Russia has turned to a familiar source – the Kuznetsov Design Bureau – to develop the engines for a next-generation bomber, according to a report dated 6 June in a state-run newspaper.
The Volga Commune, the official newspaper of Russia’s Samara region, quotes Nikolai Jakushin, executive director of Kuznetsov, as confirming that his company will develop the engines for the new bomber called the prospective aviation complex for long-range aviation (PAK-DA).
The selection was “not so long ago”, Jakushin says, and guarantees Kuznetsov a stream of funding and production for more than 20 years, according to the newspaper.
Kuznetzov designed the turbine jet and propeller engines that power all three of the bombers in the Russian fleet, including the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers that will be replaced by the PAK-DA.
Though it designed Russia’s most powerful engines for combat aircraft, Kuznetzov had suffered a long-term decline until a recent revival, Jakushin says in the Russian news article.
Russia has spent the last decade developing the PAK-FA, a stealth fighter designed by Sukhoi. As the programme transitioned from the drawing boards to flight tests, the air force’s focus has turned to modernising an aging bomber fleet.
In April, Tupolev, a design bureau within United Aircraft, finalised the conceptual design of the new bomber. The company is now working to design and build a prototype, according to local reports.