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    Tu-160 "White Swan"

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    Post  SOC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:51 am

    spotter wrote:Are you absolutely positive they started making NK12 engines again? last i heard was they ceased production...
    if it's true they're rolling the lines again, then i stand corrected.
    All I can tell you is that the current plan involves re-engining with new, upgraded NK-32s. Given that they've begun the program and paid for the first three, I assume that they're making the engines.

    spotter wrote:furthermore, i didnt know the M upgade includes the RAM treatement, not so sure about it.
    All of the operational BLACKJACKs already have RAM in the intakes. This is why operational airframes, when displayed publicly, used to be displayed with covers over their intakes. The new RAM treatments are supposed to be applied to the airframe, I assume they're looking at things like the wing-body junction and elements of the forward fuselage to get forward-hemisphere RCS lowered.

    spotter wrote:btw, you missed the point with mig25 comparison. tu160 is supposed to get real close for LGB/Glonass bomb delivery. if it's detected with airborne IRS on time, well, it's on a one way trip.
    If you're using conventional ALCMs like the already integrated Kh-555 the ability to launch from long range, turn around, and haul ass home makes you survivable. With the low-RCS Kh-101 the whole process becomes even more effective.

    One assumes that dropping a PGM on someone's head is reserved for lower-threat areas, such as a Chechen stronghold or something along those lines. Alternatively, if the RAM treatments make a difference, you could drop from high speed and altitude, which reduces reaction time on the ground and again makes you more survivable. With proper EW and/or SEAD support there's no reason it can't be effective in the same way the B-1B is used. Sometimes having the ability to get a large payload to the target is very useful. And there's still the Russian equivalent of the diamondback JDAM, although I forget what it's called. The Tu-160 can employ those from speed and altitude and get a pretty good standoff range I'd assume, the same way the USAF does with the JDAM version.
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    Post  spotter on Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:16 am

    Mindstorm wrote:
    spotter wrote:@mindstorm:
    you talked about the all out nuclear exchange scenario, which is exactly what i refuse to talk about. sorry, but i dont believe there is a chance for the nuclear egagement, thus i only consider the tu160's conventional punch.
    You refuse to talk of efficiency ,as nuclear delivering system, of class of aircraft mainly conceived for..........nuclear weapon's delivery and representing one of the legs of the respective nation's nuclear triad ?

    Interesting position and intellectual stance for sure Very Happy Very Happy  


    Employment of Air Forces in conventional conflict "scenario" are ,as usual, horribly influenced by typical NATO operations against its usual third world opponents ; the first time a conflict against even only a moderately strong opponent equipped with advanced weaponry will ever erupt the images of totally devastated airbases with dozen if not hundreds of aircraft reduced to small smoking scraps and high flames rising from fuel storages (very likely even before the first mission would be conducted in the theatre of operation !) will very abruptly reset the common opinion on the real possibility to conduct air campaigns as done in the latest conflicts against an advanced opponent and vividly remind to anyone why long range missiles are strictly limited and/or controlled by International treaties and agreement and not aircraft.

    My friend, you live in the 1970s lol No offence, ofc.
    Should i remind you there are other birds built with a nuclear delivery in mind, yet, those planes now employ the full array of advanced conventional punch? In doing so, they, at least partially, justify their drain on the budget. That's the line all tu160 should be optimised along. Those 6 which wont undergo the M upgrade (if that's a true upgrade in terms of weapons integration) will be better off retired.

    Imho, your stance is obsolete and has little relevance to the present day geo-pol. Focusing on "all things nuclear" is not a name of the game anymore (though it was back in the 70s).
    Still, i accept you see it differently than myself. You'll have to accept the same and live with it.

    SOC wrote:
    All I can tell you is that the current plan involves re-engining with new, upgraded NK-32s. Given that they've begun the program and paid for the first three, I assume that they're making the engines.
    Appreciate it, thanx for clarifying.

    SOC wrote:
    If you're using conventional ALCMs like the already integrated Kh-555 the ability to launch from long range, turn around, and haul ass home makes you survivable. With the low-RCS Kh-101 the whole process becomes even more effective.

    One assumes that dropping a PGM on someone's head is reserved for lower-threat areas, such as a Chechen stronghold or something along those lines. Alternatively, if the RAM treatments make a difference, you could drop from high speed and altitude, which reduces reaction time on the ground and again makes you more survivable. With proper EW and/or SEAD support there's no reason it can't be effective in the same way the B-1B is used. Sometimes having the ability to get a large payload to the target is very useful. And there's still the Russian equivalent of the diamondback JDAM, although I forget what it's called. The Tu-160 can employ those from speed and altitude and get a pretty good standoff range I'd assume, the same way the USAF does with the JDAM version.
    Right, i just had doubts that even after the M upgrade, the platform would still remain a dedicated cruise missile launcher. It would be a shame cause those toys dont come cheap so you immediately have only a limited usage opportunity for a quite expensive aircraft.






