developing a new bomber."

    Long-range military aviation is vital to Russia and "the question is will we copy the Americans' forty-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog...or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor," he said.

    Rogozin's latest comments come just days after a test of America's X-51 Waverider hypersonic unmanned test vehicle failed after a control fin broke up and the aircraft fell into the sea. The aim of the test was to prove Waverider could fly for around five minutes at hypersonic speed using a "scramjet" engine.

    Russian Air Force Long Range Aviation commander Lt. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev has previously said the first PAK-DA (an acronym for future long-range aircraft) bomber should enter service by around 2020, and its outline design is currently being devised. Russia's Tupolev design bureau, which designed most of Russia's serving bombers like the Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 and Tu-160, is leading the program.

    In June, President Vladimir Putin ordered initial development of the new long-range bomber for strategic aviation. Speaking during a conference on defense orders, Putin said: "We have to develop work on the new PAK-DA long-range bomber aircraft for Long-Range Aviation. The task is not easy from a scientific-technical standpoint, but we need to start work," Putin said.

    Rogozin initially said in June he saw no need for PAK-DA to replace the air force's ageing Tu-95MS cruise-missile carriers and Tu-160 supersonic bombers.

    “These aircraft will not get anywhere. Not ours, not theirs,” he said in an interview with Izvestia in June. He later clarified his statement by saying he was in favor of developing a future bomber, but it should not just be a B-2 copy and should employ hypersonic technology.

    In May, he called on Russia's defense industry to develop hypersonic air-breathing weapons as a future strike system. He picked out American development work in the X-51, Falcon, HiFire and HyFly hypersonic programs as examples of what he described as the perspective threat posed by U.S. hypersonic development work.

    "The undertaking of this work allows us to lay the basis for creation of a national competitor in hypersonic weapons," he said, adding development of such a weapon should be discussed at the highest levels of state.

    Aerospace specialists say Rogozin's comments are more likely to be relevant to a future air-launched missile, rather than the bomber that launches it.

    "I very much doubt it would be possible to make a hypersonic bomber by that time [2020]," he said. "And there is no point. A supersonic bomber would be useful, but not hypersonic. Probably, he is talking about a missile," said Maxim Pyadushkin, editor of the Russia/CIS Observer aviation magazine.

    "In the Soviet-era there was considerable research into high-speed weaponry, culminating in projects such as the Raduga Kh-90, which is sometimes referred to as GELA," said Douglas Barrie, air warfare analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    "None of the work resulted in an in-service weapon. Elements of this research could be re-invigorated as the basis for a weapon for the PAK-DA within the next 10-15 years. The PAK-DA - should the required substantial funding be made available - will be at best supersonic, if not a subsonic design with some stealth characteristics," he added.

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20120827/175461736.html
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:43 am

    If the new bomber is going to be subsonic then there is no need for it because the Bear already fills that role and it is relatively cheap to operate and good at what it does.

    A hypersonic bomber with strategic range will be very big.

    If you wanted to make such a bomber 40 years ago it would have been enormous and would have been ramjet powered and made almost completely from Titanium.

    In a few years time with scramjet technology, in terms of engine performance it should not be that hard to design and build... it will need big runways and it will burn very large volumes of fuel and the main problems in design will be to make the hot bits able to withstand the heat generated just by flying through the air.

    With their super computers they should be able to test an enormous range of aircraft shapes and types... rapid prototyping.

    And they can test thousands as computer models and select a few dozen of the most promising designs to make real models of and give those real world scale tests because too the TSAGI labs still have some of the best hypersonic wind tunnels in the world.

    This option has the highest risk but also offers the greatest reward. There is no real speed limit for a scramjet because the fuel burns supersonically inside the engine (ie SCRAMJET = Supersonic combustion ramjet) there is no need for complicated intakes to strictly control air flow to make it subsonic so the engines don't choke.

    The other option I can forsee would be a flying wing designed for supersonic flight... which means a flying wing with a horizontal tail surface that allows supersonic flight. With very low drag and a modern wing design the aircraft should have very low drag but good lift and low RCS and perhaps the ability to supercruise.

    Very simply supercruising is like sticking to flat open roads and driving everywhere in top gear. It means maximum speed for minimum revs, because revs means fuel burn.


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:58 pm



    "I very much doubt it would be possible to make a hypersonic bomber by that time [2020]," he said. "And there is no point. A supersonic bomber would be useful, but not hypersonic. Probably, he is talking about a missile,"



    Now,THIS bright sample of the most comical, pure,self-embarrasing Incompetence should lead a Director to ,at least,sanction the author of a similar idiocy and publish the day after a disclaimer note to apologize with all the readers for the unwanted fit of laughers provoked.



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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Sujoy on Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:17 pm

    Mindstorm wrote:
    Now,THIS bright sample of the most comical, pure,self-embarrasing Incompetence should lead a Director to ,at least,sanction the author of a similar idiocy and publish the day after a disclaimer note to apologize with all the readers for the unwanted fit of laughers provoked.


