VORONEZH, May 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Air Force will start receiving its first PAK DA next generation long-range bomber in 2023, Russian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Thursday.
Earlier reports said PAK DA bombers could be supplied to the Russian Air Force approximately by 2020.
“The maiden flight should be performed in 2019. State tests and supplies will be completed in 2023,” Bondarev said.
The head of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Mikhail Pogosyan, told reporters earlier that the full-fledged construction work would start already this year.
Russia’s strategic Air Force operates a total of 32 Tu-95MC6, 31 Tu-95MC16 and 13 Tu-160 bombers. Altogether, they are capable of carrying 850 long-range cruise missiles.
It is expected that the new bomber will be able to penetrate through modern air defenses and suppress them. PAK DA will be equipped with the newest complex of the radio electronic combat and high-precision weaponry.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.