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    Tu-95MS "Bear"

    magnumcromagnon
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    Post  magnumcromagnon on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:54 am

    mnztr wrote:I really wish they would design a modern prop for it and turn the engine into a prop fan. I bet they could make it a LOT quieter and more efficient. The engine itself is a masterpiece. Even today the most powerful turboprop engine in history. Will the reduced vibration levels result in less noise?

    They could convert the Turboprop engine in to a Turboprop electric engine, which should make it a lot quieter, and with a much smaller thermal signature. In fact it should increase the range by 3-4x, and the range could be further improved with Graphene batteries, which the Russian Federation is the undisputed world leader in Graphene production.

    https://www.russiadefence.net/t2824p575-ew-technologies-and-innovation-development-in-russia#267343

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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:22 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:Tu-95MS "Bear" - Page 8 ERucyVtXsAYJsTa?format=jpg&name=large

    Sadly all it is missing to be a full weapon load photo is a couple of thousand 23mm cannon shells from the tail turret.

    The 8 Kh-102s at the front would be wing mounted and the 6 Kh-555 behind would be mounted on the internal rotary launcher... plus 23mm cannon shells for the two twin barrel 23mm cannon in the tail mounted turret would be the full weapon load...

    Regarding the question whether a fuel bladder could be fitted in the internal bay I rather suspect it does not need it... the extra missiles are probably more useful on a combat mission...

    They could convert the Turboprop engine in to a Turboprop electric engine, which should make it a lot quieter, and with a much smaller thermal signature. In fact it should increase the range by 3-4x, and the range could be further improved with Graphene batteries, which the Russian Federation is the undisputed world leader in Graphene production.

    That would be interesting, though I suspect the new PD-35 based engines for the PAK DA might be the better ultimate solution while at the same time offer a complete replacement for the type anyway... especially if they can get it to supercruise...
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    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:10 am

    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    mnztr wrote:I really wish they would design a modern prop for it and turn the engine into a prop fan. I bet they could make it a LOT quieter and more efficient...
    They could convert the Turboprop engine in to a Turboprop electric engine...

    With PAK-DA in the pipeline there isn't much need for that, once they start receiving those it will be time for Bears to retire


    GarryB wrote:...Sadly all it is missing to be a full weapon load photo is a couple of thousand 23mm cannon shells from the tail turret...

    They no longer fire shells, those cannons are used as chaff and decoy dispensers today

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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:02 am

    But still a few belts of the rounds would complete the loadout... many in the west underrate the tail gun setup, but those two twin barrel 23mm guns offer substantially more fire power than a Phalanx mount, but their high rate of fire and low muzzle velocity is also idea for setting up flare and chaff clouds a distance away from the aircraft to make it appear a more attractive target is a very short space of time.

    I always thought having a belt of simple ball ammo with the nose of the projectile fitted with a plastic aerodynamic screen and having a full calibre corner reflector etched into the surface so in terms of radar return it looks like a car to set off radar based proximity fuses and distract radar homing missiles...
    GunshipDemocracy
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    Post  GunshipDemocracy on Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:28 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    magnumcromagnon wrote:
    mnztr wrote:I really wish they would design a modern prop for it and turn the engine into a prop fan. I bet they could make it a LOT quieter and more efficient...
    They could convert the Turboprop engine in to a Turboprop electric engine...

    With PAK-DA in the pipeline there isn't much need for that, once they start receiving those it will be time for Bears to retire



    In USAF B-52 wont retire before 2050s... who knows if Tu-95 wont last till then
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    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:11 pm

    GunshipDemocracy wrote:.....In USAF B-52 wont retire before 2050s... who knows if Tu-95 wont last till then

    B-52 can use bombs, Tu-95 can't

    Tu-22 will be the legacy platform for low intensity conflicts and dumping cheap bombs on desert people (Syria-style)

    Tu-95 is missile carrier which will be getting replaced by PAK-DA and Tu-160 (it would have been already but Sovs were starved into oblivion so it stuck around longer)


    Keeping 4 different bombers with overlapping roles is completely pointless

    Either replace old or don't waste money making something new that you won't be using

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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:19 pm

    B-52 can use bombs, Tu-95 can't

    Don't confuse doesn't with can't... besides most of the time standoff weapons are vastly more valuable that just covering an area with dumb bombs... and the propellers of the Bear are more efficient at lower altitudes... so the Bear is actually faster than the B-52 at low altitudes...

