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    PAK-DΑ: News #2

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Mon Aug 08, 2022 10:19 am

    If you check it, the internal bay of the Tu-22M3 is quite small actually.

    It was specifically designed for the Kh-15 because the Kh-15 is their short range (nuclear) attack missile used by bombers to penetrate heavily defended airspace.

    The Kh-15 is a 1.5 ton solid rocket missile and it fits on a 6 round rotary launcher inside the Tu-22M3 which means a rotary launcher for 1,500kg bombs should also be possible... and 9 tons of bombs internally (6 x 1.5 tons) is generally the accepted bomb weight inside the bomb bay when calculating the max bomb weight of the aircraft at 24 tons.

    The only convincing argument for getting to 24 tons in iron bombs would be if they could get 8 x 1,500kg bombs into the bomb bay, which would be 12 tons of bombs, because externally each of the four weapon locations equipped with multiple ejector racks could carry three tons of bombs each.... 4 x 3 - 12 tons of 500kg bombs, so 24 x 500kg bombs externally and 8 x 1,500kg bombs internally would reach the magic 24 tons of bombs.

    Of course the main wing positions simply each could carry one 3,000kg bomb, or perhaps a 5 ton FAB-5000 bomb each on the wing pylons might mean the internal bomb bay only carries 6 x 1,500kg bombs... that would be 2 x 5,000kg plus 6 x 1,500kg plus 2 x (6 x 500kg), which equals... 25 tons...

    The Max payload is given as 24 tons, so it must be able to carry 8 x 1,500kg bombs internally... which is a pretty good load.

    Apart form the controllability issue, the kind of shapes and profiles supersonic flight demands detracts from the payload and also materials need to be different. It would somehow defeat the purpose of having a practical conventional bomber that can be used on the daily work of the VKS

    Agree, the cost in making it slimmer for lower drag to achieve super cruising would reduce the volume for fuel and internal weapons... but te Tu-160 is already low drag to achieve supersonic speeds, so achieving supercruising performance should be very achievable for that platform and very desirable too... allowing it to fly its 10,000km flight range with supersonic dash much faster and more efficiently... making it difficult for subsonic fighters to intercept along its entire flight profile.


    Yes it is too big, too expensive to operate and too valuable. Even considering they need to have enough to still be operational after a first strike on their bases, I doubt we will see more than 30-40 of them.

    They committed to 50 at least, and with the PAK DA they are replacing two aircraft in about three different roles... the PAK DA seeming to take over the bombing role completely for itself...

    Remember the air launched Tsirkon was planed from the very beginning

    For strategic aircraft they were developing an interesting range of new hypersonic and long range weapons, including perhaps that new long range ballistic ground launched weapon...


    I mean, Russia does not foresee strategic bombers but missile carriers, with increasingly longer ranges. AD will be left to the missile due to either low flight and long range to avoid AD sites or hypersonic flight speed.

    Yes, from three aircraft to two, where both will be used for strategic nuclear roles with long range standoff missiles... hypersonic and subsonic stealthy... their bomber version of the PAK DA is just a bigger stealthier Su-34 with more than double the potential payload when needed.

    The goal is to reach points that allow the missile to avoid enemy AD en route to the targets of interest. The fastest the aircraft carries the missiles in that direction, the better. With the new missiles having longer ranges, the carrier may well be demanded to flight all the time in supersonic regime, that is probably the idea. If you fly 1.6 M instead of 0.8, you will be able to release roughly double the number of missiles in the same time...

    In theory... in actual practise you wont be able to go home and reload and repeat in the faster platform and the high speed shape likely means you are carrying less weapons so you can carry sufficient fuel to get there... so the slower plane would certainly be carrying more weapons... as shown by the Bear a subsonic plane can carry weapons externally without an enormous effect on flight range... perhaps droppable external pylons or semi conformal weapons that are attack missiles to penetrate enemy air and ground air defences or hit targets of opportunity on the way like enemy carrier groups, or just large external fuel pods to maximise range.

    Over time the basing situation for these aircraft might change for all we know...

    PAK DAs based in Vladivostok might head south over the Pacific and attack any US carrier groups in the north pacific with externally mounted anti ship missiles like Zircon II and then as they approach Hawaii maybe hang a left and launch a dozen long range cruise missiles against Americas flank and land at a friendly airbase on the peoples free republic of Hawaii... where they can refuel and fly home... Twisted Evil

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    Post  LMFS Mon Aug 08, 2022 12:56 pm

    GarryB wrote:Agree with all of your points and guesses except...

    > Reduced or no self defence vs. space and precedent (Tu-160) for self defence weapons

    I would expect if operating with MiG-31s in the far north or flying high over a group of Su-34s penetrating low and fast that the S-70 could easily carry loads of  R-37M or its replacement, or the full range of AAMs they have or are developing...

    Do we know what sort of sensors S-70 will have?  Radar, IRST, etc etc?

    I was referring specifically to weapons against SAMs or AAMs, which have been announced for the Tu-160 and are going to make a big difference for such big and little agile targets. You cannot defeat missiles through kinematics in slow turning and accelerating planes as bombers.

