Russia's first prototype stealth bomber 'starts construction' to rival US B-2 fleet

May 26, 2020

Russia has reportedly started construction of a prototype of its first stealth bomber - which should be ready next year.

The plane will be able to carry "cruise missiles, precision bombs and hypersonic weapons", reported state-controlled news agency TASS.

It will use the "flying wing" design and have technology to reduce its visibility on radar - as well as the latest communications and "jamming equipment".

TASS said the start of production - part of a programme known as Product 80 - had been confirmed by a military source.

Building of the cockpit is also under way and the plane will be complete in 2021, according to another source quoted by the news agency.

The aircraft will compete with America's B-2 stealth bomber, which entered service in 1997.

China is also working on a stealth bomber, the Xian H-20, with speculation it could be unveiled at an airshow in November

Russia already has a stealth fighter, the Sukhoi-57, which first flew 10 years ago but has not been built in large numbers.

The UK has a 1,200mph stealth fighter, the American-made F-35B Lightning, which the RAF first deployed in 2018 and can "operate undetected in hostile airspace".

Stealth planes can fly largely undetected because their shape - usually sharp-edged and angular - reflects radar signals away from the source.

They may also use coated panels that absorb radar energy.

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