Tu-160 will carry 12 Kh-BD missiles with a 6,500 km range each

Enhancements are on the horizon for Russia’s Tu-160 supersonic strategic missile bombers as they are slated to be armed with the newly developed Kh-BD cruise missiles, a revelation made evident by a video broadcast from the Russian Defense Ministry. These developments necessitate close scrutiny. 

Confirmed: Russia has included the Tu-160 bombers in the war
Photo credit: Reuters

Lieutenant General Sergey Kobylash, commander of long-range aviation, during a notable visit of Sergei Shoigu, the head of the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, at the Knevichi airport in Primorye, divulged crucial details about the said missile.

Dissecting the information, Kobylash articulated, “The Kh-BD missile, housed in two cartridges carrying six missiles each, boasts a range that surpasses 6.5 thousand kilometers.”

Contemporary technological marvel

Deriving its name from its function, the missile signifies “long-range”, manifesting itself as a product of the foundational Kh-101 cruise missile. The inception of the Kh-BD occurred under the aegis of Raduga MKB, a significant constituent of the Tactical Missile Weapons Corporation.

However, in a shroud of confidentiality, the precise technical specifications of the rocket remain undisclosed. 

Within the chasms of unconfirmed data lies the proposition that the Kh-BD boasts an impressive marathon capability of covering a span between 7.5 to 8.5 thousand kilometers.

Russian Kh-101 stealth attack cruise missile use 35 US-made chips
Photo: Missile Threat

Following this, the missile carries the potential of being armed with a multiple warhead, designed to strike two distinct targets distanced 100 kilometers apart. The question of the missile’s equipage with a nuclear charge persists, a topic covered by journalists at aif.ru.

Kh-BD rumors

The Russian cruise missile Kh-BD has been the subject of various rumors regarding its materials. One rumor suggests that the missile is made of advanced composite materials, which provide it with enhanced durability and stealth capabilities.

These materials are believed to make the missile more resistant to detection by radar systems, allowing it to penetrate enemy defenses more effectively. However, it is important to note that these rumors are speculative and not confirmed by official sources.

There have also been rumors surrounding the warhead of the Kh-BD cruise missile. Some sources claim that the missile is equipped with a conventional explosive warhead, while others suggest that it may have a nuclear warhead option.

The exact specifications of the warhead remain classified information, and it is difficult to ascertain the accuracy of these claims. Additionally, there are claims that the missile is capable of maneuvering during flight, making it more difficult to intercept. Official information regarding the Kh-BD’s range, maneuverability, and other performance characteristics is limited and not publicly available.

What will Russia get by the end of 2023?

In the waning months of this year, Sergei Shoigu, during a gathering at the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet on September 16, disclosed that a dozen cutting-edge naval vessels would be joining the ranks of the Russian Navy. His statement encompassed both surface and submersible ships. 

“Already the Navy has welcomed two new additions this year, and anticipates a further 12 by year’s end. This fleet expansion will notably include the Admiral Golovko frigate, the strategic missile submarine Emperor Alexander III, and the nuclear submarine Krasnoyarsk,” declared the department’s chief. 

A week prior, on September 5, Shoigu disseminated information about the potential reinforcement of the Russian Aerospace Forces. By the conclusion of 2023, these forces could be bolstered by an additional four Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bombers. 

“The present year may bring six Il-76MD-90A’s and four Tu-160M’s to the nation’s armed forces,” he mentioned in the course of a conference call.


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