    S-70 apparently could have some radar at the nose, though not with a very big aperture. Leading edges seem very appropriate for antennas be it for passive or active locators, ISR equipment should be very good in the plane. I am not sure whether it will configurable with reconnaissance specific equipment in the bays or elsewhere, no details about that have been mentioned, but its participation in such missions has been indeed mentioned.

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    Post  Mir Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:18 pm

    The fact is the S-70 is just at the beginning of its potential. It can, and probably will morf into various models with many different applications and capabilities. The second prototype is already much larger and significantly different in many aspect.

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    Post  GarryB Mon Aug 08, 2022 2:05 pm

    S-70 apparently could have some radar at the nose, though not with a very big aperture. Leading edges seem very appropriate for antennas be it for passive or active locators, ISR equipment should be very good in the plane. I am not sure whether it will configurable with reconnaissance specific equipment in the bays or elsewhere, no details about that have been mentioned, but its participation in such missions has been indeed mentioned

    Considering they are supposed to operate with fighters and interceptors and strike groups I would think having a decent radar on board would be useful for some roles as operating with another aircraft they could listen with their radar antenna or transmit (giving away their position but not giving away the position of the aircraft they are operating with) where they could scan for enemy aircraft while flying very high and perhaps offset to one side of the aircraft they are operating with... which could be using their radar antenna to just listen for radar returns as a sort of bistatic radar system so stealth redirection of emitted radar waves does not work...

    For missions on its own radar would be useful even in situations like Syria where radar can be used to scan for moving ground targets to engage in zero visibility from 10km altitude using an attack navigation system with cheap dumb bombs...

    The new radar they are talking about are surface mounted and can be located anywhere on the aircraft... operating very high the lower surface of the front of the wing would be good for looking for ground targets while the upper surface would be good for scanning for high flying targets when operating very very low.


    I was referring specifically to weapons against SAMs or AAMs, which have been announced for the Tu-160 and are going to make a big difference for such big and little agile targets. You cannot defeat missiles through kinematics in slow turning and accelerating planes as bombers.

    Do you remember those plans for vertically mounted missiles in cell launchers for aircraft they had displayed in the past... such launchers could be used on an enormous flat flying wing surface launching missiles upwards which would make them ideal for intercepting threats from behind or to either side because they only need to turn 90 degrees to be heading sideways or backwards, whereas horizontally stored missiles in the conventional weapon bays would be best for threats ahead of the aircraft but rear facing missiles have to be slowed down and then accelerate backwards which is problematic, or the missile has to turn a full 180 degrees which would also burn up more fuel.

    The small missiles being developed for ground forces to deal with artillery attacks have small 10kg missiles accurate enough to hit and set off the warhead of an artillery shell or rocket... so accuracy and decent warhead of its own... both of which would be valuable for an aircraft or a ship... because artillery and rockets can come in enormous numbers these missiles need to be small and ready to go very quickly and also be carried in enormous numbers too... which is great for ground vehicles and bombers and ships... For a flying wing I would say loading it would be a pain in the backside if it is located on the spine of the aircraft so some sort of pallet with hundreds of missiles loaded inside that can be lifted out of a plane when empty and new pallets loaded with missiles lowered in by some light crane or gantry crane system.

    Such a system could also be used on drones and fighters of the future with locations set aside for such missile magazines...

    A downwards firing one could be fitted to bomb bays for high flying aircraft defending themselves from SAMs...

    The fact is the S-70 is just at the beginning of its potential. It can, and probably will morf into various models with many different applications and capabilities. The second prototype is already much larger and significantly different in many aspect.

    Very true... I am sure they have only just scratched the surface regarding its potential.
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    Post  LMFS Tue Aug 09, 2022 1:58 am

    GarryB wrote:It was specifically designed for the Kh-15 because the Kh-15 is their short range (nuclear) attack missile used by bombers to penetrate heavily defended airspace.

    Yes, AD penetration was the key issue. A fast missile carrier capable of low altitude flight, armed with nuclear tipped also very fast missiles. The result is the bays are very small, even compared to the Tu-160 which made a great use of the BWB design and got two very big sized bays. The PAK-DA should be able to reserve most of the central fuselage for the bays.

    which means a rotary launcher for 1,500kg bombs should also be possible... and 9 tons of bombs internally (6 x 1.5 tons) is generally the accepted bomb weight inside the bomb bay when calculating the max bomb weight of the aircraft at 24 tons.

    I have not checked that, the KAB1500 is quite big

    Agree, the cost in making it slimmer for lower drag to achieve super cruising would reduce the volume for fuel and internal weapons... but te Tu-160 is already low drag to achieve supersonic speeds, so achieving supercruising performance should be very achievable for that platform and very desirable too... allowing it to fly its 10,000km flight range with supersonic dash much faster and more efficiently... making it difficult for subsonic fighters to intercept along its entire flight profile.

    The T/W ratio for bombers is much lower than for fighters and therefore the thrust margin to attain supersonic flight probably much lower. I don't have the numbers but the engine would most likely need a tremendous increase in mil thrust.

    Yes, from three aircraft to two, where both will be used for strategic nuclear roles with long range standoff missiles... hypersonic and subsonic stealthy... their bomber version of the PAK DA is just a bigger stealthier Su-34 with more than double the potential payload when needed.