    The Tu-95 will be able to carry a very broad range of weapons during its upgrades and improvements.

    Tu-22 will be the legacy platform for low intensity conflicts and dumping cheap bombs on desert people (Syria-style)

    If they reinstate the inflight refuelling probe the Tu-22M3M should be about as capable as the B-1B is at bombing... if not better. I think Carlos Kopp said that when carrying 250kg bombs the Backfire can actually carry more than a B-52 can...

    Tu-95 is missile carrier which will be getting replaced by PAK-DA and Tu-160 (it would have been already but Sovs were starved into oblivion so it stuck around longer)

    There is no reason why those cruise missile pylons could not be replaced with bomb racks if they wanted to.

    Keeping 4 different bombers with overlapping roles is completely pointless

    You mean like the Americans are with their B-52, B-1B, B-2, and B-21?

    Either replace old or don't waste money making something new that you won't be using

    The plan was to replace both the Bears and the Backfires with PAK DAs, but both are relatively new airframes that could be kept going for decades...
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    Post  PapaDragon on Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:24 pm

    GarryB wrote:....You mean like the Americans are with their B-52, B-1B, B-2, and B-21?

    B-52 and B-21

    Keep up

    B-1 and B-2 are going to the boneyard come B-21

    And as always, someone else being idiots is no excuse for Russians to be ones as well (not that others are, they will be going with 2 bombers)
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    Post  marcellogo on Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:39 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    GarryB wrote:....You mean like the Americans are with their B-52, B-1B, B-2, and B-21?

    B-52 and B-21

    Keep up

    B-1 and B-2 are going to the boneyard come B-21

    And as always, someone else being idiots is no excuse for Russians to be ones as well (not that others are, they will be going with 2 bombers)

    The fact that B-52 will remain in service while B-1 and -2 will be retired is another proof of how much the acquisition programs of USAF have gone awry.

    Actual B-52 are actually the last ones built in the beginning of sixties and continuously refurbished along all those years.
    They are powered by EIGHT engines and B-1 and B-2 by four, no assembly line for all of them so what you have is what you get.
    TU-95 was produced until the 1996 has four engines, like the Tu-160 while tu-22 just two, all planes will be DEEPLY refurbished and the production of tu-160 has restarted.

    So, while US would retain the older, heavier and with most engines one, skipping the two more modern instead, Russia would increase the number of their own fleet and make it much more flexible and affordable.

    PAK-DA and B-21 are similar concepts, stealth but with just two engines, so I expect that both of them would keep on the trend of being affordable and flexible but the difference is that thanks to the deep modernization programs actually ongoing RuAF bomber fleet would be already such when the first Kurier would enter service,

    P.S: Tu-95 would have Gefest so it could also bomb.

    Being much more recent on average also the arrival of the Kurier didn't means that the Tu-95 and TU-22 would be scrapped or even retired as soon as possible, one can increase the number of the total bomber, or even sell them abroad.
    A modernized Tu-22 having Two engines and a crew of two could still have a market.
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    Post  GunshipDemocracy on Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:40 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    Tu-22 will be the legacy platform for low intensity conflicts and dumping cheap bombs on desert people (Syria-style)  

    Tre, but taking into account timeline Tu-22 is not really more recently build than Tu-95 thus lifetime in both is ticking.



    PD wrote:
    Keeping 4 different bombers with overlapping roles is completely pointless

    Either replace old or don't waste money making something new that you won't be using


    Looks like when PAK-DA will enter service in numbers only newly built Tu-160 will be there anyway
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    Post  Isos on Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:51 pm

    Both US and Russia will be surprised by the huge prices of b21 and pak da. US already did the experience with the b2 (USSR also with the tu-160).

    Then they will both keep the older ones as much as they can.
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:07 am

    B-52 and B-21

    Keep up

    B-1 and B-2 are going to the boneyard come B-21

    No they are not going to the boneyard.... the B-1B and the B-2 are not going to be used as strategic bombers, but they will likely be repurposed... the B-1B is getting a hypersonic missile and will likely be transferred to the Navy, while the B-2 could have its weapons bays filled with electronics and used for all sorts of things... including recon.... RB-2?

