Type-14 flying over the Gulf of Guinea
Supersonic strategic missile carrier
Worker's Union of the Congo
Kinshasa State Aerospace Collective
3 April 2008
30 June 2014
Congolese People's Army Air Force
2007 - present
8 (2 test and 6 serial)
The KSAC Type-14 ‘Kimondo’ is a supersonic heavy strategic bomber employed by the Congolese People's Army Air Force. The result of a joint development project between the Kinshasa State Aerospace Collective and the multinational Gorizont Group, the Type-14 is a heavily modernised version of the proposed Sukhoi T4MS bomber. With a top speed of Mach 3.2 it is the fastest bomber in the world, and one of the fastest serially produced aircraft, surpassed only by the SR-71 Blackbird. It is one of two models of strategic bomber in the Congolese People's Army Air Force as of 2021, with the other being the Tupolev Tu-22M. A variant of the Kimondo is also in service with the Gorizont Group as the PTN-02 "Gould".
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Worker's Union of the Congo found itself suddenly lacking in strategic defences. It had previously relied on the Soviet nuclear umbrella to stave off a hypothetical NATO invasion, but was now alone and vulnerable on the world stage. The recent Gulf War also served to heighten concerns around the possibility of invasion, and the new domestic weapons program was largely initiated with this threat in mind. A domestically designed and produced bomber was considered to replace the ageing fleet of Tupolev Tu-22s, but at the time the expense of such a program was deemed too great, and a number of Tupolev Tu-22M bombers were acquired from Ukraine in its place.
The late 90s and early 2000s would see the earlier fears rekindled by the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia and the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The small number of Tu-22Ms in the CPAAF inventory were deemed insufficient as a strategic deterrent and the earlier domestic bomber program was reactivated. Following the collapse of the USSR, a number of aviation engineers had relocated to the Worker's Union in search of employment with the Congolese aerospace industry, including some who had worked on Sukhoi's T4MS proposal. While considered to be promising, the technical requirements and modernisation effort were deemed excessive until the CPAAF were approached by the Gorizont Group.
Gorizont had themselves been looking into developing a modernised T4MS, but lacked the manufacturing capacity to actually build such aircraft. This situation complimented the CPAAF's own deficiencies in the field of electronic and avionic systems, and an agreement for collaboration was reached. The upgraded systems would be developed by Gorizont while the Kinshasa State Aerospace Collective would handle manufacturing. The resulting aircraft proved to be most impressive, being adopted by the CPAAF as the Type-12 'Kimondo' while Gorizont employs its own version designated the PTN-02 "Gould". Technical knowledge gained during development would later be applied to the Type-17 'Nyoka' fifth-generation multirole fighter.
The Type-14's airframe is of a unique design, being a blended delta wing that gives the bomber a distinctive triangular profile, employing variable-sweep wings to improve supersonic flight capabilities. This airframe, with the intakes s-ducted and flush to the fuselage, also grants the Type-14 a degree of radar stealth, although nowhere near to the extent of a dedicated stealth bomber like the B-2 Spirit. The Type-14 has three crew members, a pilot, a co-pilot and a bombardier, with many systems being automated to reduce crew requirements.
The Type-14 is powered by four Niari Electric IyN-29 afterburning turbofans, the most powerful engines ever fitted to a combat aircraft, narrowly surpassing those of the Tupolev Tu-160. The engine intakes are s-ducted to reduce radar signature, and it is their incredible power that allows the Type-14 to reach velocities exceeding Mach 3. With an internal fuel capacity of over 51 tons, it has a maximum range of 16,000 kilometres, and a range of 9,500 kilometres while supercruising at Mach 2.5.
Diagram displaying minimum and maximum sweep positions
Length: 41.2 m
Wingspan: 14.4 m (72°) - 40.8 m (30°)
Height: 8 m
Wing area: 97.5 m2
Empty weight: 73,700kg
Gross weight: 125,000 kg
Max takeoff weight: 170,000 kg
Fuel capacity: 51,300 kg internal
Powerplant: 4x Niari Electric IyN-29 196 kN dry, 256 kN with afterburners
Maximum speed: Mach 3.2 (3951 km/h) Maximum Speed at Altitude
Mach 2.5 (3087 km/h) Supercruise at Altitude
Range: 16,000 km at altitude, 900 km/h, full internal fuel
9,500 km at altitude, 3,000 km/h, full internal fuel
Combat Radius: 8,000 km, full internal fuel
Service ceiling: 24,500 m
Wing loading: 618.46 kg/m2 at typical mission load of 9000 kg with full internal fuel
Thrust/weight: 1.15:1 w/ afterburners at MTOW
24 Hardpoints (24 internal) With a total combined weight of 45,000kg
Type-034 Active Phased X-Band Radar - 1.8m diameter, w/ 2 side-looking supplementary arrays, ⪆600km range detection of 10m2 RCS
Type-003 Compound Protection System (4 DIRCM emitter heads, 7 receivers)
Type-021 Electro-Optical Sensor Suite
X-306 Electronic Warfare Suite
MKK-079 Central Computational System (central processing, targeting & FMS)