    To actually fit 8 t in a Su-34 is something I still need to see, and the range of that configuration would be rather poor. PAK-DA should be able to carry substantial payloads far away with internal carriage and massive fuel fraction.

    as they approach Hawaii maybe hang a left and launch a dozen long range cruise missiles against Americas flank and land at a friendly airbase on the peoples free republic of Hawaii... where they can refuel and fly home...  Twisted Evil

    lol1 thumbsup

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    Post  thegopnik Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:27 am

    LMFS wrote:
    GarryB wrote:Agree with all of your points and guesses except...

    > Reduced or no self defence vs. space and precedent (Tu-160) for self defence weapons

    I would expect if operating with MiG-31s in the far north or flying high over a group of Su-34s penetrating low and fast that the S-70 could easily carry loads of  R-37M or its replacement, or the full range of AAMs they have or are developing...

    Do we know what sort of sensors S-70 will have?  Radar, IRST, etc etc?

    I was referring specifically to weapons against SAMs or AAMs, which have been announced for the Tu-160 and are going to make a big difference for such big and little agile targets. You cannot defeat missiles through kinematics in slow turning and accelerating planes as bombers.

    S-70 apparently could have some radar at the nose, though not with a very big aperture. Leading edges seem very appropriate for antennas be it for passive or active locators, ISR equipment should be very good in the plane. I am not sure whether it will configurable with reconnaissance specific equipment in the bays or elsewhere, no details about that have been mentioned, but its participation in such missions has been indeed mentioned.

    How is this a could have a radar when the radar was already showcased and needs to guide an air to air missile to targets, AFAIK the air to air missile tests or dummy tests of the drone were not stated to be done with the assistance of the Su-57. S-70 has like the same trapezoid stealth appearance of the PAK-DA meaning by default the one with the smaller trapezoid appearance will have less reflection than a bigger surface area trapezoid aircraft. Basically the 6000km(3000km combat) range and 200km+ air to surface missile options(klevok-D2, Gremlin is open on the table for better air defense penetration) along with Russia's own territory they can strike any place that is a point of interest for them like anywhere in the middle east and Europe. Beyond that is Africa and that shithole has barely any interests for them and further east to Asia India and China somewhat have same interests as yours. Any country with OTH radars will already be warned that a aerial target is approaching them for example it wouldnt make a difference if its a Tu-160 or a PAK-DA and both already have long distance hypersonic missiles that already give them enough range to avoid conflicts with adversary fighter aircrafts and I think the Tu-160 can already fly faster away than the PAK-DA from incoming adversary fighter aircrafts with air to air missiles that were warned by their country's OTH radars that an aerial target was coming.

    I dont see a point for the PAK-DA other than its purpose to get into a dick measuring contest with the B-21 Raider. I wouldnt even be upset if this project gets cancelled which I am hoping it does so that money can be spent for more useful projects worth investing.
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    Post  LMFS Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:05 am

    thegopnik wrote:How is this a could have a radar when the radar was already showcased

    Was it?

    and needs to guide an air to air missile to targets, AFAIK the air to air missile tests or dummy tests of the drone were not stated to be done with the assistance of the Su-57.

    It does not really need the radar to fire, and for a plane placing most of it survivability on stealth like S-70, needing to have a constantly active radar is a shot in the foot. Coherently the nose cone is quite small actually and you can be pretty sure this thing is not going to emulate MiG-31

    S-70 has like the same trapezoid stealth appearance of the PAK-DA meaning by default the one with the smaller trapezoid appearance will have less reflection than a bigger surface area trapezoid aircraft.

    You are forgetting the effect of physical size on the frequencies affected by the RCS reduction measures. PAK-DA should be more effective against low frequency radars than S-70. A good reason why no picture has been shown yet of either H-20/B-21 or PAK-DA, since it would allow to estimate relevant frequencies that can be used to detect them. And of course, we do not know the shape of none of those planes yet, though it is fairly safe to assume they should be similar to B-2 or S-70.


    Basically the 6000km(3000km combat) range and 200km+ air to surface missile options(klevok-D2, Gremlin is open on the table for better air defense penetration) along with Russia's own territory they can strike any place that is a point of interest for them like anywhere in the middle east and Europe. Beyond that is Africa and that shithole has barely any interests for them and further east to Asia India and China somewhat have same interests as yours. Any country with OTH radars will already be warned that a aerial target is approaching them for example it wouldnt make a difference if its a Tu-160 or a PAK-DA and both already have long distance hypersonic missiles that already give them enough range to avoid conflicts with adversary fighter aircrafts and I think the Tu-160 can already fly faster away than the PAK-DA from incoming adversary fighter aircrafts with air to air missiles that were warned by their country's OTH radars that an aerial target was coming.

    That is too theoretical and reliant on certain chains of assumptions

    I dont see a point for the PAK-DA other than its purpose to get into a dick measuring contest with the B-21 Raider. I wouldnt even be upset if this project gets cancelled which I am hoping it does so that money can be spent for more useful projects worth investing.

    It is good that you don't lead VKS then
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    Post  GarryB Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:15 am

    I have not checked that, the KAB1500 is quite big

    The HE Frag (Kr and F) bombs are, but the penetration bombs (Pr) use heavy metal cases to penetrate the ground on impact. and look quite slim in comparison.

