The Russian Aerospace Forces have received two modernized Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic bombers (Ivan Yarygin and Vasily Reshetnikov), the Defense Ministry reported.
The modernized mobmbers successfully passed ground and flight tests. The modernization of strategic missile carriers to the Tu-160M2 variant is ongoing at the Kazan Aviation Plant.
The Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO codename: Blackjack) is a long range, supersonic, variable geometry wing, strategic bomber -designed to penetrate sophisticated air defense systems at low altitude and supersonic speed. It is the Soviet counterpart to the US Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bomber.
Armament (typically nuclear short range and long-range cruise missiles) is carried inside two weapons bays located at the middle of the fuselage.
The Tu-160M2 is a further development of the Tu-160 strategic bomber with state-of-the-art sensors and weapons.
In all, the Tu-160M2 is a highly upgraded version featuring detection reduction coatings, new more powerful and efficient engines giving it greater operational range, new avionics, electronics, glass cockpit, communications & control systems, a number of weapons, as well as improved thrust and unrefueled range. It will also be equipped with a new defensive system protecting it from missiles.
It will boast four new Kuznetsov NK-32 engines. The Kuznetsov NK-32 is an afterburning, three-spool, low bypass, turbofan jet engine, the largest and most powerful engine ever fitted on a combat aircraft. In maximum afterburner it produces 245 kN of thrust (55,000 lbf).
It is expected that the Tu-160M2 will be armed with long-range standoff cruise missiles, including the Kh-101/Kh-102 (nuclear variant) air-launched cruise missile and the Kh-55 subsonic air-launched cruise missile.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- KH-47M2 Kinzhal Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Ballistic Missile (Infographics)
- Is Russia Overtaking the US in the Realm of Strategic Bombers?