The Russian Air Force is planning to modernize 13 long-range bombers this year, according to a statement by Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu on 1 March 2015.
In 2014 two Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO-name “Blackjack”) and five Tu-95MS (NATO-name “Bear”) upgraded strategic bombers were rotated back to active duty. By 2020 seventy percent of the Russian long-range bomber fleet is expected to have gone through the update program.
Meant to keep the Tupolevs longer in service, the Russian Defence Ministry did not elaborate on how many more years they are supposed to serve. “But our strategic missile carriers will be on the forefront of protecting the motherland,” Mr. Shoygu said. That includes them going for ‘outings’ to get photographed by NATO aircraft like the RAF Typhoons lately and training on in-flight refuelling.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Tu-160 strategic bomber (Image © Tupolev)