    The bomb bay is certainly not big enough for bombs bigger than FAB-3000s because they had to bring Tu-16s back into service to test FAB-5000s and FAB-9000s in Afghanistan in the 1980s...

    The T/W ratio for bombers is much lower than for fighters and therefore the thrust margin to attain supersonic flight probably much lower. I don't have the numbers but the engine would most likely need a tremendous increase in mil thrust.

    I don't think thrust to weight ratio matters nearly as much as thrust to drag... both the MiG-25 and MiG-31 are very heavy aircraft and neither has spectacularly powerful engines...


    To actually fit 8 t in a Su-34 is something I still need to see, and the range of that configuration would be rather poor. PAK-DA should be able to carry substantial payloads far away with internal carriage and massive fuel fraction.

    Totally agree... max payloads are generally more theoretical than practical most of the time.

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    Post  Mir Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:44 am

    GarryB wrote:
    The bomb bay is certainly not big enough for bombs bigger than FAB-3000s because they had to bring Tu-16s back into service to test FAB-5000s and FAB-9000s in Afghanistan in the 1980s...

    The Tu-16's were still in front line service in the Soviet VVS and AV-MF during the 80's and served until the collapse of the USSR.
    They were very active during the Soviet/Afghan War and almost all the Tu-16 regiments from the "European" military districts were used in bombing operations.

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    Post  Tolstoy Thu Aug 11, 2022 10:36 am

    GarryB wrote:Do we know what sort of sensors S-70 will have?  Radar, IRST, etc etc?
    The first batch that will go into production will have the same Radar, IRST that are being used by the Su-57.

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    Post  RTN Thu Aug 11, 2022 7:59 pm

    Shaping aside the small size of the S-70 already makes it more stealthy than the PAK-DA.
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    Post  Azi Thu Aug 11, 2022 9:10 pm

    RTN wrote:Shaping aside the small size of the S-70 already makes it more stealthy than the PAK-DA.
    No! The B-2 is more stealthy than F-35 at some wavelenghts of radar spectrum because it's bigger. The magic word is...."scattering" (Rayleigh and Mie Scattering). That's why very small objects are still visible in radar (missiles etc) depending on wavelength of radar. Scattering occurs at a specific bandwith of the radar for regular sized planes....normally outside of this type of scattering you would be right Wink

    Size is just one variable, shape, surface etc are other variables in the whole calculation.

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    Post  GarryB Fri Aug 12, 2022 3:06 am

    The Tu-16's were still in front line service in the Soviet VVS and AV-MF during the 80's and served until the collapse of the USSR.
    They were very active during the Soviet/Afghan War and almost all the Tu-16 regiments from the "European" military districts were used in bombing operations.

    They kept using them because they had large bomb bays designed for the old huge nuclear bombs, which meant they could carry the biggest bombs like the FAB-5000 and the FAB-9000.

    Experience in Afghanistan was a bit disappointing... they quickly found that they needed more detonators to ensure all the explosives in the bombs went up properly and of course an explosion outside a tunnel is always much less destructive than an explosion inside a tunnel or bunker.

    Shaping aside the small size of the S-70 already makes it more stealthy than the PAK-DA.

    Actually the opposite is true... a larger uniform surface is more stealthy than a smaller uniform surface.

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    Post  Mir Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:16 am

    GarryB wrote:
    The Tu-16's were still in front line service in the Soviet VVS and AV-MF during the 80's and served until the collapse of the USSR.
    They were very active during the Soviet/Afghan War and almost all the Tu-16 regiments from the "European" military districts were used in bombing operations.

    They kept using them because they had large bomb bays designed for the old huge nuclear bombs, which meant they could carry the biggest bombs like the FAB-5000 and the FAB-9000.

    The Tu-16 (Badger) was one of the most succesful bomber designs in Soviet history and morfed into dozens of variants and sub-variants and as I've mentioned, was in widespread service at the time. In Afghanistan the Tu-16A and Tu-16KSR's were used in the bomber role with a typical load of 12xFAB-500 bombs. Obviously smaller or larger bombs were also used and that included the 9000kg bomb you refer to. The Tu-22M2/3's were also used as bombers in the war.

    GarryB wrote:Experience in Afghanistan was a bit disappointing... they quickly found that they needed more detonators to ensure all the explosives in the bombs went up properly and of course an explosion outside a tunnel is always much less destructive than an explosion inside a tunnel or bunker.

    Not at all. They used those 9000kg bombs with great effect. One of the biggest bombing raids took place during April 1984 where 24 Tu-16KSR-2-5 each dropped up to 40 FAB-250 on Muhajideen positions in a small valley near Kandahar with devastating results. Su-24/25's also took part in the raid. The Tu-16R's confirmed the mission as a resounding success.
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    Post  ALAMO Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:19 am

    Well, the Chinese modernize the platform in an endless loop for a good reason.

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    Post  RTN Fri Aug 12, 2022 4:09 pm

    Azi wrote:No! The B-2 is more stealthy than F-35 at some wavelenghts of radar spectrum because it's bigger
    Does the shape of the F-35 look similar to the B-2? B-2 and S-70 are delta wing design. Delta wing designs are inherently more stealthy than other fighter aircraft like the F-35.
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    Post  GarryB Sat Aug 13, 2022 4:39 am

    The Tu-16 (Badger) was one of the most succesful bomber designs in Soviet history

    Cheap and simple and effective. What is not to like.

