Russia’s upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bomber recently made its maiden flight. The Tupolev Tu-160M is also known as the White Swan. The Tu-160M first entered the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and its production lasted until 1995. The aircraft was taken out of service by Russia due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and rising operating costs. This aircraft has been upgraded due to delays in Russia’s PAK DA stealth strategic bomber program. The Russian army currently has 17 Tu-160 strategic bombers, which are being upgraded.
This aircraft can fly at a speed of 2220 kmph
The top speed of Tu-160 is 2220 kilometers per hour. The aircraft is capable of flying with a total weight of 110,000 kg. Its wingspan is 56 meters. Its first flight was conducted on 16 December 1981. According to the report, the new Tu-160M Blackjack strategic bomber was tested on January 12 at the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Plant. The Kazan Aviation Plant is owned by the aircraft design bureau Tupolev. Both these organizations now work under the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Russia’s UAC is part of the government-owned Rostec entity.
Flying in the air for 30 minutes at 1960 feet
UAC reported that the new Tu-160M was flown at an altitude of more than 1960 feet and remained in the air for about 30 minutes. Test pilots from Tupolev PJSC checked the stability and control of the aircraft in the air. The aircraft is equipped with modern avionics, radar and communication systems. Not only this, this bomber is capable of firing not only bombs but also missiles for a long distance.
Announcement was made in 2015 regarding upgradation
The official video of the first flight of the Tu-160M aircraft was broadcast on the Russian Defense Ministry’s television station TV Zvezda. In this video, this upgraded bomber is seen taking off on the icy runway of the Kazan Aviation Plant. The announcement to upgrade this aircraft and the closure of the PAK DA stealth bomber project was announced by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in April 2015.
Signed in the presence of Putin
A formal order to build 10 new Tu-160M was signed in the presence of President Vladimir Putin at the Kazan plant in January 2018. At that time a unit cost of each new bomber was placed at approximately $270 million. It was then expected that the first aircraft could be ready by 2021. The Russian Aerospace Forces has stated a need for at least 50 newly upgraded Tu-160M aircraft. However, so far no orders have been placed to build so many aircraft.
What was upgraded in the Tu-160
The upgraded variant of the Tu-160 was formerly known as the Tu-160M2, although it has now been renamed the Tu-160M. United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) claims that 80 percent of the aircraft’s systems have been upgraded. Yuri Slisar, General Director of UAC, explained that the Tu-160 is one of the largest and most high-tech projects in the aviation industry.
America upset with Russia’s new bomber!
America’s trouble has increased with this upgraded bomber of Russia. The tension between Russia and Ukraine is at its peak at this time. America, which is mediating in this, has also warned Russia several times against attack. Despite this, every time Russia has bluntly opposed Ukraine’s joining NATO to America. In such a situation, if Russia’s military strength increases with this aircraft, then it will be a matter of concern for America.