Russian Defense Ministry Receives Two Upgraded Tu-160 White Swan
Russian Defense Ministry Receives Two Upgraded Tu-160 White Swan

Russian Defense Ministry Receives Two Upgraded Tu-160 White Swan

The Russian Defense Ministry accepted two strategic Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan bombers from Kazan Aircraft Plant. The bombers successfully underwent all trials and flew from Kazan to the deployment airfield in Saratov region. The Ivan Yarygin (factory # 84007142, registration # RF-94112, onboard # 04 red) and the Vasily Reshetnikov (factory # 83007526, registration # RF-94102, onboard # 02 red) made the maiden flight in 1992. Both aircraft had the inertial navigation system and engine control upgraded, as well as arms with modern digital technologies. The upgrade improved tactical characteristics of the bombers and their engagement effectiveness.

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 Mach 2+ supersonic military aircraft ever built and second only to the XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length. 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. Entering service in 1987, the Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan was the last strategic bomber designed for the Soviet Union.

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As of 2016, the Russian Air Force’s Long Range Aviation branch has at least 16 Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft in service. The Tu-160 active fleet has been undergoing upgrades to electronics systems since the early 2000s. The Tu-160 modernization programme has begun with the first updated aircraft delivered in December 2014. Tu-160M2 is a highly upgraded version featuring low observable coatings, new more powerful and efficient engines giving it greater operational range, new avionics, electronics, glass cockpit, communications and control systems, and a number of weapons, as well as improved thrust and unrefueled range. It will also have a new defensive system protecting it from missiles.

Russian Defense Ministry Receives Two Upgraded Tu-160 White Swan
Russian Defense Ministry Receives Two Upgraded Tu-160 White Swan
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