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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Russia Needs to Launch Bomber Preparations, Putin Says
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said his government has to begin preparation of a new, extended-distance bomber, RIA Novosti reported (see GSN, June 13).
"We have to develop work on the new PAK-DA long-range bomber aircraft for [Russian] long-range aviation," Putin told participants in a discussion on military-related procurements. "I know how expensive and complex this is. We have talked about this many times with ministers, and with the head of the General Staff. The task is not easy from a scientific-technical standpoint, but we need to start work."
The president said Russia could lose its opportunity if it fails to initiate the project in the near future.
Putin noted his country had readied an extended-distance, air-launched cruise missile for the planned bomber.
Russia's bomber fleet today encompasses 63 Tu-95MS "Bear" aircraft and 13 Tu-160 “Blackjack” planes (RIA Novosti I, June 14).
Russia has encountered problems in updating the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 aircraft, Wired magazine reported on Thursday. The inability of the planes to deliver highly accurate munitions limits their utility in a non-nuclear conflict.
Bombers in Russia's planned future line are not anticipated to assume active duty prior to 2025.
Russian General Staff chief Gen. Nikolai Makarov was probably incorrect in recently asserting the planned aircraft would "outperform any modern aircraft of the same class, including those built by the Americans,” the magazine said (see GSN, June 7).
Doubts have emerged over the necessity for either Moscow or Washington to pursue a costly new bomber. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has voiced skepticism over the need for such an airplane (Robert Beckhusen, Wired, June 14).
Separately, Putin said his nation is fully capable of addressing the planned deployment of a European antimissile system by the United States, according RIA Novosti (see GSN, June 4).
“We should look forward and give response (to these plans) in a timely manner,” the leader said to Russian military personnel on Thursday. “Of course, our partners should better not do this (implement their missile shield plans) as this move would drive our response.”
“We have every possibility to provide a proper response,” Putin added (RIA Novosti II, June 14).
This article provides an overview of Russia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.