March 1, 2010 / 6:08 PM / 10 years ago

With new fighter in hand, Putin wants modern bombers

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a cabinet meeting on Russia's military-industrial complex in Moscow, March 1, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Once it has completed work on its own fifth-generation fighter, Russia must proceed with designing a brand-new nuclear-capable strategic bomber, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

“Certainly, we should not confine ourselves to developing just one new model. After the fifth-generation fighter jet, we must think and get down to work on a next-generation, long-range aviation complex — our new strategic missile carrier,” Putin told a cabinet meeting on Russia’s military-industrial complex. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited a fleet of the still formidable but fast-aging Tupolev Tu-95MS turbo-prop strategic bombers and missile platforms codenamed “Bears” by NATO.

It also has a much smaller fleet of the more modern, supersonic Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack” jet bombers, the world’s biggest warplanes built so far.

Russia test-flew its long-awaited stealth fighter at the end of January, presenting it as Moscow’s first all-new warplane since the 1991 Soviet collapse and a challenge to the technological supremacy of Cold War foe the United States which rolled out its fifth-generation fighter more than a decade ago.

Putin, then president, ordered in 2007 to resume Soviet-style patrols of Russian bombers around the globe, seeing it as a way of boosting Moscow’s stature in the world.

Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Charles Dick

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below