World War 3 panic: Alarm bells ring as Russia shows off terrifying new secret weapon

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Last year, the Russian President boasted about the wide range of deadly weapons his nation was developing – and the new aircraft is a clear indication of him upping the stakes, irrespective of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. A Russian military source told state news agency TASS the bomber was within the Perspective Aviation Complex for Long Range Aviation (PAK DA) program, and was also known as Product 80 and Courier. It will be designed using the the “flying wing” scheme and as well as hypersonic missiles, it will be equipped with precision bombs and hypersonic weapons, as well as the newest communications and jamming equipment.

The insider said: “The production of airframe elements will be handled by one of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)’s plants; development of working design documentation is complete, material shipping has commenced.”

Another source added: “The final assembly of the entire machine should be complete in 2021.”

In December, Deputy Minister of Defense Alexey Krivoruchko said the draft projet of the plane had been approved, with trials of its first engine due to take place later this year.

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When operational, Project 80 will be a direct rival to the B-52s, which first took to the skies in 1997.

China is also working on a stealth bomber, the Xian H-20, which could be unveiled as early as November.

Separately, the second prototype of Russia’s Tu-22M3M supersonic bomber completed trials at hypersonic speeds during its fourth test flight, a defense industry source said today.

They added: “Five flights have already been performed. The hypersound speed was achieved during the fourth flight. The aircraft demonstrated good stability and controllability. Modified systems and equipment are performing normally during the trials.

“Preliminary trials are scheduled for completion in 2020.”

The Tu-22M3M is an upgraded version of the Tu-22M3 supersonic missile-carrying bomber which is being fitted with new avionics and missiles.

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“Preliminary trials are scheduled for completion in 2020.”

Mr Putin has shown little preparedness to scale back his military activities irrespective of the COVID-19 situation – including 362,342 confirmed cases in Russia.

Recent months have seen a series of military exercises, and with the pandemic raging, the Royal navy was forced to mount its biggest operation in years to shadow seven Russia vessels through the English Channel in April.

In December 2019, Mr Putin bragged that Russia was the only country in the world with hypersonic weapons, which he said could be equipped with nuclear payloads.

Widespread reports have suggested the Avangard hypersonic glide, which he announced a year earlier, has now been deployed.

Mr Putin is also planning to hold a Victory Day Parade next month to showcase Russia’s military might.

He said: “I command to start preparations for holding military parades in the capital of Russia and in other cities to mark the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

“It will be on June 24, which is the day when in 1945 the legendary historic parade of victors took place, when soldiers, who fought for Moscow and defended Leningrad and Stalingrad, liberated Europe and stormed Berlin, marched on Red Square.”

In a reference to COVID-19, he told defence minister Sergei Shoigu: “I order you to provide the most stringent requirements regarding the safety measures during the preparations for and the organisation of the parade.

“Possible risks for all participants must be minimal or excluded at all.”

The risk of conflict between the world’s superpowers was highlighted earlier today after two Russian Su-35 fighter jets intercepted a US Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft above the Mediterranean Sea.

A statement issued by the US 6th Fleet said: “For the third time in two months, Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while intercepting a US Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in the US 6th Fleet, May 26, 2020.”

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