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    Vann7

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    Post  Vann7 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:58 am

    spotter wrote:Beautiful birds, those Blackjacks...though of questionable value by today's standards, save for the muscle-showing games.
    If you think Russia likes to waste billions on planes "for beauty " or "for fun" or "show of force" the country that went first to space ,that were the first to send a control remote robot to the moon ,who navigated the surfaace of the moon for 2 years taking photos and were the first to research and formulate the science required to create stealth shape planes 20-30 years earlier than Americans Scientist.. and that their works were copied and implemented in the F-117. then your seriously mistaken. Russia will never maintain and support their strategic bombers if they have a little doubt that they can do the job and work as a nuclear deterrence against the Americans.. As a matter of Fact.  Somewhere i read ,US had to negotiate with Russia to stop mass producing their Strategic bombers. Because they can do the job and be as effective as a B-2.  

    As other have explained to you the Tu-160 never was designed to fly inside enemy territory ,is not needed at all. All that Russian Strategic bombers needs is to fly close enough to any US coast and bang launch a nuclear cruise missile in a massive attack ,before any american combat plane can intercept them. Even though the cruise missiles have a range of 3,000km , even one with 300km will do the job.

    US have a VERY Large coast that they cannot defend every inch of it with Sam systems. So all that Russia needs to get very close to US is find a spot on US territory not well defended and get withing a couple of hundreds km of distance from the coast and fire hundreds of nuclear cruise missiles from dozens of supersonic strategic bombers.. the more closer they launched to the US coast the less time they will have to counter it.. Nuclear Missiles for example flying at Mach 5.0 that Russia have.. can cover a distance of 100km in 60seconds and 300km in 3minutes. Poor the americans radar operators who have to go the bathroom when such cruise missile attack is about to happen.
    Just think about that.. That Russia have the capabilities to launch hundreds nuclear cruise missiles thanks to and old supersonic bomber with "questionable value" on any US Coastal city  and that they can reach their targets in under 5 minutes


    So good luck trying to detect a cruise missile if their trajectory use as cover a mountain. Another thing.. that makes challenging cruise missiles to intercept is the curvature of earth.. and you might know the earth is not flat. But there is a curvature that can only be detected over very long distance. And no radar can track missiles that hides behind a mountain of rock ,or hide behind the earth curvature.(in this case behind water). In the case of warship.. they cannot see a cruise missile flying low beyond 50km . The only way to extend that range is using AWACS . So all that Russia needs for their bombers to become "stealth" and hide to US radars and penetrate deep inside US coast with nuclear weapons withing a hundred of km of distance is fly low over zones not well defended.

    Even a fishing boat with a hidden nuclear cruise missile will be equally deadly as a B2 or a Tu-160 ,if manage to position in the right place and launch the missile. But an strategic supersonic mach 2.0 bomber for sure is far better can travel long distance fast ,and can even escape over any combat squadron chasing it. After all what kills is not the bomber but the missiles.

    So for the most naive and brainwashed people US/NATO can defend against any thing Russia have.. but for the people with more understanding thats not the case.  So the goal of Russia is to have a powerful enough nuclear deterrence capabilities to dissuade even US
    of any attack. When you see things clearly from a practical point of view,you will realize ,you can do anything with a supersonic strategic bomber . Because each plane carry a dozen of nuclear missiles and Russia can send them withing a few hours to any part of the world and position them in any place ,launch a hundreds of nuclear missiles and escape without having a scratch.



    a good article that talks about Nuclear deterrence and defense against a nuclear war..

    http://www.crazedfanboy.com/roth/missiledefense.html
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:05 pm

    Criticism concerning tu-160 shouldn't be really directed against the plane itself but possibly against non stealthy bombers in general.

    What usual roles can a bomber have?
    Russia is hardly going to send Tu-160Ms to bomb France or the UK... more likely uses will be against targets in Afghanistan or Chechnia where no other platform could carry such a weapon... weapons like the FAB-3000, FAB-5000, and FAB-9000 plus of course the Father of all bombs would be practical roles for the Tu-160M in a limited war role.

    It could still be used against more capable enemies but there would need to be a lot of SEAD done first.

    you talked about the all out nuclear exchange scenario, which is exactly what i refuse to talk about. sorry, but i dont believe there is a chance for the nuclear egagement, thus i only consider the tu160's conventional punch. other than that, as i said, tu160 is great for muscle-showing.
    So we are going to ignore what it was designed to do and call it a failure because it is not something it was never designed to be?

