Russia is on track and partly even ahead of schedule in restarting production of the Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber, vice-secretary of Defense Yury Borisov stated on Wednesday 6 April in Russian media. The new version of the Blackjack, designated Tu-160M2, should first fly in 2019.
Russia says it wants to order 50 new Tu-160M2 for its air force, pushing back the design and production of the totally new next-generation strategic bomber known as PAK-DA. That new design has been in development since 2009 but will likely not fly before 2023.
Moscow instead choose to restart production of a revamped Tu-160 Blackjack. Sixteen older models are already in service and represent the strong arm of Russia’s strategic bomber force. The type was also used of Syria recently.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Tu-160 strategic bomber (Image © Tupolev)