    They used those 9000kg bombs with great effect.

    The first used didn't fully explode and so didn't have the effect on the target they were calculated to have.

    They had about 12 fuse pockets and they were using 4 or 5 fuses, when all the fuses were fitted it exploded properly and did what they expected.

    The Tu-16R's confirmed the mission as a resounding success.

    The disappointment revolved around the FAB-9000, I was not referring to the aircraft.

    The bomb was the big one and a lot was expected, and when properly fused they did deliver.

    Does the shape of the F-35 look similar to the B-2? B-2 and S-70 are delta wing design. Delta wing designs are inherently more stealthy than other fighter aircraft like the F-35.

    So Mirage IIIs are stealthy? Not.

    The plan form of a wing is irrelevant from all directions except vertical from above or below...
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    Post  thegopnik Sat Aug 13, 2022 6:52 am

    Something just doesnt sit with me here like whats the point of modernizing Tu-160s if that spending can be used for the PAK-DA project? It carries long range hypersonic missiles as well. I will find the PAK-DA project worth investing if Russia decides to colonize Africa in which they are given modern air defenses from the west for resources or somehow the aircraft can magically deal with OTH HF radar frequencies by having less surface area than a Tu-160 assuming the bombers are used worse case scenario against NATO. But the modernization of the Tu-160s already makes me throw the PAK-DA project into the 2030s-2040s ballpark time range when they decide to set a production date and this will give western aviation fans a reason to shitpost how Russia is far behind because they got a B-21 before Russia got the PAK-DA in service and the only way to get them to **** off is to make the PAK-DA AI controlled. Also putting the production to the 2030-2040 timeframe range based on their economy going back to the good old days and they need something cheap and convenient like the Su-70

    Also my mind changed again and I still think the Su-70 is still optimized better for stealth because of size for this following reason.

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    This radar was tested against an F-117, https://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=27825, this guy was a hardcore enough fanboy to find a youtube video of some Serbian military official being interviewed at what distance he used his low frequency radar to spot the F-117 at a certain range and based on that range and the radar used the RCS was determined of the F-117 in that specific low frequency. I will probably ask him at india defense net(depending how active he is recently) if he has that video saved or a link to it to clear the doubters from here only for those saying they are interested?. Even if they put the B-2 as being more stealth lets not forget the B-2 had Ufimtsev's equation and the F-117 didnt. The Su-70 is just slightly bigger than the F-117 and even without Ufimtsev's equation and better computing the F-117 was still pretty stealthy against low frequency radars. Even if the PAK-DA somehow a little more stealthy(I dont think the difference will be that big given the old F-117 design RCS) than the Su-70 in low frequency(which we still dont know) its like whats the point if costs are compared and what are you planning to use them for with regards to the distance of the bomber? mig-31s and other modernized tupolevs have hypersonic missiles that can be launched at a far enough distance for them to return to their air bases.

    I will be fucking shocked if PAK-DA is funded, and has test flight schedules with its appearance revealed.

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    Post  Mir Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:12 am

    GarryB wrote:
    The disappointment revolved around the FAB-9000, I was not referring to the aircraft.
    The bomb was the big one and a lot was expected, and when properly fused they did deliver.

    Not really. What they did with the fuses was to delay the timing to prevent the power of the explosion from being wasted on the surface. The result was that the very heavy bomb being dropped from high altitude could dig deep into the ground (up to 12 meters and more) and then explode with devastating effect in the mountains. AVU-E and AV-139E electric fuses were usually used, specially designed for large-caliber bombs and high-altitude bombing.

    These bombs were used extensively in the Afghan war. Over a period of three months during 1988, Tu-16 bombers dropped 289 FAB-9000 M54 bombs. Their effect increased dramatically when dropped into small gorges, which literally collapsed from the explosive power. This tactic was later used there by the Americans as well with their B-1B's and B-52 bombers.  

    The Tu-95, TU-16, TU-22, 3M and M4 bombers were all able to deliver FAB-9000 bombs, but only the Tu-16 was used for this purpose in Afghanistan.
    During the Iran/Iraq war the Iraqis dropped these bombs from their Tu-22's.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Aug 14, 2022 9:10 am

    Something just doesnt sit with me here like whats the point of modernizing Tu-160s if that spending can be used for the PAK-DA project?

    The Tu-160 is a very capable aircraft and for many roles it is better than a subsonic stealthy missile carrier.

    It also meant they could produce new bombers and boost service numbers to a useful number while they spent a bit more time upgrading and improving the design and features of the PAK DA.

    Even if they started making the PAK DA right now there is a lot of testing that needs to be done so nothing would enter service for a decade at least...

    Doing it this way means they can not only get production going much much faster, but also upgrade existing aircraft so they get new more capable platforms actually in service much much faster, and also can take a bit longer to make sure the PAK DA is a good useful aircraft too.

    But the modernization of the Tu-160s already makes me throw the PAK-DA project into the 2030s-2040s ballpark time range when they decide to set a production date and this will give western aviation fans a reason to shitpost how Russia is far behind because they got a B-21

    First of all western experts judging Russian aircraft is amusing after totally screwing up two stealth fighter designs they are now going back to 4th gen that will cost more than their 5th gen fighters they can't currently afford.