    But then Mindstorm , we do not need to read such bright sample of comical magazines , do we . Unless of course we start working for Lockheed or a Raytheon Very Happy

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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Austin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:35 pm

    PAK DA – The White Elephant of Russian Aviation

    Mikhail Barabanov

    Russia’s next–generation long range bomber program, the PAK DA (Future Long Range Aviation Complex) is one of the most ambitious components of the recently adopted State Armament Program for 2011-2020. But in early 2012 discussions began about the possibility of cuts in spending on the extremely costly SAP program; many believe that the PAK DA will be affected as well.

    Russia and the United States are currently the only two countries in the world to operate strategic bombers. As of early 2012, the Russian fleet consisted of 63 Tu-95MS turboprop subsonic heavy bombers, and 13 Tu-160 supersonic heavy bomber, of which 55 and 11 aircraft, respectively, were in an operational condition.1

    These aircraft are relatively new, by heavy bomber standards. All the Tu-95MS were built between 1981 and 1993. Out of the 13 Tu-160 aircraft, 11 were built between 1986 and 1994, one was delivered in 1999, and one in 2007. The Russian strategic aviation fleet was spending very little time in the air in the 1990s and early 2000s, so most of these bombers still have a lot of mileage in them – enough in fact to remain in service for decades.

    Nevertheless, in recent years the MoD has been hard at work on the PAK DA program. The Air Force says there is a clear need for a new-generation heavy bomber because the existing Tu-95MS and Tu-160 aircraft no longer meet the modern, let alone future requirements.

    The Tu-95MS is essentially just a flying platform which allows long-range cruise missiles to be launched from outside the range of the adversary’s air defenses. The archaic design of the aircraft (dating back to the early 1950s) and its turboprop engines make it relatively slow and highly visible to the enemy’s radars. As for the Tu-160, it has failed to live up to the promise of its designers, who envisaged it as a truly versatile aircraft. Owing to the limitations of its design and onboard systems which emerged after the bomber entered service, it has almost never been used to stealthily approach the target at extra-low altitudes. The only role for which it is well-suited is to carry cruise missiles at high speed and high altitude. As a result, the Tu-160 cannot be used for deep penetration into areas protected by competent air defenses.

    The Russian Air Force therefore has an unmet need for a modern heavy bomber capable of reaching remote and well-protected targets, and attacking them using a broad range of high-precision nuclear or conventional airborne weapons. Another capability a future heavy bomber must have is to take on the enemy’s ships, especially American aircraft carriers and carrier groups, replacing the existing fleet of the Tu-22M3 long-range bombers.

    The launch of the PAK DA program

    Early development of future strategic and long-range striker aircraft began in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The Sukhoi design bureau worked on the T-60 long-range bomber project. The Tupolev bureau had several futuristic projects, including flying wing-type and hypersonic planes.

    The break-up of the Soviet Union and the ensuing drastic cuts in defense spending appeared to have spelt the end of all those programs. Nevertheless, in 1999 the Russian Air Force’s R&D centers began to draw up the outlines and the list of requirements for a new “fifth-generation” strategic bomber, designated as the PAK DA. (Another major Air Force program was the PAK FA, the Future Tactical Aviation Complex, which has already delivered the T-50 fighter prototype designed by Sukhoi.) At about the same time the Russian aircraft design bureaus launched tentative new heavy bomber projects.

    A large increase in Russian spending on defense, including military R&D, after 2005 enabled the PAK DA program to reach the practical implementation phase. Development of a new heavy bomber was included in the State Armament Program for 2007-2015, which was approved in 2006. In April 2007 the Russian Air Force announced a competition for a conceptual PAK DA design, and formulated a list of design specifications and requirements to the new bomber. In 2008 work on the early PAK DA designs began to receive state financing.

    The competition for the PAK DA conceptual design contract involved two frontrunners, Sukhoi and Tupolev, and two clear outsiders, the Ilyushin and the Myasishchev bureaus. It is believed that Sukhoi proposed the new version T-60 project. But Tupolev came out the winner, and in August 2009 the Russian MoD signed a three-year contract with the company to flesh out the PAK DA project.2 In December 2009 Tupolev CEO Aleksandr Bobryshev said that the PAK DA research and development phase would be completed in 2012, whereupon the company would commence the detailed design and engineering phase, to be completed in 2017. He added that the plan was to build and supply the Russian Air Force with 100 PAK DA aircraft by 2027.3

    Under the terms of the contract, a detailed PAK DA design concept was to be completed in the first half of 2012, based on which further decisions about the specifics of the project were to be made. According to the then deputy defense minister, Vladimir Popovkin, the engineering design of the new bomber was to be completed by 2015.4

    The PAK DA became part of the extremely ambitious State Armament Program for 2011-2020 (SAP-2020), approved by President Dmitry Medvedev in December 2010. In December 2011 the Long Range Aviation commander, Maj Gen Anatoliy Zhikharev, said that the Air Force command had issued the final list of requirements and specifications for the PAK DA, and that work on that program was “actively under way”. He went on to provide further details: “The first flying prototype of the aircraft will appear in 2020. It may enter service with Long Range Aviation in 2025. We would like it to be equipped with a radically new targeting and navigation system, as well as advanced communication, reconnaissance and radio-electronic warfare capability. It must be capable of using all the existing types of airborne weapons, and all the future types that will enter service with Long Range Aviation.” He added that the new bomber was required to have a low radar profile.5

