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22 Feb, 2024 14:45

Putin test-flies Russian strategic bomber (VIDEO)

The modernized Tu-160M is “like a new plane,” the president has said
Putin test-flies Russian strategic bomber (VIDEO)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will greenlight the modernized Tu-160M to enter service, after a flight on Thursday on board the nuclear-capable strategic bomber.

The 30-minute flight from Kazan followed Wednesday’s inspection of the Gorbunov Aviation Plant, which is charged with modernizing the aircraft originally developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the 1970s. The bomber’s flight path was classified, according to the Kremlin.

“It is really a new machine, in many respects,” Putin said after the flight. “Even a layman can see that the controls are smoother. It’s very reliable, as is its armament. This is a new plane.”

The president described the modernized missile carrier as “truly next-generation technology” and said he would instruct the Defense Ministry to accept it into service with the air force.

Nuclear-capable Tu-160Ms have had up to 80% of their original systems replaced around the strategic bomber’s original airframe. Putin has proposed naming the newest aircraft after Mintimer Shaimiev, the first president of the federal Republic of Tatarstan, of which Kazan is the located.