    Production of the Tu-160 is about making a viable force of these aircraft, but the PAK DA is to replace the Bears and the Backfires... western aviation fans don't even come in to it... and in the 2030s when Russia is flying Tu-160s and PAK DA and the US is still flying B-52s who exactly will be getting shit posted...

    Even if they put the B-2 as being more stealth lets not forget the B-2 had Ufimtsev's equation and the F-117 didnt.

    Before that equation stealth was largely hit and miss and had to be built and tested because they didn't have mathematical models to do proper effective calculations, so scale models hung in front of actual radars were used... slow and very hit and miss, but not useless as long as you were prepared to put in the time and money.

    Having a mathematical model is not magic, but it means a much wider variety of shapes and designs can be rapidly tested to eliminate the need for making terrible shapes so the best four or five designs could be built and tested instead of dozens or hundreds... faster and cheaper... but you still test with real radar.

    The point is that stealth is optimised for higher frequencies for tracking radars and terminal guidance radars in missiles.

    If OTH radars can track you it is not so important if you are 1,000km away and any missile you fire to try to shoot you down can't detect you from very great distances either... and then you release your very high flying hypersonic nuclear armed missiles and then turn and leave the area...

    The Su-70 is just slightly bigger than the F-117 and even without Ufimtsev's equation and better computing the F-117 was still pretty stealthy against low frequency radars.

    No it wasn't... during Desert Storm they sent Apache helicopters in first to take out enemy radar sites before they flew F-117s in there to attack other targets.

    And the Serbs managed to shoot an F-117 down with old radar equipment, a few updates and some skill and talent.

    Even if the PAK-DA somehow a little more stealthy(I dont think the difference will be that big given the old F-117 design RCS)

    The B-2 is rather more stealthy than the F-117 because of its size, design, and the materials it is made from makes it even more difficult for shorter wavelengths to detect.

    Think of longer wavelengths as having less resolution which makes shape harder to make out... which means stealthy shaping to redirect radar energy in other directions than from which it came from doesn't work because it does not see shape... just presence or absence.

    The Tu-95, TU-16, TU-22, 3M and M4 bombers were all able to deliver FAB-9000 bombs, but only the Tu-16 was used for this purpose in Afghanistan.

    That is five completely different aircraft....

    Do you have any information about the Tu-22M2 or Tu-22M3 being able to carry 9 ton bombs?

    The Tu-95 can't... the older models could carry MERs for bombs but the current MS models are cruise missile carriers only... and M4s are inflight refuelling planes and for carrying outsized external cargoes by the 1980s...

    During the Iran/Iraq war the Iraqis dropped these bombs from their Tu-22's.

    The Tu-22 is a different aircraft and was intended to carry old huge nuclear bombs like the Tu-16.

    By the time the Tu-22M2 and Tu-22M3 were developed such huge nuke bombs were a thing of the past and AFAIK the biggest bomb they are known to carry is the FAB-3000 on the wing root weapon pylons.
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    Post  Mir Sun Aug 14, 2022 10:22 am

    GarryB wrote:
    And the Serbs managed to shoot an F-117 down with old radar equipment, a few updates and some skill and talent.

    And shortly after that little incident the F-117's were taken out of service "because they were difficult to maintain" - but so are the F-22's and F-35's.  dunno


    Mir wrote:The Tu-95, TU-16, TU-22, 3M and M4 bombers were all able to deliver FAB-9000 bombs, but only the Tu-16 was used for this purpose in Afghanistan.

    GarryB wrote:That is five completely different aircraft....

    Technically four but yes they were all able to deliver the FAB-9000's. Point is the Tu-16 wasn't the only Soviet bomber that could deliver the FAB-9000.

    GarryB wrote:Do you have any information about the Tu-22M2 or Tu-22M3 being able to carry 9 ton bombs?

    None of the Tu22M's were equipped for the FAB-9000's.

    GarryB wrote:The Tu-95 can't... the older models could carry MERs for bombs but the current MS models are cruise missile carriers only... and M4s are inflight refuelling planes and for carrying outsized external cargoes by the 1980s...

    Early models like the Tu-95M's were very much able to deliver the FAB-9000's. The M-4's were originally bombers and were later converted as tankers. This modification was reversible and they removed the equipment on a couple for bomber duties in Afghanistan.

    Mir wrote:During the Iran/Iraq war the Iraqis dropped these bombs from their Tu-22's.

    GarryB wrote:The Tu-22 is a different aircraft and was intended to carry old huge nuclear bombs like the Tu-16.
    By the time the Tu-22M2 and Tu-22M3 were developed such huge nuke bombs were a thing of the past and AFAIK the biggest bomb they are known  to carry is the FAB-3000 on the wing root weapon pylons.

    There were very few Tu-22A's produced (15) which were bombers in the classic sense, but the vast majority of the 311 production machines were missile carriers (Tu-22K) and reconnaissance aircraft (Tu-22R). Only the recce version was used in Afghanistan. A small number of Tu-22P's were produced for ECM purposes. The Tu-22B bomber version was an export version for friendly countries like Iraq and Libya and were only produced in small numbers. Only the A and B versions were able to deliver the FAB-9000.