    In February 2012 the Russian Air Force commander, Col Gen Aleksandr Zelin, confirmed that the early PAK DA design had been completed, and said that the aircraft was expected to enter service “with a radically new Russian Air Force” some time in the 2030s.6

    Emerging uncertainties

    In the first half of 2012, however, Russia’s top military-political leadership began to debate the need for the PAK DA program; on a number of occasions these discussions leaked into the public domain. The explanation for this uncertainty is three-fold. First, the three-year contract with Tupolev for the early conceptual PAK DA design has been completed, presenting the government with the need to approve massive spending on the engineering design and development phase. Second, the Russian defense industry has a new government supervisor, Dmitry Rogozin, who was recently appointed first deputy prime minister and chairman of the Defense Industry Commission. And third, the Russian leadership has quietly begun to contemplate the possibility that it may be forced to cut defense spending, including spending on the SAP-2020 program.

    Since his appointment Dmitry Rogozin has taken stock of the ongoing defense programs, and come to doubt the need for an expensive new strategic bomber. Speaking in an interview with the leading Russian broadsheet Izvestiya in early June 2012, he had this to say: “Look at the current level of air defense and missile defense capability. None of these planes will be allowed to reach their target. Our planes aren’t going to reach their targets, and vice versa. We must think about entirely new approaches.” He added that in his opinion Russia’s long range aviation had no future “in a traditional sense”, i.e. as one of the instruments of delivering a nuclear strike against the potential adversary”.7

    Since that statement Rogozin has reiterated, on several occasions, his view that there is no point in developing a new strategic bomber to replace the Tu-95MS and the Tu-160. “I am ready to defend my point of view,” the deputy prime minister said. “Given the current level of air defense and missile defense capability, these aircraft will be destroyed before they have a chance to reach their targets.”8

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the chief of the General Staff, Gen Nikolay Makarov, have both voiced their support for the PAK DA. The newly-elected president, Vladimir Putin, was forced to intervene in this public debate. Speaking in mid-June at a meeting to discuss the deliveries on the state defense procurement program, he also backed the PAK DA. “We are about to launch the development of the future long-range aviation system, the PAK DA,” the president said. “I am well aware of how costly and complicated this will be. We have repeatedly discussed this with the minister and with the chief of the General Staff. This is a complicated task in terms of science and technology, but we need to get down to this work.” He added that unless work on the project began on schedule, Russia would “miss the window of opportunity”.9

    Putin’s backing for the program appears to have put an end to the debate; the decision to launch the PAK DA program in earnest has been approved. Rogozin has backtracked in a very public manner by saying that he is “in favor of the PAK DA, but it must not be a copy of the B-2. We need to look further and develop hypersonic long-range aircraft, both military and civilian”.10 The outcome of the fray over the PAK DA has demonstrated that, for all his impressive job titles, Rogozin simply lacks the political weight to take on the MoD and the defense industry lobby.

    In late June the new Air Force commander, Maj Gen Viktor Bondarev, said that the basic design of the PAK DA bomber was “already formed” (probably meaning that it has been approved) and that work was under way on the final details of the specifications.11 Shortly afterwards the acting deputy Air Force commander, Aleksandr Chernyayev, confirmed earlier plans by saying that “the first PAK DA units [probably referring to first prototypes] will be delivered to the Air Force by about 2020”.12

    What the PAK DA may look like

    All information about the possible design and specifications of the PAK DA is being kept secret. Even the overall concept and general layout of the plane have not been disclosed. Judging from the experience of the PAK FA fighter program, such secrecy can be expected to continue until the maiden flight of the main prototype.

    Several observers had previously speculated that the PAK DA would be little more than a radical upgrade of the existing Tu-160 design. But in June 2012 the chief of General Staff, Gen Makarov, said that the PAK DA would have “an entirely new airframe”.13 We believe that given the key requirement for the new bomber to be versatile and to have a low radar profile, the PAK DA will in fact have to be a completely new design. It will probably look like an oversized fifth-generation fighter and have supersonic cruising capability, with an estimated range of up to 12,000 km.

    The bomber will carry a broad range of high-precision conventional weapons, long-range cruise missiles armed with nuclear and conventional warheads, and, quite likely, various future hypersonic and aeroballistic missiles.

    One of the main problems facing the PAK DA program (as well as many other Russian aerospace programs) is the availability of engines. It is known that the MoD wants the bomber to be equipped with a new turbofan engine with a thrust of 25-30 tonnes, to be developed by Kuznetsov (Samara) based on the design of the future PD-30 engine, previously designated as the NK-65. The core of the PD-30 will be borrowed from the modified NK-32M, a new version of the NK-32 turbofan engine for the Tu-160 bombers, to be launched by Kuznetsov for a Tu-160 retrofitting program. The PD-30 should be geared turbofan with a large fan. The PAK DA engine will not be identical to the PD-30; it will have the same core, but probably a smaller fan and an afterburner.14

    Kuznetsov, however, is known to be facing serious problems not only with the NK-32M development but even with resuming the manufacture of the old NK-32 engines to keep the existing Tu-160 fleet in the air. According to current projections, the first NK-32 engines will be made in Samara in 2014-2016 at the very earliest.15 There are grave doubts about the industry’s ability to bring the PD-30 engine to production status within a reasonable time frame, and to develop an engine for the PAK DA using the core PD-30 design.

