Well they officially said it will be subsonic, and judging by some drawings we saw around (none are really official) it will be flying wing which is hard to make supersonic, almost impossible, it would require as you said significant changes to the design to achieve supercruising capability. But i guess its not out of question, we shall see soon anyways. However in my mind that 1,6 mach tag is abit unrealistic, even if they make it supercruising capable it wont go over 1,2 mach at best.
A tailed flying wing would be very low drag... operating at high altitude there is no reason why it should not be able to supercruise... if not at the start of its flight where it is mostly fuel to the mid point of flight where it approaches enemy territory and has burned half its fuel and is about to dump its payload too.
In fact it might be possible to get a conventional flying wing to supercruise if it has thrust vectoring engines that allow the angle of thrust to be changed to assist with keeping trim of the aircraft... very low drag and with four engines the potential for differential angling of engines to allow a range of manouver without conventional control surfaces... super stealthy...
Well beside F35 they will keep F15s for quite some time in service and F22s too wont go away for decades. And you have NATO members that operate aircaft that have better kinematic performance (at least in terms of speed) than F35 like EF2000 and Dassault Rafale.
If they talk about a subsonic bomber now then the F35 might be all they think they need. A supercruising bomber will cost NATO a fortune as new interceptors able to intercept it reliably will cost them lots of money...
According to independent military aviation expert Anton Lavrov, subsonic speeds are the predominant factor for the development of the low-profile strategic bomber, which the PAK DA should become, having the maximum possible flying range and striking range from its territory to distant enemy targets."
So they want a super long range bomb truck so they are going for a subsonic flying wing... super low drag and low cost engines. the point is that even if the bomber needs to use AB to get supersonic, if it can fly supersonically in dry thrust that will maximise range and optimise speed so you get the best of both worlds... without the enormous costs of supersonic all the way, or in the case of the Blackjack... subsonic most of the way and supersonic dash.
This is wrong. A transport role is to carry a weight over a distance in a time. The time (more or less) is key in the transport role. Speed requirements are almost always present in a transport work. And sometimes the transport must be fast. Speed is just a combination of the concepts of distance and time.
Most strategic transport goes by sea and takes weeks or months. Compared with that air transport takes hours or days... the difference between subsonic and supersonic is not that important... certainly not worth the enormous cost.
I will quote you for the first time, adding that what you said for "bombers" applies for every type of aircraft, including transport aircrafts:
Bombers need to penetrate enemy air space to hit defended targets... glide bombs, and cruise missiles increase standoff range and make them safer.
Transports don't do that. So there is much less value in speed.
Then a "bomber" (aircraft) at mach 1.6 would be safer than at lower speed. I agree, and defended it constantly.
If you think of the accelerator pedal in a car and the gears in a car as you push down the pedal the revs of the car go up, but each gear has a power range.... below about 1,500 revs you are pretty much idling... at 3,000 to about 5,000 revs you have power and can accelerate in most gears.
the result is that you can sit at certain speeds comfortably but other speeds you are either too high in the revs to maintain or need to go to a different gear.
It is the same for jet aircraft... most modern interceptors can fly very fast but don't tend to fly around at top speed because it takes time to get to that speed and it burns a lot of fuel.
For an F-16 pilot to run down a bomber doing Mach 1.6 he will have to go full reheat. The longer he has to chase you the closer he is to empty... the bomber will be able to fly at such speeds all the time... the small fight only in short bursts.
And everything that they do must be followed, even if proved to be wrong?
the PAK DA is supposed to be the affordable bomb truck that will likely be used in numbers by Russia to replace the Bear and backfire and therefore will have a theatre and strategic role with potentially a very heavy bomb load or exceptionally long range.
The B-2 was supposed to be a first strike weapon able to roam at will over Soviet air space destroying truck launched ICBMs.
Russia is not now copying the US because the US has no truck mobile ICBMs.
The shut-down of a F-117 and the severe damage caused to a B-2 strategic bomber, in 1999, in both cases by SA-5 missiles, today retired in Russia as obsolete, should be enough to show the weakness of the American low speed strategy.
The Serbs didn't have SA-5s, they used SA-3s.
The difference is that in a strategic role the PAK DA will more likely carry 2 or 4 hypersonic cruise missiles, or 12-24 subsonic cruise missiles rather than bombs, and the standoff launch range should keep them completely safe.
The production of the B-2 ceased in 2000 only one year after the campaign and with only 21 units built. Not casual, and not a sign of happyness with its performance in combat.
Desert Storm already proved it was incapable of its primary mission of killing Topols when it failed in ideal conditions to deal with a few Scuds.
The T-160 is perfectly capable yes, and better than a subsonic strategic bomber. It is a non-sense to design a less capable successor.
You are failing to see virtue. The Tu-160 is a capable machine and the improved model will likely be even better but it is not cheap to operate. The PAK DA will have lots of advantages that the Blackjack does not. Real stealth which will complicate US defences. Longer range to allow attacks from flank areas. Stand off cruise missiles the same as the blackjack. Remember stealth reduces detection range so a radar that can see a Blackjack at 5,000km might not see a PAK DA until it is 1,000km away... so when it carries 5,000km range missiles it might never see the PAK DA... it might see the Tu160 but it will launch and then run away at mach 2 so it wont be able to do anything about either.
In civil use, in transport by aircraft/helicopter the most clear example is the transport of organs for transplants in humans. There is a clear timeline for them that can not be broken, which means a necessary speed.
the cost of delivery of such a small item justifies its speed.
I am sure there are lots of things a commander on a front line wants immediately but I am sorry but I think the idea of a supersonic transport plane flying around the front line delivering small parcels to the front line troops when they need it sounds silly. Where would these supersonic transports land?
Surely if time is so critical then paradropping the items directly to where they are needed makes more sense.
the only supersonic delivery of small much needed items on the frontline are delivered by "transports" like the Tu-22M3 and Su-34 and Su-24.
No offense meant.