Moscow has selected Kazan to manufacture a previously undisclosed long-range strike aircraft, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has revealed.
Kazan will continue to upgrade the Russian air force’s current Tupolev Tu-22 and Tu-160 aircraft, and then “start assembling a new-generation strategic bomber,” RIA Novosti quotes Putin as saying.
Revealing the development in Nizhny Novgorod on 14 September, Putin did not reveal any further details of the proposed aircraft. It is also unclear when production activities are to start and when the new type will enter operational use.
The Russian air force currently has 93 Tu-22s and 16 Tu-160s in active use, as listed in Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database. Its long-range bomber fleet also includes 64 Tu-95s, it says.
Sukhoi is also currently flight testing a prototype PAK FA fifth-generation fighter, with the Russian air force having identified a possible requirement to field between 250 and 300 operational examples dubbed T-50s from 2015-16.
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Putin has already shown strong support for the PAK FA fighter programme