Longer range & powerful munitions: First Tu-160 bomber to join force in 2021 after makeover (VIDEO)
The Russian military is expected to receive the highly modernized variant of the iconic Tu-160M long-range bomber in 2021, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. On Wednesday, he and other top military officials visited a plant in the city of Kazan, where the modernized planes are being produced.
The new variant of Tu-160M “will be packed with a cutting-edge defensive complex, modern reliable communication system with improved interference resistance, unique weaponry, which would significantly boost its combat capabilities while utilizing conventional and nuclear munitions.”
“The plane is fitted with new-gen NK-32 engines that greatly expand their operational range and flight time,” Shoigu said.
While the existing planes are set to receive serious modernization – with basically only hulls remaining in place – the Russian Defense Ministry has also voiced plans to produce additional bombers.
The Tu-160 long-range bombers were introduced in late 1980s, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The plane was created as a carrier of long-range cruise missiles, fitted with nuclear warheads, yet it's capable of carrying other –conventional – and less destructive munitions.Also on rt.com Power projection or experimental flight? What Russian Tu-160 bombers actually did in Venezuela
The Tu-160 saw action for the very first time during the Russian anti-terrorism campaign in Syria, where they were used to strike militants’ munitions depots, HQs and other important targets.
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