    And as always, someone else being idiots is no excuse for Russians to be ones as well (not that others are, they will be going with 2 bombers)

    Their Tu95s were made in the late 1980s to mid 1990s, and the existing Tu-160s were too and are about to get complete overhauls. Their Tu-22M3Ms are going to be completely overhauled and upgraded too.

    In comparison the American B-1B is from the 70s and early 80s and their B-52s were built in the 50s and 60s.

    The Bear is very cheap to run and has excellent performance, but a flying wing subsonic PAKDA should be even cheaper to operate, though its stealth characteristics will impose some extra costs it will still be cheaper to operate than the Blackjacks.

    The Backfires can be returned to the Navy for theatre strike and anti ship roles, but the Bears in DA will need replacing first I suspect... the cost of converting strategic bombers to MPAs would make it not viable to convert bombers to MPA roles as they retire from their bombing roles... stripped of everything secret a Bear with a Gefest & T bombing system would be awesome for third world countries for dealing with terrorists... you could base them two countries down so their airfield doesn't get attacked... so Afghanistan might buy some and operate them from an airfield in Siberia so they are safe from ISIS and Taleban attack on the ground...

    Tre, but taking into account timeline Tu-22 is not really more recently build than Tu-95 thus lifetime in both is ticking.

    The currently upgraded Tu-22M3Ms are being completely overhauled and should be good for 40 years...

    They will likely be taken out of long range aviation (DA) and put back into the navy air arm...

    Both US and Russia will be surprised by the huge prices of b21 and pak da. US already did the experience with the b2 (USSR also with the tu-160).

    Then they will both keep the older ones as much as they can.

    The Su-57 does not seem expensive at all... the whole point of a subsonic flying wing design for the PAK DA is to keep operational costs down. The Tu-160 is the expensive one in terms of fuel use...
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    Post  Isos on Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:59 am

    The Su-57 does not seem expensive at all... the whole point of a subsonic flying wing design for the PAK DA is to keep operational costs down. The Tu-160 is the expensive one in terms of fuel use...

    Su57 is expensive. At least 2 times more than a su-35 and it is after they agreed to reduce prices for an unknown reason.

    Pak da will be very expensive to buy. It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da. That will make it more expensive than tu160.
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    Post  PapaDragon on Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:15 pm

    Isos wrote:
    The Su-57 does not seem expensive at all... the whole point of a subsonic flying wing design for the PAK DA is to keep operational costs down. The Tu-160 is the expensive one in terms of fuel use...

    Su57 is expensive. At least 2 times more than a su-35 and it is after they agreed to reduce prices for an unknown reason.

    Pak da will be very expensive to buy. It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da. That will make it more expensive than tu160.

    Initial purchase price for PAK-DA might be same or higher than Tu-160 but lifetime and maintenance costs will be much lower because it is subsonic aircraft with much lower wear and tear on the engines and unlike early stealth aircraft it will not need specialized air-conditioned hangars

    Also, they will be getting much more mileage out of them, low speeds and huge ranges will translate into long patrols and very high readiness compared to Tu-160 (in this regard it will be comparable to Tu-95)

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    Post  marcellogo on Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:56 pm

    PapaDragon wrote:
    Isos wrote:
    The Su-57 does not seem expensive at all... the whole point of a subsonic flying wing design for the PAK DA is to keep operational costs down. The Tu-160 is the expensive one in terms of fuel use...

    Su57 is expensive. At least 2 times more than a su-35 and it is after they agreed to reduce prices for an unknown reason.

    Pak da will be very expensive to buy. It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da. That will make it more expensive than tu160.

    Initial purchase price for PAK-DA might be same or higher than Tu-160 but lifetime and maintenance costs will be much lower because it is subsonic aircraft with much lower wear and tear on the engines and unlike early stealth aircraft it will not need specialized air-conditioned hangars

    Also, they will be getting much more mileage out of them, low speeds and huge ranges will translate into long patrols and very high readiness compared to Tu-160 (in this regard it will be comparable to Tu-95)


    Also it will be a plane with TWO engines and probably two crewmen so not more costly to operate than a Tu-22M3M.
    How said both Bears than Backfires actually in service are still quite recent (almost compared to USAF ones).
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    Post  Isos on Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:18 pm

    Tu-160 is also a subsonic aircraft with afterburners to reach supersonic speeds. They don't patrol at supersonic speed.

