The World’s Largest Bomber
Early next year in February, the first of Russia’s new production Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack supersonic strategic bombers will take to the air.
The new bomber is essentially a prototype of a next-generation variant of the venerable Blackjack, the first generation of which was built during the 1980s in the last days of the Soviet Union. Russia operates 16 of the surviving aircraft as long-range cruise missile carriers as a key part of its strategic bomber force. The aircraft has performed well during Russia’s Syria campaign acting as launch platforms for the stealthy MKB Raduga H-101 cruise missile, which is thought to have a range between 4,500 and 5,500 km.
“The plane with the factory number 804 based on Soviet aircraft breakthroughs will be rolled out of the final assembly workshop of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise and delivered to the flight testing station in November this year,” a Russian defense industry source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency. “The plane is expected to perform its debut flight from the enterprise’s aerodrome in February next year.
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