    Uncertain outlook

    The program to develop a radically new long-range heavy bomber will clearly require a monumental R&D effort and huge amounts of money. Many observers are therefore extremely skeptical about Russia’s ability to muster the technological, industrial and economic resources the PAK DA program will require to deliver a decent result. Judging from the statements by Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian defense industry captains are not uniformly optimistic, either.

    The PAK DA will have to overcome the two fundamental challenges which face the entire SAP-2020 program: Russia’s uncertain ability to find the 19 trillion roubles the SAP 2020 program will cost, and grave doubts as to whether the constituent weapons programs can be delivered on budget.

    Ever since the beginning of 2012 the government has been preparing for the eventuality of serious cuts in defense spending, especially spending on the SAP-2012. In July 2012 it was reported that a preliminary agreement had been reached to cut defense procurement in 2013-2015. In 2013 the previously slated figures will be cut by 200bn roubles, in 2014 by 251.3bn, and in 2015 by 248.7bn. Previously Deputy Defense Minister Aleksandr Sukhorukov said that the government would spend 1,240bn roubles on defense procurement in 2013, 1,500bn in 2014, and at least 2,000bn in 2015. That translates into a reduction of 16 per cent in 2013, almost 17 per cent in 2014, and about 12.5 per cent in 2015.16

    Even deeper cuts may well be announced later on, and the government is unlikely to disburse the whole 19 trillion roubles it had originally budgeted for the SAP-2020. The situation does not come as a surprise. The spending plans set out in the program were hugely ambitious and entirely at odds with Russia’s modest economic growth figures, which have been hovering around 3-4 per cent in recent years, with a negative outlook owing to the continuing global economic instability. To generate enough revenue for programs such as the SAP-2020, the Russian economy needs to grow at Chinese rates. That is something the economic system President Putin has built is entirely unable to deliver. The best it can do is low single digits, with a recurring prospect of contraction. Vladimir Putin has failed to modernize the Russian economic system and kick-start healthy growth, so there is simply not enough money in the treasury to finance the SAP-2020.

    As the prospect of reigning in the scope of the program becomes inevitable, questions are being raised as to where exactly the axe will fall. The PAK DA is extravagantly expensive and will not deliver a usable product for at least a decade, so it appears to be one of the prime candidates. The Russian political leadership probably cannot muster enough political will to cancel the PAK DA altogether – but its financing will have to be slashed, raising further questions about the feasibility of its deadlines (which were never very realistic to begin with).

    A compounding factor is that the existing projections for the PAK DA budget also appear overly optimistic, even before the expected cuts are factored in. There are serious suspicions that many of the constituent programs of the SAP-2020 will cost a lot more than the existing calculations would have us believe, and the MoD knows it. The SAP 2020 may well end up costing 30 trillion or even 40 trillion roubles. For now, however, even the currently budgeted 19 trillion is more than Russia can afford to spend. The Russian aerospace R&D programs are especially prone to coming in over budget. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union almost all such programs have ended up costing at least twice as much as originally budgeted; suffice to recall the Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 program. The problem is not unique to Russia; it plagues weapons project planning in every developed country, including the United States.

    It is therefore clear that the PAK DA is unlikely to receive sufficient funding, given Russia’s economic situation. Owing to a combination of financial and technical problems the program will probably fall well behind schedule. As a result, from time to time the PAK DA will come under massive political pressure and balance on the brink of closure. But the Russian government’s great-power ambitions may well help the program to survive nonetheless, with new moneys being thrown at it in each consecutive budget. Essentially, the PAK DA could degenerate into a typical graft-ridden state program, kept afloat for political motives, costing Russia an arm and a leg, and with any tangible deliverables always just beyond the horizon. Gen Zelin’s cautious projection of the new heavy bombers entering service with the Russian Air Force “some time in the 2030s” therefore looks fairly realistic, and maybe even a bit optimistic.

    Finally, even if the PAK DA manages to deliver a minimally usable aircraft, it is not at all certain that the Russian Air Force will be able to buy them in large enough numbers. Owing to their astronomical price tag, the new bombers will probably become the Air Force’s very own white elephants, with only a few units bought for political and PR motives.

    The PAK DA appears to be one of Russia’s most questionable, risky and unnecessary defense programs. It will inevitably cost a fortune, which could be usefully spent on much more pressing defense needs. The sole reason for the existence of this program is to underpin the Russian political and military leadership’s great-power ambitions, whatever the cost, even if the actual military and economic payout of such programs is minimal.