    The only difference will be that pak da won't have afterburners but that doesn't change a lot compare to tu-160. Engines will be similar in terms of cost and they will very likely use tu160's as a basis for pakda's engines.

    Russians don't have better stealth technology than US. If they apply RAM coating they better have hangars to keep them protected from rain and snow and humidity. If they don't apply any, the production of advanced stealth materials will be expensive.
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    Post  miketheterrible on Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:24 pm

    RAM coating is composite materials. The current (Su-35, Su-57) use more in composites than before this why a Su-35 has much lower RCS than a Su-27. Shaping outside of the equation, Su-57 has even more composites than Su-35. For extra they can further coat it and paint it. But that becomes rather expensive and not really all that effective.
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    Post  Isos on Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:09 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:RAM coating is composite materials. The current (Su-35, Su-57) use more in composites than before this why a Su-35 has much lower RCS than a Su-27. Shaping outside of the equation, Su-57 has even more composites than Su-35.  For extra they can further coat it and paint it. But that becomes rather expensive and not really all that effective.

    So it increases the price over a su-35 without it. So we can deduce that pak da, even if it doesn't use all the US expensive stuff for stealth, will still be more expensive than older russian bombers to produce.

    IMO the best for stealth is stealthy materials and shaping.

    However paint can be applied only during war time or when tensions rise. I guess it can last for 1 month without the need to repaint the plane which is more than ebough.
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    Post  RTN on Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:25 pm

    Isos wrote:It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da.
    What does very good stealth means ? Stealth of B-2, F-22 have often been criticized on this forum as being of not much use. So how is this upcoming bomber radically different in terms of stealth?
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    Post  mnztr on Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:40 pm

    RTN wrote:
    Isos wrote:It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da.  
    What does very good stealth means ? Stealth of B-2, F-22 have often been criticized on this forum as being of not much use. So how is this upcoming bomber radically different in terms of stealth?

    Good stealth, to me, comprises of several elements. Small radar cross section, reduced thermal signature, reduced signal emissions, reduced visibility and reduced noise. People focus on the radar but its just one element and its the one that is probably most easily overcome with technology. To me the most interesting thing with PAK-DA is to see what powerplant they will come up with. The geek in me is hoping they will do a ducted NK-12 pusher config which will result in a massively reduced thermal signature..... altthough the challange would be to create props small enough to enclose in the wing...unless they use a centrifugal pump design with a gearbox.
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    Post  Isos on Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:12 pm

    RTN wrote:
    Isos wrote:It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da.  
    What does very good stealth means ? Stealth of B-2, F-22 have often been criticized on this forum as being of not much use. So how is this upcoming bomber radically different in terms of stealth?

    Stealth as a technology is very good and reduce very well detection for fighters's and missiles's radars working in X band.

    B2 size makes it also a good stealth plane against even low frequency radar but it tends to not be the case anymore.

    However there are some negative points : price, maintenance, complexity and new radar have better electronics which makes stealth less and less "stealth".

    A very good stealth for a bomber is when this technology allows you to use more efficiently the bomber/plane but wihout sacrificing all your money and doctrine in order to have it.

    If the pakda is 2 billion $ a piece Russia would need to sacrifice all new order for its entire air force to get a decent number of 20-30 planes which won't and can't be the case.

    US stealth is criticized because they bet all on that and AMRAAMs. The first one is being negated by new russian and chinese radars. The second one is a BVR missile and as all of the other BVR missile it has a bad Pk even lower when you face fighters with jammers.
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    Post  mnztr on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:31 am

    Isos wrote:
    RTN wrote:
    Isos wrote:It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da.  
    What does very good stealth means ? Stealth of B-2, F-22 have often been criticized on this forum as being of not much use. So how is this upcoming bomber radically different in terms of stealth?

    Stealth as a technology is very good and reduce very well detection for fighters's and missiles's radars working in X band.

    B2 size makes it also a good stealth plane against even low frequency radar but it tends to not be the case anymore.

    However there are some negative points : price, maintenance, complexity and new radar have better electronics which makes stealth less and less "stealth".

