Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise
Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise

Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise


The Tupolev Tu-160M White Swan Russian supersonic long-range nuclear bombers conducted drills in Anadyr on the Chukotka Peninsula. The bombers, which can carry six standard cruise missiles and 12 short-range nuclear missiles and fly at speeds greater than two times the speed of sound, were accompanied by Ilyushin Ilyushin Il-78 tanker during the exercises. Refueling from Ilyushin Il-78 air tankers occurred at an altitude of more than 5 thousand meters and a speed of about 600 km/h. The aircrafts took off from Anadyr, Chukotka autonomous district, refuelled mid-air and landed in Saratov region.
Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise
Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise

The Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. It is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft, the fastest bomber now in use and the largest and heaviest variable-sweep wing airplane ever flown. The roll-out of the new version of the Tu-160M took place on November 16, 2017 from the industrial plants at the Kazan Aviation Plant. On the new Tu-160M version, the navigation system, the communication and control system, a radar station and the electronic countermeasure system have been updated. The bomber is able to fly 12,000 kilometres without refuelling.

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Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise
Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise

The Ilyushin Il-78 (NATO reporting name Midas) is a Soviet four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 strategic airlifter. The Il-78 tanker was developed and designed in the Ilyushin Aviation Complex in Russia. The main reason behind its development was an expansion of the transferable fuel load of an earlier version of tanker, the Il-76. The Il-78 has a total transferable fuel load of 85,720 kilograms, which includes 28,000 kilograms from a pair of 18,230-litre tanks in the freight hold. In comparison, the Il-76 has a capacity of only 10,000 kilograms. The Il-78 transfers fuel solely through deployment of the probe-and-drogue refueling method.

Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise
Russian Bomber Tu-160M Aerial Refueling Exercise
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