    1 From russianforces.org/aviation/

    2 www.lenta.ru/news/2009/08/19/bomber/

    3 Statement by A. Bobryshev to Interfax news agency, December 23, 2009

    4 paralay.com/pakda.html

    5 Statement by A. Zhikharev to Interfax news agency, December 20, 2011

    6 paralay.com/pakda.html

    7 Sozayev-Guryev E. Rogozin and Makarov argue over a new bomber // Izvestiya, June 5, 2012

    8 Rogozin explains position on the PAK DA program // vz.ru/news/2012/6/19/584444.html

    9 Russian president’s press service, June 14, 2012

    10 Rogozin explains position on the PAK DA program // vz.ru/news/2012/6/19/584444.html

    11 PAK DA (project) // militaryrussia.ru/blog/topic-270.html

    12 RIA Novosti news agency report of July 2, 2012

    13 Sozayev-Guryev E. Rogozin and Makarov argue over a new bomber // Izvestiya, June 5, 2012

    14 paralay.com/pakda.html

    15 www.arms-expo.ru/049057054050124049056055048052.html

    16 gurkhan.blogspot.com/2012/07/blog-post_4997.html

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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Firebird on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:30 am

    I'm starting to wonder about this one a bit. I can see a big case for Pak-Fa as a latest generation bomber eg in conventional conflicts. But as the 3rd stage of the nuclear trident, I AM starting to wonder about what will be needed in 10, 15, 20 years time ie the case for hypersonic planes.

    The Bear and Tu-22 will certainly date over time. The Tu160 is fantastic, but has limitations.So to me, Russia has to consider both now and the next few decades. Probably its too early to say " we need a full fleet of hypersonic bombers by 2023". BUT, hypersonic planes may assist in the whole strategic nuclear issue, AND conventional warfare issue.

    I think the debate isnt "what is needed". Its more "what is needed in each timeframe".
    I wonder how quickly Pak-fa technology could be used in a Pak-Da programme
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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:49 am

    The level of ignorance in that article is very disappointing Austin...

    The Tu-160 and Tu-95 are exceptionally new in terms of builds, but technology has moved on and there is an opportunity to replace not just these two strategic bomber types, but also the Tu-22M3 theatre bomber type with just one aircraft... you know... the same as every other branch of the Russian military has been doing... taking advantage of the multipurpose capability of modern electronics to allow one modern type to replace older single function aircraft.

    The Tu-95MS is essentially just a flying platform which allows long-range cruise missiles to be launched from outside the range of the adversary’s air defenses. The archaic design of the aircraft (dating back to the early 1950s) and its turboprop engines make it relatively slow and highly visible to the enemy’s radars.

    Actually the Tu-95 had an aerodynamic redesign in the 1970s to the Tu-142 standard, and it remains the worlds fastest propeller driven aircraft and the only propeller driven aircraft to actually require swept wings.

    At high altitude it is only about 50km/h slower than the B-52, while at lower altitudes it is actually faster than a B-52. It is a stand off cruise missile carrier... its visibility to enemy radars is largely irrelevant unless they are over the horizon radars that can detect targets 5,000km away.

    As for the Tu-160, it has failed to live up to the promise of its designers, who envisaged it as a truly versatile aircraft.

    Rubbish. It was designed and built as a supersonic cruise missile carrier and that is exactly what it is... the supersonic speed is not to allow it to penetrate enemy air defences, it is to zip in and launch its long range cruise missiles and then rapidly leave the area at high speed to make the positioning of interceptors near anticipated launch areas ineffective.

    Owing to the limitations of its design and onboard systems which emerged after the bomber entered service, it has almost never been used to stealthily approach the target at extra-low altitudes.

    Its primary weapon was a 3,000km range cruise missile... how close was it supposed to get to its target?

    The only role for which it is well-suited is to carry cruise missiles at high speed and high altitude.

    Which is exactly what it is designed for and what it does well... next they will be complaining because Russian ICBM warheads are not versatile enough... why couldn't they make an anti submarine version...

    The only role for which it is well-suited is to carry cruise missiles at high speed and high altitude.

    Which is not even very true actually... there were two primary weapons for the Tu-160, and they were the Kh-15 and Kh-55. The Kh-15 has a range of about 250km and it climbs to 40,000m and then dives onto the target at mach 5 with a rather significant nuclear payload. It is called Kickback in the west... it can carry 12 in one weapon bay leaving room for 6 Kh-55 3,000km range nuclear armed cruise missiles. Now flying over the north pole the Tu-160 will come across all sorts of ground based radars and air bases and while flying supersonically its main threats were going to be large area SAMs which as NATO has found in its various invasions are large and not very mobile and easy to spot and plot on a map to hit with cruise missiles or other weapons.

    Obviously the plan is for the Tu-160 to blast over Canadian territory launching Kh-15s at any airbase that shows any sign of life and any known major SAM or Radar position, on their way to their launch position for the primary weapon of their Kh-55s.

    Remember even flying at mach 2 all the way it will take at least 3 hours for the Blackjacks to get to Canadian airspace, which means all those ICBMs and SLBMs of both sides have already hit their targets and both air defence networks will be in tatters... I actually think the Blackjack still has a very good chance of getting through even today.

    The Russian Air Force therefore has an unmet need for a modern heavy bomber capable of reaching remote and well-protected targets, and attacking them using a broad range of high-precision nuclear or conventional airborne weapons. Another capability a future heavy bomber must have is to take on the enemy’s ships, especially American aircraft carriers and carrier groups, replacing the existing fleet of the Tu-22M3 long-range bombers.

    Not strictly true. Russia could soldier on with older technology bombers, the current upgrades should make them much more capable and useful in conventional engagements which will make them more useful than they have ever been before.
    The thing is that they have a military upgrade and overhaul program going on that is supposed to introduce all new stuff to replace Soviet designed material. Further this drive focuses on multirole platforms that can do the same job in much smaller numbers with fewer types and more fire power and capability.

