Russia Starts Production of Upgraded Tu-160
KAZAN, the Russian Federation (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Yesterday (20th December), Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Alexei Krivoruchko, announced the start of the production of the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber, launched in the Volga area by Kazan Aviation Factory n.a. S.P.Gorbunov, branch of PJSC Tupolev, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Yesterday, the Deputy Defence Minister visited the enterprise, where he told to journalists that the manufacture of this type of aircraft had been launched and added that he had no doubt for the serial production to start “in the immediate future.”According to his words, a decision on serial deliveries will be made shortly after the debut flight is conducted and the work on the experimental design is fulfilled.
In March, this year, Yuri Borisov, Russian Deputy Defence Minister, state that the entire Tupolev Tu-160 fleet of supersonic strategic missile-carrying bombers with new weapons was expected to be renewed by 2030.
Then, during his visitation at the Samara-based Kuznetsov Enterprise, which is engaged in the production of engines for long-range aviation, Borisov said: “We are going to purchase the entire fleet of our strategic Tu-160 bombers in their new version and carry out heavy upgrade of operational aircraft where only the fuselage will remain while all the onboard radio-electronic equipment and engines will be replaced. That is why, we will get the renewed fleet of strategic aircraft somewhere by 2030,” adding that the new Tu-160 will be less visible than its predecessor.
In Samara, the Russian Deputy Defence Minister also stated that in parallel, new airborne weapons were under development, adding “you can’t compare the Tu-160 plane with the Kh-55, Kh-550 and even Kh-101 missiles and the plane, which we hope to get serial-produced by the 2030s with new airborne weapons that will have quite different ranges.”
The Tu-160 is considered as one of the biggest aircraft that features a variable-sweep wing and one of the most powerful warplane in the world. Back in 2015, Russia’s Defence Ministry announced that it decided to restart the production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise. The new plane was delivered to the flight testing station from the final assembly workshop on 16th November 2017. Due to its upgrade the Tu-160’s efficiency is expected to increase by 60%.
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Sources: TASS, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation