The Trump administration listed Russia’s Su-57
stealth fighter and Tupolev PAK-DA stealth bomber as
developmental nuclear strike aircrafts in its Nuclear Posture
The Su-57 has yet to be mass produced, and the PAK-DA
has not even been built yet.
The two stealth planes could be nuclear aircrafts, but
not anytime soon.
The Trump administration believes Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter
and Tupolev PAK-DA stealth bomber will be developmental
nuclear strike aircrafts.
The administration listed the two aircrafts as developmental
nuclear strike aircrafts in its Nuclear Posture Review, a
100-page report released last week
laying out the US’ nuclear policies.
The report took a harsh stance against Russia, saying that it
“will pose insurmountable difficulties to any Russian strategy of
aggression against the United States, its allies, or partners and
ensure the credible prospect of unacceptably dire costs to the
Russian leadership if it were to choose aggression.”
The Su-57 first flew in 2010, but has yet to be mass produced.
Moscow announced on Wednesday that it would purchase about a
dozen Su-57s this year, and receive two of those in 2019,
according to TASS.
“We are taking the Su-57 for experimental and combat operation,
and the state tests for the first stage are over,” Russia’s
Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told reporters on Wednesday,
according to RIA Novosti.
The first batch of 12 will only be equipped with Saturn AL-41F1
engines — the same engines on the Su-35 — and not the new
Izdelie-30 engines, which have only recently begun testing.
Russia’s newly upgraded long-range bomber, the Tu-160M2, first flew last
month, but the PAK-DA stealth bomber has yet to be built.
As such, Russia’s main nuclear strike aircraft is currently
the Su-34 Fullback, according to The National
“[Russia] has nuclear bombs for tactical aircraft and air
launched tactical nuclear missiles as well. And there
are ALCMs [air-launched cruise missiles] under
development that will be used by tactical aircraft,” Vasily
Kashin, a fellow at Moscow’s Higher School of
Economics, told The National
“But I do not remember Su-57 being specifically mentioned,”
Kashin said, adding that it’s possible that X-50 cruise missiles
could fit into the Su-57’s weapons bays. Russia, he said, has not
The status of the PAK-DA is even more up in the air.
Assuming Moscow builds the PAK-DA, it won’t enter Russian service
until the 2030s at the earliest, The National Interest reported.
The PAK-DA will probably be able to drop nuclear gravity bombs,
according to The National Interest’s David Majumdar. The aircraft
will likely be primarly used as a strategic missile carrier —
much like the upgraded Tu-160M2.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s
request for comment.