July 2016 – MOSCOW – The Russian Strategic Missile Forces Academy is developing a hypersonic strategic bomber capable of striking with nuclear warheads from outer space, Lt. Col. Aleksei Solodovnikov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. A trial model of Russia’s nuclear-capable outer space strategic bomber will be developed by 2020, according to its developer. Russian commander of the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, had earlier reported that the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Academy has already developed and tested an engine for the experimental aircraft. The engine is expected to be showcased at the Army-2016 International Military Technology Forum, which is set to take place on September 6-11 in the Moscow Region.
“The idea is that the bomber will take off from a normal home airfield to patrol Russian airspace. Upon command it will ascend into outer space, strike a target with nuclear warheads and then return to its home base,” Solodovnikov told RIA Novosti. He added that the jet will be very capable and will need only one-two hours to reach any place on Earth through outer space. “We are cooperating with Russia’s Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute on the design of an airframe and the aircraft’s characteristics. I think that its lift-off mass must be 20-25 metric tons for it to be a strike aircraft. It will [be able to accelerate to] hypersonic speed in rocket mode,” he added. –Sputnik