Tu-160 is the most recognizable Russian aircraft in the world, according to foreign experts.
For the special shape of the wing with variable sweep, due to which the bomber has a special bird silhouette, it received a gentle nickname dissonant with its combat capabilities. Foreign experts believe that this aircraft remains an important part of Russia's nuclear triad and due to its great modernization potential will be in service with Russian long-range aviation for a long time to come.
It is actively used for solving problems of destruction of various targets on the territory of Ukraine. Its carrying capacity allows the Tu-160 to take on board 12 cruise missiles with nuclear warheads or 24 air-launched ballistic missiles.
But not only its appearance makes this aircraft unique, its design and four new NK-32 turbojet engines allow it to accelerate to 2200 km/h and fly to range 1, 3 thousand km/h. kilometers. This makes it, despite its venerable age, the fastest and largest supersonic bomber in the world.
The development of the Tu-160 began in 1972 year, and the first flight of the aircraft took place in the end of 1981 year. 36 copies of this aircraft were manufactured in the Soviet Union, their production was officially stopped in 1994. In 2015, Russia decided to resume production of the White Swan. In & nbsp; 2017, it was announced that a deep modernization of all Tu-160s in service will be carried out. Ten new Tu-160s were ordered in 2018 and four years later the first aircraft entered service. It was announced that the Russian military plans to order fifty more aircraft of this series.
Foreigners also note that the modern version of the Tu-160M received new power units, engines, modernized avionics, radio electronics, a new missile defense system and weapons. It is also reported that the modernized “White Swans” capable of using the more modern X-101 and X-102 cruise missiles.
It is noteworthy that the sanctions imposed on Russia after February 24 will not interfere with the production of aircraft. It was previously reported that most of the hard work on resuming production of the missile carrier has already been completed.
Foreigners note that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had a whole regiment of Tu-160 and even more bombers of this type than Russia. However, Kyiv did not have the resources to maintain a fleet of strategic bombers such as the Tu-160, forcing Kyiv to sell eight of its bombers to Russia and sell the rest for scrap.
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