    A very good stealth for a bomber is when this technology allows you to use more efficiently the bomber/plane but wihout sacrificing all your money and doctrine in order to have it.

    If the pakda is 2 billion $ a piece Russia would need to sacrifice all new order for its entire air force to get a decent number of 20-30 planes which won't and can't be the case.

    US stealth is criticized because they bet all on that and AMRAAMs. The first one is being negated by new russian and chinese radars. The second one is a BVR missile and as all of the other BVR missile it has a bad Pk even lower when you face fighters with jammers.

    IT really depends on how they go about the PAK DA,what size, consruction etc. They may go with the SU-34 type payload but with a much longer range (10T) and keep the TU-160 and Bear as the heavy lifters. They are apparently extending the life of Bear by 35 years!!!
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    Post  Singular_Transform on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:42 am

    Isos wrote:

    Stealth as a technology is very good and reduce very well detection for fighters's and missiles's radars working in X band.

    B2 size makes it also a good stealth plane against even low frequency radar but it tends to not be the case anymore.

    However there are some negative points : price, maintenance, complexity and new radar have better electronics which makes stealth less and less "stealth".

    A very good stealth for a bomber is when this technology allows you to use more efficiently the bomber/plane but wihout sacrificing all your money and doctrine in order to have it.

    If the pakda is 2 billion $ a piece Russia would need to sacrifice all new order for its entire air force to get a decent number of 20-30 planes which won't and can't be the case.

    US stealth is criticized because they bet all on that and AMRAAMs. The first one is being negated by new russian and chinese radars. The second one is a BVR missile and as all of the other BVR missile it has a bad Pk even lower when you face fighters with jammers.

    Stealth works like sneaking onto a heavy weight boxer, and hoping that the first unexpected hit will KO him.


    If it fail, becuase the intruder spotted then the agressor standing there in a slow, underarmed airplane, that have small sensors .


    Other tactics is to have long range missiles launched from fast, heavy and big airplanes, from long range.

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    Post  miketheterrible on Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:10 am

    Isos wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:RAM coating is composite materials. The current (Su-35, Su-57) use more in composites than before this why a Su-35 has much lower RCS than a Su-27. Shaping outside of the equation, Su-57 has even more composites than Su-35.  For extra they can further coat it and paint it. But that becomes rather expensive and not really all that effective.

    So it increases the price over a su-35 without it. So we can deduce that pak da, even if it doesn't use all the US expensive stuff for stealth, will still be more expensive than older russian bombers to produce.

    IMO the best for stealth is stealthy materials and shaping.

    However paint can be applied only during war time or when tensions rise. I guess it can last for 1 month without the need to repaint the plane which is more than ebough.

    Not even. The paint for most part will need to be re-applied after every flight. Making it expensive too.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:48 am

    Su57 is expensive. At least 2 times more than a su-35 and it is after they agreed to reduce prices for an unknown reason.

    The numbers I have seen are 40 million for the Su-57 which is probably comparable to the price of the Su-35 and incredibly cheap for both aircraft.

    Pak da will be very expensive to buy. It's a russian B2, flying wing with very good stealth and probably everything in tu-160 will be in pak da. That will make it more expensive than tu160.

    Your logic that a Russian plane will be expensive because an American plane it looks like is expensive is not sound.

    PAK DA wont be cheap, but wont be super expensive either... I doubt it will be stealthy to the level the B-2 is because it will still be using long range stand off weapons. The B-2 was supposed to deliver bombs from relatively close distances to protected targets... odds are the PAK DA wont get within 1,000km of the target it is attacking and will use either stealthy or hypersonic weapons to deliver the payload passed defences...

    Also it will be a plane with TWO engines and probably two crewmen so not more costly to operate than a Tu-22M3M.

    I agree... it think most of the functions will be fully automated and instead of a crew of 4 or more it will have a crew of 2 and may only have two engines... though they might retain their afterburning ability for takeoffs at heavy weights...

    Tu-160 is also a subsonic aircraft with afterburners to reach supersonic speeds. They don't patrol at supersonic speed.

    It burns more fuel than the Bear does and it is more expensive to maintain.

    The only difference will be that pak da won't have afterburners but that doesn't change a lot compare to tu-160. Engines will be similar in terms of cost and they will very likely use tu160's as a basis for pakda's engines.

