According to the commander of the Long-Range Aviation, Major-General Anatoly Zhikharev, his service formulated a set of technical requirements for a new strategic bomber, known as a PAK DA - "Advanced Aviation Complex for the Long-Range Aviation." The work on the new aircraft will be carried out at the Tupolev Design Bureau. The general expects that the preliminary draft will be completed in 2012 and a flying prototype will be ready in 2020, so the new bomber could begin service in 2025.

The Tupolev Design Bureau has been reportedly working on the preliminary design since about 2009, when the Ministry of Defense placed its first R&D order.