USDEFENSE.COM | A new report said that Russia is developing a new stealth bomber that is smaller than the U.S.-built B-2 "Spirit" bomber and incorporates a swing-wing design rather than the "flying wing" evident in the American counterpart.
On Wednesday WorldNetDaily reported that Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi, designer of a number of sophisticated warplanes currently in service in Russian and Chinese air forces, has developed the Tu-60S, a stealth bomber design which "includes extensive stealth design features."
"The move toward a stealth bomber is seen as an indication that President Vladimir Putin intends to upgrade both the tactical and strategic weapons employed by Russia," the netpaper said, allowing Moscow to fight a high-tech conventional war far beyond Russian borders and allowing it to directly challenge similar U.S. power.
Most western analysts who have examined Russia's military power over the past decade have said that especially the air force and navy have suffered crippling debilitation due to chronic funding and parts shortages. However, the netpaper said that perception of Russian military strength was well disputed "by Russian generals who released videos of advanced warplanes making precision strikes during the war against Chechen rebels."
Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. agreed, and said the Russians have continually poured resources into developing new military hardware.
Weldon is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Worse, Weldon fears that more than $1 billion in U.S. funding has been diverted from its stated purpose of helping Moscow dismantle nuclear weapons to new weapons production, research and development. He said Moscow is now fielding some "state-of-the-art" systems that are, in some cases, superior to U.S. systems.
"The Russian military continues to lead the world with the best weapons," Weldon said during an interview with WorldNetDaily.
Meanwhile, Russia is continuing work on upgrading or developing existing weapons systems. For example, the netpaper said, "the new stealth bomber development program is under way just as Russia is also deploying the SS-27 Topol M ballistic missile." The SS-27 Topol M is Moscow's newest single-warhead nuclear ICBM; Russian officials have said they plan to deploy at least ten new missiles a year for the next several years to replace aging ICBMs.
Furthermore, the Topol M is considered to be the most advanced mobile missile in the world. According to the Russian military, the SS-27 is equipped with a maneuvering warhead intended to defeat any U.S. anti-missile systems and has an explosive power of over a half million tons of TNT, WorldNetDaily said.
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