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In 2008, it was reported that the Russian Air Force had tactical and technical requirements for a new generation of strategic bombers. According to some early reports, the PAK DA would be heavily based on the supersonic Tu-160 bomber. Later references[when?] to the new bomber, including a televised address from then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seemed to imply the aircraft would be an entirely new design.
Russian Major General Anatoly Zhikharev stated that the new bomber would replace both the turboprop-powered Tupolev Tu-95 and the supersonic Tupolev Tu-160.
In June 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev's Cabinet, Dmitry Rogozin, announced the project was in doubt and the new bomber design might not be needed. The Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, responded by saying that work was still ongoing and that the design was superior to American aircraft. On 9 June 2012, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the PAK DA was confirmed as planned.
Speculation about the design include a combat radius of around 3,500 kilometers with full payload, a loaded weight of 100 to 120 tonnes, 4 engines and the possible use of some equipment from the Sukhoi PAK FA project such as avionics and engines. President Vladimir Putin also said work is to start on PAK DA despite the complex technology and monetary requirements. On 27 August 2012, Jane's Defence reported that Dmitry Rogozin had recently called for the bomber to be capable of hypersonic speed in order to match and better the air defenses of the United States. It is unclear whether Rogozin's comments refer to the bomber being hypersonic or to its ability to carry hypersonic air-launched missiles. In March 2013, it was reported that the selected PAK DA design would be a subsonic flying wing.
In order to maintain affordability, the PAK DA will be a less ambitious project than the American Long-Range Strike-Bomber.
General Anatoly Zhikharev has said that an unmanned strategic bomber may follow the PAK DA after 2040.
On 30 August 2013, a Russian Defense Ministry source revealed that the PAK DA will be equipped with advanced types of precision guided weapons, including hypersonic weapons. The bomber itself will fly at subsonic speeds. A Russian hypersonic missile is in development, but is currently only able to fly for a few seconds. Hypersonic technology is being pursued so Russia does not fall behind American development of similar weapons. Russia is in development to speed up work on the bomber, which will be a flying wing design to begin production in 2020. The planning stage was completed in less than one year, and development work will begin in 2014. First flights will commence in 2019, and the bomber is to enter service in 2025. Russia's existing bomber fleet will also be modernized with advanced avionics and electronic warfare systems. 2 of 13 Tu-160s have undergone this overhaul as of December 2013 and the intermediate-range Tu-22M will be included in the program. 63 Tu-95 bombers will be upgraded and the Tu-95MS is to remain in service until 2040.
In 2014 Andrey Boginsky said that Russia was attempting to get Chinese investment in the project. In April 2014, Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia's UAC, announced that the Tupolev design bureau had finalised the design of the PAK-DA and that the project was moving to the intermediate phase - i.e. completion of the design and construction of a prototype.
The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, tr. Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii) is the aerial warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is currently under the command of Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota ("Naval Aviation"), or AV-MF).
The Air Force was formed from parts of the former Soviet Air Forces after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991–92. Boris Yeltsin's creation of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation on 7 May 1992,