    The Bear is relatively cheap to operate and there are plenty available but probably well worth replacing. The Tu-160 is much more capable, but also more expensive to operate and maintain, partially because many components were made in the Ukraine and also because there were so few actually built. The Tu-22M3 is a large aircraft for its role and has plenty of growth potential in it yet, but like the swing wing Blackjack is it not cheap to operate and despite being made by the same company (Tu) and having very very similar requirements and performance the engines of these two aircraft are not compatible... which just goes to show the problems created by all the different aircraft that could be solved with one new aircraft to steadily replace them all.

    Vladimir Putin has failed to modernize the Russian economic system and kick-start healthy growth, so there is simply not enough money in the treasury to finance the SAP-2020.

    Considering that many western economies around the world are showing fraction of single digit growth, I would suggest that Russian figures are actually pretty good. The question I want answered is why is Putin getting all the blame for this. There are no certainties in this world, and the solution to this uncertainty is to plan. If you want fixed rigid plans that never change then you need more certainty... which is hardly possible. The alternative is flexibility in the plan. So what if there needs to be certain cuts in the program? Who cares if the 70% goal is achieved in 2025 instead of 2020?

    The point is that you set goals and move to achieve them... it is that progress that is important, and even more importantly at various intervals along the way you evaluate progress to see how things are moving along... some things might need more money, while others might be worth cutting all together. Somethings might simply need to be put on hold for the moment so the funding for it can be moved elsewhere where it might be needed more.


    As the prospect of reigning in the scope of the program becomes inevitable, questions are being raised as to where exactly the axe will fall. The PAK DA is extravagantly expensive and will not deliver a usable product for at least a decade, so it appears to be one of the prime candidates.

    Again... what is it with this black and white attitude? A future strategic bomber program will not be cut... current aircraft will need replacement at some point. Delays are normal... especially when there is no real conflict that would demand their existence right now. The point is that the Blackjacks and Bears and Backfires will be available for the next couple of decades and with a decent upgrade they can be more versatile aircraft with capabilities tactical aircraft cannot match.

    The Russian political leadership probably cannot muster enough political will to cancel the PAK DA altogether – but its financing will have to be slashed, raising further questions about the feasibility of its deadlines (which were never very realistic to begin with).

    Very bad reporting... first you say the programme will get the axe... which means cancelled/killed, and then you admit that it probably wont be cancelled and will simply get its funding reduced.

    There was nothing unrealistic about its deadlines... flying prototypes by 2020, in service 2025-2030 are not that tight unless it is going to be a mach 20 atmosphere skipper...

    The problem is not unique to Russia; it plagues weapons project planning in every developed country, including the United States.

    The point you are missing is that a significant amount of Russian technology is developed via the military, and military exports generate a lot of income for Russia. Much of the spending on "defence" is spent within Russia and goes into the Russian economy which is also something this writer seems to be ignoring.
    Russia has just entered the WTO and the global recession wont last forever...

    The current plans are not set in stone and if they need to be revised they will be...

    It is therefore clear that the PAK DA is unlikely to receive sufficient funding, given Russia’s economic situation.

    How do you come to that conclusion?

    Although you have cut its budget many times in this article you don't fund the program, so in actual fact it is not clear there will be cuts to funding. Putin sees it as an important project and there are a few other areas they can cut funding if they believe that is necessary.

    It is therefore clear that the PAK DA is unlikely to receive sufficient funding, given Russia’s economic situation. Owing to a combination of financial and technical problems the program will probably fall well behind schedule. As a result, from time to time the PAK DA will come under massive political pressure and balance on the brink of closure. But the Russian government’s great-power ambitions may well help the program to survive nonetheless, with new moneys being thrown at it in each consecutive budget. Essentially, the PAK DA could degenerate into a typical graft-ridden state program, kept afloat for political motives, costing Russia an arm and a leg, and with any tangible deliverables always just beyond the horizon. Gen Zelin’s cautious projection of the new heavy bombers entering service with the Russian Air Force “some time in the 2030s” therefore looks fairly realistic, and maybe even a bit optimistic.

    Again with the weird writing method... start the paragraph saying the sky is falling, then mention that the sky has the support of the government so even if it starts to fall they will prop it up no matter what it takes.
    New bombers entering service in the 2030s is pessimistic, not optimistic.

    There is no urgent need for new bombers, but a new from scratch design that is simpler and more straight forward... ie no swing wings would be useful and help to reduce costs as having one type perform the mission of three current large aircraft should ultimately save a bit of money as well as improve general performance too.

    Finally, even if the PAK DA manages to deliver a minimally usable aircraft, it is not at all certain that the Russian Air Force will be able to buy them in large enough numbers. Owing to their astronomical price tag, the new bombers will probably become the Air Force’s very own white elephants, with only a few units bought for political and PR motives.

    They haven't even been built yet but they are already too expensive...

    This writer needs to go and dig himself a hole and bury himself now, because everything will always be more expensive in the future and he clearly can't deal with that.

