Tsavo Lion wrote:If used against 3rd countries which don't have anti-stealth radars, it's clear that the B-2/3s will be "left in the dust' by the Tu-160M/2s (it's bigger than the B-52!), comparing their armaments, ALCMs ranges & speeds to targets. If the B-2/3 is used against the RF, stealth won't save it from detection & possible destruction, depending on its stand off range &/ time over target.
The USA can also detect stealth, so when used against them, the Tu-160M/2 not being stealthy isn't relevant as there's no need to penetrate hostile airspace- long range CMs can do it instead!
Then, I assume you consider the Tu-160 stronger than the B-2/3. I assume you consider Russia would have advantage.
Why would Russia need a new aircraft to counter the B-2/3 if the have today a superior alternative? Why would Russia to spend high amounts of money in the development of an aircraft that would also underperform the Tu-160, having the option of ordering and making return to production the Tu-160, the Tu-22 or the Tu-95/142 instead?
Because the Tu-160 is too expensive.
If it would too expensive, until a negative point, the Tu-160 would not be ordered. This argument fails. Russia is not forced to order the Tu-160, Russia had a cheaper alternative. Russia had the option of making the Tu-95/142 return to production instead of the Tu-160. And then would be replacing in active serce old Tu-95 by modernized Tu-95 (even in this case an upgrade).
But Russia did not it. Russia selected to make return to production the more advanced and supersonic Tu-160. If we can agree about the Tu-160 being more expensive than the Tu-95:
- First we can say that Russia has not troubles to afford both options, Tu-160 is affordable for Russia too. Then the Tu-160 is not too expensive. The new order of Tu-160 makes to fail the "too expensive" argument against the Tu-160.
- And second, there is only one reason that justifies the order of the Tu-160. Despite higher cost, Russia wants the features of the Tu-160 available in a good number of units more. The features of the Tu-95 (even modernized) fall short for what Russia wants for their new strategic bombers.
In adition to this, there is also an analysis cost to be made about the Tu-PAK-DA in relation with the costs of a return to production of the Tu-160 or of other aircrafts like the Tu-95 and the Tu-22.
Form today, there finnancial situation with the Tu-PAK-DA. The development of the aircraft has not been payed,, and must be payed in order to have the aircraft. It means that to have 100 new strategic bombers after the order of the Tu-160, the financial balance would be the following:
- To have 100 new Tu-160, the cost is the cost of the 100 aircrafts.
- To have 100 new Tu-95/142, the cost is the cost of the 100 aircrafts plus the cost of some improvement and of returning to production.
- To have 100 new Tu-PAK-DA, the cost is the cost of the 100 aircrafts plus the cost of the research and development of the project.
It makes the Tu-PAK-DA the most expensive option. This is not like land armament where the cost of research and development can be "hidden" between the production of thousands of units.
And as consequence, the alone situation where the Tu-PAK-DA is viable, is to have a new aircraft that outperforms the Tu-95/142 and the Tu-160. There is 0 chance of seeing the Tu-PAK-DA underperforming the features of the Tu-160.
If in a situation where the T-160 is used as counterpart of the US B-2/3, the advantage is for the Tu-160 because the US also has the radars, it is clear that the Tu-160 would have advantage, would outperform a new Russian subsonic aircraft.
Russia will not do a "cheaper" aircraft to counterpart the US B-2/3, because this not economically possible, taking into account that the development of the new aircraft is to be payed still. If Russia would want a "cheaper" aircraft than the Tu-160 to counter the US B-2/3, the alone viable option would be a modernization and a return to production of the Tu-95/142. As Russia is not making the Tu-95/142 to return to production, we can conclude that Russia does not want a "cheaper" than the Tu-160 option to counter the B-2/3.
If it was before some temptation of following the failed US strategy of the B-2/3 that makes a newer aircraft to be still underperforming the Tu-160, this option was defeated when the decission of making return to production the Tu-160 was made. Now (and also before) the Tu-PAK-DA only is possible as a technological successor of the Tu-160. It means the Tu-PAK-DA will be more advanced than the Tu-160, it means the Tu-PAK-DA will outperform the Tu-160, because this is the only way to justify the development of the projet and this is the only way to justify orders of the Tu-PAK-DA over orders of the Tu-160.
And here is also the explanation of why the decission of the return to production of the Tu-160 was made. The economic and the technological analysis was favourable for the Tu-160.
Militarov can continue dreaming, but this is the reality. Russia will not invest in a subsonic aircraft to present a Tu-PAK-DA that underperforms the Tu-160, but is still more expensive (including the costs of research and development) in cost per unit. It would be an assured failure because the Tu-160 would continue being ordered instead of a subsonic Tu-PAK-DA.