A source in the military-industrial complex has revealed that the work on constructing Russia's first strategic stealth bomber within the Perspective Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA) program, has begun- reported TASS.
"The production of airframe elements will be handled by one of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)’s plants; development of working design documentation is complete, material shipping has commenced," the source said, according to TASS.
"The final assembly of the entire machine [also known as "Product 80" and "Courier",] should be complete in 2021," the source noted.
No comments or statements where released by the Tupolev Design Bureau’s press service on this matter.
It is known that the PAK DA is designed using the flying wing scheme. "Courier" will feature technologies and materials that reduce its radar visibility (stealth technology). The bomber will be subsonic, and will be capable of carrying current and future cruise missiles, precision bombs and hypersonic weapons. It will also be provided with the newest communications and jamming equipment.
Deputy Minister of Defence, Alexey Krivoruchko, had given a statement late 2019 to Krasnaya Zvezda that the draft project of the plane had been approved and that the Tupolev Design Bureau began development of the working design documentation, began creation of parts and elements of the test PAK DA units. In February 2020, Krivoruchko announced that the first engine for the plane will begin stand trials this year.