    The PAK DA appears to be one of Russia’s most questionable, risky and unnecessary defense programs. It will inevitably cost a fortune, which could be usefully spent on much more pressing defense needs. The sole reason for the existence of this program is to underpin the Russian political and military leadership’s great-power ambitions, whatever the cost, even if the actual military and economic payout of such programs is minimal.

    The same could be said about all the money spent on SSBNs which do nothing for the economy and can't even be used in conventional wars... they just sit there soaking up money... like ICBMs do... perhaps Russia should get rid of its entire military and just rely on the kindness of others not to bully them? Rolling Eyes

    PAK DA offers investment in new engine and aircraft technology that could lead to future high speed civilian and military aircraft. If they invest in hypersonic bombers... that will not be cheap, but the resulting aircraft will pave the way for enormous steps forward in access to space... imagine a variable cycle engine that can act like a turbojet from a runway that will let the aircraft climb to altitude and then accelerate to enormous speeds to the point where the scramjet engines can be shut down and small rocket thrusters can guide the aircraft to dock at the international space station... waste of money my backside... pirat


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  GarryB on Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:52 am

    I'm starting to wonder about this one a bit. I can see a big case for Pak-Fa as a latest generation bomber eg in conventional conflicts. But as the 3rd stage of the nuclear trident, I AM starting to wonder about what will be needed in 10, 15, 20 years time ie the case for hypersonic planes.

    You are thinking about getting rid of the one leg of the nuclear triad that can actually be used in conventional conflicts?

    You want to get rid of the only high speed global reach mechanism that can use conventional warheads in a conventional conflict?

    The unification and standardisation has swept the Russian military and it has improved logistics and maintainence and support requirements.

    Personally I would like to see a greatly enlarged PAK FA but with the forward fuselage removed so you have a flying wing with tail section. In fact I would probably remove the vertical tail surfaces and equip the aircraft with thrust vectoring nozzles. This should improve long range flight cruise performance... at different speeds you are going to get different lift performance from the vessel... just like with a boat. The difference is that with a boat you can generally change the angle of the propeller... ie change the trim to reduce water drag and improve speed without changing the thrust setting.

    Thrust vector engines in a large bomber should allow optimisation of thrust to minimise drag and keep the aircraft properly trimmed.

    The remaining flying configuration should be fairly ideal for high speed flight, though the angle of the leading edge of the wings might need adjustment.

    Add perhaps 5 engine positions, where two are 30-35 ton thrust new 5th generation engines based on the PD-30 and the 3 positions on either side of the two engines fitted could be scramjet engines which will basically be wind tunnels optimised for burning fuel at supersonic speeds. The air intakes can be designed to block the scramjet tubes on takeoff and landing, but in flight it would be useful to be able to start the centreline scramjet engine with the two turbojets running and then once it is running to shut down the two turbojets and open up the two other scramjets for hypersonic operations.

    Obviously you would want the engine area on the PAK FA enlarged and moved back to allow for the 5 engine positions, which should free up space in the main wing for fuel, the crew, and weapons of course.

    The Bear and Tu-22 will certainly date over time. The Tu160 is fantastic, but has limitations.So to me, Russia has to consider both now and the next few decades. Probably its too early to say " we need a full fleet of hypersonic bombers by 2023". BUT, hypersonic planes may assist in the whole strategic nuclear issue, AND conventional warfare issue.

    The point is that work on scramjets and hypersonic platforms is already being worked on, so adding it to the PAK DA programme is just keeping up with new technology. It isn't going to be easy... it is a huge step from on paper and in wind tunnels to an operational aircraft, but the point is that if you don't start now when are you going to start.

    Some claim that because the T-95 was cancelled all the money spent on it was wasted. If no money had been spent on it then armata would not be possible because much of its design is based on the T-95. Equally without spending any money on T-95 then UVZ would know little about the situational awareness needed for a tank vehicle with an unmanned turret, and they wouldn't have much time now to work on 150+mm calibre tank guns let alone new ammo for the 125mm guns.

    The money invested in exploring new technology is not wasted even if the program is cancelled... there are lots of other areas it can be applied.

    I think the debate isnt "what is needed". Its more "what is needed in each timeframe".
    I wonder how quickly Pak-fa technology could be used in a Pak-Da programme

    There is always risk in development and planning, but large steps forward in technology need good planning and investment... or very urgent need like a war. The problem is that wars are expensive and the urgent"ness" of such developments generally mean it is very very expensive in terms of money and lives.

    I think the long term planning nature of this PAK DA programme is a very good thing... there is no panic, one way or the other... it is currently just a secret program to develop a single aircraft that could replace a range of aircraft currently in use in a range of roles and perhaps several new roles too.

    I mean there is the original strategic nuclear long range bomber role which replaces the Tu-160, and Tu-95MS, while there is also the long range strategic conventional bomber role to replace the Tu-160M and Tu-95MSM.
    There is also the threatre range conventional and nuclear roles where it would replace the Tu-22M3M, and the anti shipping theatre range strike role where it can replace the Tu-22M3, and maritime patrol aircraft role where it can replace the Tu-142 and Il-38, while its sensors and detection equipment might make it the sort of AWACS aircraft you could safely take into enemy territory with long range AAMs as a payload, and of course it might be equipped for a range of EW roles including perhaps high power jammmer and Jstars type roles.
    Then of course its long flight range and capacity to carry an enormous radar in the wing leading edge and large numbers of heavy AAMs it could perhaps enter service as a heavy interceptor to cover the vast expanses of Russia.

