Russia Is Developing Hypersonic Stealth Nuclear Space Bomber, Report Says
New reports suggest Russia is developing a first of its kind hypersonic stealth nuclear bomber which can launch nuclear missiles in the space. The hypersonic PAK-DA strategic bomber will be fast enough to travel anywhere in the world within two hours of time.
The prototype of the bomber aircraft is currently under development and is expected to be ready to take flight in 2020, following successful engine tests. The PAK-DA test engine is expected to get exhibited at the International Military Technology Forum "Army 2016" which is scheduled to be held in Moscow from September 6 to September 11.
Commenting on the development, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, commander of Russian Strategic Missile Forces, said that a model engine for the aircraft has already been built and tested at the Serpukhovo branch of the Military Academy, reported Science Alert.
According to the Strategic Missile Forces Academy, the engine of the PAK-DA strategic bomber plane will operate in two modes. When flying inside the earth's atmosphere, the engine will burn kerosene fuel, while it will switch to methane and oxygen on entering space.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Solodovnikov stated that they are working with Russia's Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute on the design of an airframe and the aircraft's characteristics, reported Sputnik.
He added that the bomber aircraft will take off from a normal home airfield to patrol Russian airspace. Once given the command, the aircraft will ascend into outer space, hit the target with nuclear warheads and then return back to the base airfield. The aircraft would weigh between 20 and 25 metric tons and will be able to accelerate to hypersonic speed in rocket mode.
Russia's Ministry of Defense has, however, denied the reports regarding the development of a stealth bomber capable of launching nuclear attacks, reported TASS. The ministry said that the media had "misinterpreted" the words of a military academy representative about the development of a hypothetical spacecraft.