    To get back to the PAK-DA >> I do hope that if the Russians decide on a final configuration for this aircraft, that it would be somewhat stealthy, but still have the ability make fast runs like the Tu-22M's and the Tu-160's. This aircraft should not follow the American B-2/21 design but needs a bit "out of the box" thinking like what they did with the Su-27's and Mig-25's. Just me thinking aloud  Smile
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    Post  GarryB Sun Aug 14, 2022 12:48 pm

    Technically four but yes they were all able to deliver the FAB-9000's. Point is the Tu-16 wasn't the only Soviet bomber that could deliver the FAB-9000.

    Not technically four... the Tu-22 and the Tu-22M2 and M3 are different types... the designation was a ruse to get funding.

    Do you have any photos or articles claiming the Bear or Backfire could carry bombs heavier than FAB-3000s?


    AFAIK the MS model Bears gave up their bomb carrying capacity and can only carry cruise missiles or short range attack missile equivalent KH-15s.

    Early models like the Tu-95M's were very much able to deliver the FAB-9000's.

    As I said, the Tu-16 was able to carry FAB-9000s because it was supposed to carry their old huge nuclear bombs which were physically enormous.

    The Backfires were developed when the nukes were much smaller.

    The M-4's were originally bombers and were later converted as tankers. This modification was reversible and they removed the equipment on a couple for bomber duties in Afghanistan.

    Failed competition for Bears but lacked range to be viable.

    To get back to the PAK-DA >> I do hope that if the Russians decide on a final configuration for this aircraft, that it would be somewhat stealthy, but still have the ability make fast runs like the Tu-22M's and the Tu-160's. This aircraft should not follow the American B-2/21 design but needs a bit "out of the box" thinking like what they did with the Su-27's and Mig-25's. Just me thinking aloud

    That is what I thought for a while but the cost in design would probably be too much to get a capability they already essentially have with the Tu-160.

    I think it is better to make it subsonic only because that means internal volume for big weapons and lots of fuel for best performance options.

    Making it slim and very low drag in the hopes of perhaps getting a supercruising bomber is interesting but I rather suspect with its swing wings and improved engines that upgraded Tu-160s might get to the point where they could supercruise which would massively reduce their flight times and make it much much harder to intercept.

    Any enemy interceptor would need to be supersonic to intercept a mach 1.6 or faster bomber and having to fly at supersonic speed reduced the effective flight radiuses of most interceptors to a few hundred kilometres... making them very much less effective.

    It would also make the aircraft almost impossible to intercept by F-35s which are just too slow for the job.

    And shortly after that little incident the F-117's were taken out of service "because they were difficult to maintain" - but so are the F-22's and F-35's.

    Yeah, and like when they wanted to buy more Hornets and get naval F-35s in to service all of a sudden F-14s were too expensive and difficult to maintain... yet Iran seems to keep them flying... under US sanctions...
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    Post  Mir Sun Aug 14, 2022 2:42 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    Not technically four... the Tu-22 and the Tu-22M2 and M3 are different types... the designation was a ruse to get funding.

    I am not referring to the Tu-22M's in my post - only the Tu-22, which as you know was a completely different aircraft.

    Mir wrote:The Tu-95, TU-16, TU-22, 3M and M4 bombers were all able to deliver FAB-9000 bombs

    The 3M and M4's were technically/essentially the same aircraft - so I counted them as one design.  

    GarryB wrote:Do you have any photos or articles claiming the Bear or Backfire could carry bombs heavier than FAB-3000s?

    As I've said in a previous post the Tu-22M's (Backfire) were not FAB-9000 capable. Although the initial Tu-95A was mainly designed to drop a 5000kg nuclear bomb, the internal bomb bay was already capable of a 12 000kg load. The much improved Tu-95M was even more capable.

    PAK-DΑ: News #2 - Page 15 Tu-95-10
    PAK-DΑ: News #2 - Page 15 Tu-95-11

    GarryB wrote:Failed competition for Bears but lacked range to be viable.

    Both the 3M's and M4's entered full production but were not produced in large numbers for various reasons. Khrushchev was one of them.  Smile

    GarryB wrote:I think it is better to make it subsonic only because that means internal volume for big weapons and lots of fuel for best performance options.

    The problem I have with subsonic is that over time the "stealth" advantage would erode as defense counter measures will improve, and you will in the end be stuck with a white elephant.

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    Post  GarryB Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:49 am

    The 3M and M4's were technically/essentially the same aircraft - so I counted them as one design.

    My mistake I assumed the 3M was the Tu-22M3.

    Although the initial Tu-95A was mainly designed to drop a 5000kg nuclear bomb, the internal bomb bay was already capable of a 12 000kg load. The much improved Tu-95M was even more capable.

    The Soviets stopped using strategic nuclear bombers quite some time ago... the Bears and Blackjacks were cruise missile carriers primarily... the new MS Bears are not able to carry a bomb load AFAIK, and the upgraded Blackjacks no longer carry bombs AFAIK too.

    The bombing duties have shifted to the Backfire and will be continued with the PAK DA... but in the strategic role the PAK DA will carry cruise missiles like the Bear it is replacing, and in the theatre role it can carry missiles and bombs to replace the Backfire.