    Simplified unmanned versions could be used for very long range missions like maritime patrol or border patrol, and of course the obvious would be a civilian supersonic airliner, without the stealth, perhaps just a supercruising aircraft model to begin with...


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Mindstorm on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:09 am


    Very good and bright analysis GarryB, you put under the light the really crucial parametrical factors influencing efficiency of startegic bombers in theirs intended role (...above all not neglecting the most important of all : the involved TIME .....TIME !!), my vote to you.






    The article is very badly conceived and even worse written ,it found its entire rational skeleton on totally wronged assumptions on the REAL operational employment and CONOP of Startegic Aviation's long range bombers and that of theirs weapons, moreover, one more time, it attempt to twist the position of Rogozin as an atempt to cancel PAKDA , when obviously he fight to significantly raise the technological requirements of PAKFA, concentrating all the Russian Federation's investements and R&D efforts toward Hypersonic Technology, potentiqally capable to generate, thanks in particular to its civilian applications, incomes exceeding dozen of times the fund allocated for its achievement.....above anything rendering suddenly the actual world-leading position of Boeing and Airbus in Civilian Aviation and the entire western tradition and engineering proficiency in subsonic civilian aircraft fuselage's design and in turbofan engine's construction and efficiency TOTALLY IRRILEVANT [/b].




    Little note : In your very punctual analysis GarryB ,in a rethoric outburst you have written :
    next they will be complaining because Russian ICBM warheads are not versatile enough... why couldn't they make an anti submarine version...
    , i want only to point out that, like you well know, ICBM's RVs are immensely more efficient at destroying sumbmerged objects than them are of aerial of ground based targets because theirs native environmental element -water- is by very far the better detonation waves' conductor medium , capable literally to increase the kill radius of a thermonuclear explosion of some order of magnitude greater than that of air or ,much moire ,ground .

    With even only very rough positional coordinates of enemy subamrines you can potential take out ,with almost 100% success rate, the entire SBLM branch of an enemy nation with literally the RV's payload of single ICBM !!!
    The only asset today preserving SLBM from total obsolescence as an impoortant branch of nuclear Triad is theirs undetectability (real or.....presumed Wink ).


    Best regards.


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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  TheArmenian on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:23 pm

    I will add the following to the great points made in the above posts:

    Those who think that it is financially inconceivable for Russia to develop a new bomber or to build aircraft carriers during the 2020ies should start taking their heads off the ground and think more seriously.

    By 2020, Russia will have 8 new Borei class SSBNs that are currently entering service (or building or planned to build) and will have modernized the vast majority of its ICBM fleet. Once these programs are completed, the Defence Ministry is going to have to spend money on something new: Guess what, the money will not be used to plant flowers in the ICBM bases!!! It will be used to renew the strategic bomber fleet. If they can find the finances to build 8 Borei SSBNs and introduce the likes of new Yars, new large ICBM and new Bulava in the current 10 years, they can find the money to create new bombers during the next 10 years....Even without allowing for rapid economy growth, GDP growth and defense budget growth.

    Same goes for aircraft carriers. By 2020 they will have renewed a good chunk of the fleet and gotten rid of the old veteran vessels. They plan to have 70% of the armed forces equipped with modern weapons that are being introduced now ( Su-34, Su-35, Ka-52, Mi-28, Tornado-G, S-400, Pantsir etc.) or during the second half of the decade (Armata, Kurganets, PAK FA etc.). Once these targets are achieved, they can certainly find the necessary funds during the '20ies to build a few aircraft carriers if they think they are needed.

    If no new worldwide financial collapse or natural/man-made catastrophy or war happens, then I expect to see new Russian bombers as well as aircraft carriers during the 2020 - 2030 period.




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    Re: PAK-DA: News

    Post  Austin on Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:06 pm

    Looking at Mikhail Barabanov reporting it seems he has an axe to grind against Putin.

    Indeed Mikhail is speculating on the already widely speculated PAK-DA program and creating a strawman to bring it down......Funny thing is no one really knows how the PAK-DA program will take shape.

    On funding ofcourse military funding is always a fight when viewed against the requirement to spend money on Education , Health Care , Social Security etc ....its a tight walk and there are many global variable that might come into play and sometimes you can predict those.

    Having said that a modest 4 % growth can still afford to spend on SAP 2020 , the issue to be most worried about is not to let these money get grabbed by few in their pockets but to make sure its spend well sort of put the money where the mouth is. It needs fine management to make sure few generals , MIC do not pocket most of the profit and money is well untilised.

    Again Funny the financial mess that NATO is in their should actually be spending very little less than 0.5 % of their budget in military and US Economy is in debt more than 100 % of GDP and yet she spends 4-5 % on Military Spending.

    Russia just spends under 3 % of her GDP on defence and she has 4 % GDP Growth and 10 % debt as respect to its GDP.

    Not sure what advise Mikhail Barabanov would give to NATO and US ...like disband your armed forces Laughing

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