Russia’s plans to restart production of Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) supersonic strategic bombers is unlikely to delay the development of engines for the PAK DA 5th-generation aircraft, United Engine-Making Corporation Head Vladislav Masalov said on Monday.
"There is a shortage of financing and we intend to safeguard our position that the work on the power unit must be fulfilled on time and be carried out at an advanced pace of 3-5 years rather than conducted concurrently with the work on the aircraft as is usually the case," the company’s head said.
"We hope that the situation with the PAK DA will not be revised because of the decision to restart the production of the bombers. I expect that we’ll keep working relations on this program with the UAC [United Aircraft-Making Corporation]," Masalov said.
The work on developing engines for the PAK DA new strategic bomber is currently proceeding on schedule, he said.
"We have a contract on fulfilling a technical design. We’re fulfilling our contractual obligations under this project on time. This year, some operations are planned, including engine prototype gas-dynamic trials maximally close to the operational conditions aboard the aircraft," he said.
At the same time, the United Engine-Making Corporation head declined to talk about the specifics of the new engine the corporation was developing for the PAK-DA bombers.
Russia is currently developing a new strategic bomber dubbed PAK DA (prospective aviation complex of long-range aviation). The new bomber is expected to make its first flight in 2019 and become operational in the Russian Air Force approximately in 2023-2025.
Russia Air Force Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bondarev said earlier the decision to restart the production of Tu-160M bombers would not affect the plans for the development of PAK DA new strategic aircraft.
First published by TASS.
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