    Both the 3M's and M4's entered full production but were not produced in large numbers for various reasons. Khrushchev was one of them.

    They were supposed to be part of the bomber gap as they were flown in circuits during airshows in Moscow to make it appear they had a lot more bombers than they actually had.

    It would have been a waste to produce a lot of them, the Bear was the better plane at the time and has evolved well with improved aerodynamics and better engines... of course the 3M and M4 could be improved with better engines too... in many ways they were like four engined Tu-16s scaled up and improvements in jet engines should have let to improvements in flight performance to reach Bear range with higher speed but they never really got the chance.

    Bit of a shame but I don't think the Soviets suffered having the Bears.


    The problem I have with subsonic is that over time the "stealth" advantage would erode as defense counter measures will improve, and you will in the end be stuck with a white elephant.

    But that is the point... they are not relying solely on stealth... they are developing self defence missiles to protect the aircraft in flight, and by not making them supersonic they can increase the internal volume and make them "thicker" allowing more fuel and bigger weapons to be carried internally... those bigger weapons likely to be extremely long range hypersonic missiles moving forward that enemy air defences will struggle to deal with more than any supersonic bomber.

    Lets be fair... if the west actually recognised the lessons of the war in the Ukraine that their air defence capacity is pathetic and needs trillions spent on it to make it right even if they developed S-300 level SAMs a supersonic bomber using only speed would not be safe.

    The Blackjacks speed makes it difficult to intercept but only in conjunction with its missiles being fired from large distances from enemy targets and their air defences... if the Blackjacks had to overfly their targets then they would be seriously vulnerable too...

    With the Blackjacks and PAK DAs they have two different types with different strengths so for different missions they get a choice, which retains flexibility without needing three Tupolevs...

    I initially hoped their new flying wing PAK DA could supercruise which would be a massive advantage for a bomber, but the compromises making it supersonic would effect fuel fraction and bomb capacity and overall performance all in very negative ways.

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    Post  Mir Mon Aug 15, 2022 2:38 pm

    GarryB wrote:The Soviets stopped using strategic nuclear bombers quite some time ago... the Bears and Blackjacks were cruise missile carriers primarily... the new MS Bears are not able to carry a bomb load AFAIK, and the upgraded Blackjacks no longer carry bombs AFAIK too.

    The bombing duties have shifted to the Backfire and will be continued with the PAK DA... but in the strategic role the PAK DA will carry cruise missiles like the Bear it is replacing, and in the theatre role it can carry missiles and bombs to replace the Backfire.

    Quite right but this discussion was based on the FAB-9000 and what bombers were actually used and available at that time (80's) of the Soviet/Afghan War. But yes the shift from conventional type bombers to missile carriers was already well underway long before the war.

    GarryB wrote:They were supposed to be part of the bomber gap as they were flown in circuits during airshows in Moscow to make it appear they had a lot more bombers than they actually had.

    And and the plan worked...for a while at least  Laughing

    GarryB wrote:It would have been a waste to produce a lot of them, the Bear was the better plane at the time and has evolved well with improved aerodynamics and better engines... of course the 3M and M4 could be improved with better engines too... in many ways they were like four engined Tu-16s scaled up and improvements in jet engines should have let to improvements in flight performance to reach Bear range with higher speed but they never really got the chance. Bit of a shame but I don't think the Soviets suffered having the Bears.

    Well there was a lot of politics involved between the different OKB's. At the time Mikoyan and Tupelov was heavily favoured above Sukhoi and Myasishchev. In fact much of what eventually became the Tu-160 was actually a Myasishchev design. Not to mention all the great things Sukhoi achieved!

    GarryB wrote:But that is the point... they are not relying solely on stealth... they are developing self defence missiles to protect the aircraft in flight, and by not making them supersonic they can increase the internal volume and make them "thicker" allowing more fuel and bigger weapons to be carried internally... those bigger weapons likely to be extremely long range hypersonic missiles moving forward that enemy air defences will struggle to deal with more than any supersonic bomber.

    Lets be fair... if the west actually recognised the lessons of the war in the Ukraine that their air defence capacity is pathetic and needs trillions spent on it to make it right even if they developed S-300 level SAMs a supersonic bomber using only speed would not be safe.

    The Blackjacks speed makes it difficult to intercept but only in conjunction with its missiles being fired from large distances from enemy targets and their air defences... if the Blackjacks had to overfly their targets then they would be seriously vulnerable too...

    With the Blackjacks and PAK DAs they have two different types with different strengths so for different missions they get a choice, which retains flexibility without needing three Tupolevs...

    I initially hoped their new flying wing PAK DA could supercruise which would be a massive advantage for a bomber, but the compromises making it supersonic would effect fuel fraction and bomb capacity and overall performance all in very negative ways.

    Those self defense missiles are indeed a great development and would go a long way in protecting the PAK-DA's. The number of defensive missiles and their range might have some limitations though? My hope is that they would come up with a similar design philosophy that was employed by Sukhoi with their Su-57. Its a fine balance between stealth, speed and maneuverability. If they can balance out all the compromises in the PAK-DA design it should be great, but it will be an enormous challenge to get it right.

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