The Russian government recently announced that construction has begun on prototypes for their forthcoming stealth bomber, being developed under the name PAK DA. That means the field of low-observable bombers is promising to lớn be more crowded than ever by the close of the 2020s, with the United States, Russia, and đài loan trung quốc all planning to field new platforms within the next nine or so years.

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Earlier this week, the guys over at The Warzone broke that the U.S. Is in the final stages of assembly on no fewer than five B-21 Raiders, placing America squarely in the lead in the race to field the first new stealth bomber since 1989. Today, the United States is the only nation on the planet with a stealth bomber in service, as well as two different stealth fighters, in the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

A Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ALBM being carried by aMikoyan MiG-31Kinterceptor.

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(WikiMedia Commons)

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal is an air-launched hypersonic ballistic missile with a claimed range of over 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) & a claimed đứng top speed in excess of Mach 10 (or about 7,672 miles per hour). The missile can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads, with a maximum nuclear yield of about 500 kilotons, which is more than 30 times as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

Because of the missile’s blistering speed and ability to lớn maneuver in flight, the Russian military claim that it’s capable of defeating any U.S. Air defense system in service. Notably, American Defense officials similarly warn that today’s air defense systems cannot intercept hypersonic weapons, lending credence lớn the supposed threat this missile poses lớn American targets.

Last month, Russia announced the development of another air-launched weapon likely to find its way into the payload cất cánh of the PAK DA, the Kh-95 long-range hypersonic missile.