    The engines used by the PAK DA will most likely be adapted to operate like high bypass turbofans if there is no requirement for super cruising.

    This should reduce fuel consumption and increase thrust at subsonic flight speeds.

    Russians don't have better stealth technology than US. If they apply RAM coating they better have hangars to keep them protected from rain and snow and humidity. If they don't apply any, the production of advanced stealth materials will be expensive.

    The PAK DA gets its small RCS from its basic shape being stealthy... RAM would only be needed to touch up hot spots so to speak.

    The stealth requirement for the PAK DA will be a lot lower than the B-2 because the PAK DA is not supposed to fly within 1,000km of the target anyway.

    They seem to be quite successful in producing their own nano technology and materials... technology has certainly moved on... BTW they have stealth nets for their armour that does not require heated air conditioned tents for storage...

    So it increases the price over a su-35 without it. So we can deduce that pak da, even if it doesn't use all the US expensive stuff for stealth, will still be more expensive than older russian bombers to produce.

    During the 1990s when they had no money they continued making strategic bombers... I suspect they will be able to produce what they want when they want to.

    IMO the best for stealth is stealthy materials and shaping.

    The PAK DA was designed from the outset to be stealthy.

    However paint can be applied only during war time or when tensions rise. I guess it can last for 1 month without the need to repaint the plane which is more than ebough.

    Indeed the PAK DA might be stealthy enough without RAM to not need it during peace time and during exercises... they might treat it like war paint and only apply it for missions or important exercises.

    What does very good stealth means ? Stealth of B-2, F-22 have often been criticized on this forum as being of not much use. So how is this upcoming bomber radically different in terms of stealth?

    There are degrees of stealth and those degrees change over time as technology and materials improve... the F-22 is described as being more stealthy than the F-35, but as we have seen the F-35s level of stealth is negatively effected by flight speed and other factors.... when you design a plane you have to decide what level of stealth you are going for... the higher the stealth the more compromises in the design and of course the more expensive the plane will be to buy and to operate.

    The F-16 was made cheaper to buy and operate by deciding to make it not capable of faster than Mach 2 flight. The air intake didn't need to be adjustable so it was made simpler and lighter but the cost was a hard limit of flight speed to mach 2. The F-18 was the same but its hard limit was mach 1.8.

    To fly faster than those speeds the aircraft would need to climb at least to medium altitude and then fly level and straight in full AB for maybe 10 minutes to get to such speeds... it burns off a lot of fuel and apart from getting somewhere fast it is not really useful except for an interceptor chasing down a target.

    Many planes can't reach top speed with external stores anyway... so they limited their top speed to make them lighter and simpler and cheaper to buy and maintain... it was a tradeoff.

    Stealth is the same making it very stealthy makes it very expensive but also more capable... the PAK DA will likely have good stealth... it would likely be less than 0.5m square from the front for most fighter radars... which means an intercepting aircraft wont see them till they get very close, but because it might be carrying 5,000km range plus missiles it wont get the chance...

    IT really depends on how they go about the PAK DA,what size, consruction etc. They may go with the SU-34 type payload but with a much longer range (10T) and keep the TU-160 and Bear as the heavy lifters. They are apparently extending the life of Bear by 35 years!!!

    The PAK DA will replace both the Bear and Backfire in the strategic and theatre roles respectively... the 60 odd Tu-22M3Ms they upgrade will likely be transferred back to the Navy for anti ship duties.

    The paint for most part will need to be re-applied after every flight. Making it expensive too.

    RAM is similar to paint but would likely be thicker and more durable... hell for all we know they might have developed a double skin layer for the outer shell that contains a plasma that absorbs all radiowave frequencies when an electric current is passed through it like one of those plasma balls.

    The part of the skin covering the radar antenna and sensors could be turned off while those sensors are in use and turned back on for complete invisibility to radar waves is needed...

    Radar transparent materials on their own would not work because that means the radar would pass straight through and you'd detect the engines which has lots of corners and edges and would have a huge RCS unless covered in a radar reflective cover.

    The whole point of using a flying wing shape is the combination of inherent low drag design and also the inherent low RCS reflective surface area...

    From the design stage any hotspots can be found and reshaped to eliminate so a rather low RCS can be achieved even before applying RAM or other measures.

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