The long-range aviation of the Russian air forces will take delivery of next-generation PAK DA strategic bombers in 2025, ITAR-TASS reports with reference to a statement made by the Commander-in-Chief of the long-range aviation, Lieutenant General Anatoly Zhikharev.
"The first PAK DA strategic bombers will be delivered to the air forces in 2025", - he said. Zhikharev noted that design and development activities in the network of PAK DA project will be started in 2014; the aircraft’s maiden flight is scheduled for 2019.
He also noted that the long-range aviation will take delivery of upgraded Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers in 2014. "One of the top-priority areas in the network of the State Defense Order for 2014 is acquisition of upgraded Tu-160 and Tu-95MS aircraft, - he said. – All the upgraded vehicles will be fitted with new systems and equipment increasing their combat potential".
Zhikharev noted that Tu-95 turboprop strategic bomber, which was put into service between 1950s and 1960s, "is being upgraded and it will be operated by the air forces until 2040". At that he made a reference to the similar situation in the USAF.
Commenting on the results of State Defense Order implementation in 2013 the general said that there is a “shortfall in terms of deliveries of aircraft, engines and other components”.