Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says his country should consider developing a hypersonic aircraft for its long-range bomber needs.
"I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and are not falling behind the Americans," Rogozin said on Russian television.
"The question is will we copy the Americans' 40-year experience and create a [Northrop] B-2 analog ... or will we go down a new, ultramodern technology route, looking to the horizon, and create a machine able to penetrate air defenses and carry out a strike on any aggressor," he said.
Rogozin's comments came days after the failure of a U.S. hypersonic unmanned test vehicle intended to fly at speeds of about 3,800 mph.
The U.S. X-51 Waverider test vehicle failed after a control fin broke up and the aircraft fell into the sea
Russian Air Force officials have said they expect a future long-range aircraft design to enter service by around 2020, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
Russia's Tupolev design bureau, which designed most of Russia's bombers, is reported to be in charge of the program.