    Is SS-18 also a failure as it has no conventional role?

    In a conventional conflict the Tu-160M should be as useful and as effective as any US bomber with a greater payload and range and at higher speed... which is important for weapon range including gliding and powered weapons.

    thanks for your detailed repy. Are you absolutely positive they started making NK12 engines again? last i heard was they ceased production...
    They are restarting production.

    In fact discussions about "another" 5th gen engine suggests they might develop it so that it can be retrofitted to the Tu-22M3M and Tu-160M but also act as an engine for the PAK DA.

    if it's true they're rolling the lines again, then i stand corrected. furthermore, i didnt know the M upgade includes the RAM treatement, not so sure about it.
    The original Tu-160 had RAM, including on the front blades of the engines to reduce RCS.

    Don't you think they might take it a step further when they give it a thorough overhaul that upgrades pretty much all the electronics and increases the weapon load to 45 tons?

    btw, you missed the point with mig25 comparison. tu160 is supposed to get real close for LGB/Glonass bomb delivery. if it's detected with airborne IRS on time, well, it's on a one way trip.
    Who is Russia going to bomb that has anything like a modern IADS?

    The most likely target for Russia at the moment will be Afghanistan in about 3 years time when the Taleban are trying to take over again.

    The Blackjack is a tool... an option... when you only have a hammer then you have to treat every problem like it is a nail... having hammers (Bulava, TOPOL-M, Kh-102) and having screwdrivers (Father of All Bombs et al) and having pliers and other tools means the Russian leadership can select any option they like when they like.

    Problem with somali pirates they could send a Tu-160M with Kh-101 conventionally armed cruise missiles to attack several point targets in Somalia within a few hours. Or they could wait a couple of days for an attack sub to sail there from Russia with a few Kalibr missiles on board to do the same thing... either way the Somali military will likely know nothing about it till there are explosions lighting up the night sky.

    is RuAF able to provide such an environment for their bombers?
    By the time all the Tu-160s are Tu-160Ms they will have Su-34s, PAKFAs, Su-35s, and Mig-35s... what makes you think they wont be able to suppress the enemies air defences?

    using it as a standoff ALCM platform is great, as i said, i just think this machine is too expensive if that's its only role.
    Against a modern IADS the biggest problem is having enough platforms that can launch long range cruise missiles outside the range of air defence systems. Your fighter aircraft with JDAM will be shot down... JDAMS and all by S-400. A long range bomber however, able to carry much larger weapons and to fly around the enemy and attack from directions he least expects to be attacked from can give you an enormous edge.

    Even just 45 tons of very heavy bombs (ie 1,500kg and up) can have an effect no other conventional aircraft can deliver... as the allies in WWII showed... HE bombs first to blow open the building structures and then incendiary bombs to ignite the contents creates a fire storm far more effective than just more HE could have achieved.

    And being able to loiter over the battlefield for days able to support the troops at a moments notice.

    The Tu-160 was a one trick pony for a very long time, but it was the best at what it was designed for. Now they will use it for more... and with new avionics it will be even better.

    The previous production of the Tu-160 meant each plane was slightly different as the plane slowly got better and better.

    The new upgrade to Tu-160M means for the first time they will all be the same with the same radar and the same systems and able to use a wide range of the weapons of the Russian arsenal.

    The only bad thing about the Blackjack is that they aren't making any more because the heavy aluminium one piece box structure the swing wing design is built around was made in the Ukraine by a company that does not exist now, and even if it did couldn't make a paper clip let alone a huge aluminium forging for the centre section of a supersonic bomber.


    Should i remind you there are other birds built with a nuclear delivery in mind, yet, those planes now employ the full array of advanced conventional punch? In doing so, they, at least partially, justify their drain on the budget.
    I am pleased to see the Tu-95MSM, Tu-160M and Tu-22M3M get upgrades to allow the use of conventional weapons and the unification of radars and systems and weapons should reduce operational costs for all three aircraft but at the end of the day there are very few cases where they will likely be used in anger, and even less cases where they might come up against any IADS... Russia is not the US remember and has no world police role to play out when it suits.

    I therefore think it is funny that spending even more money on these aircraft and adding a wide range of very expensive new air to ground ordinance to their pools of weapons makes them better in your eyes.

    Those 6 which wont undergo the M upgrade (if that's a true upgrade in terms of weapons integration) will be better off retired.
    The 6 that wont be upgraded by 2020 have already been upgraded.

    Still, i accept you see it differently than myself. You'll have to accept the same and live with it.
    The most valuable role the Blackjack and Bear play today is nuclear deterrent... you might not recognise that but that doesn't make it not true.

    Right, i just had doubts that even after the M upgrade, the platform would still remain a dedicated cruise missile launcher. It would be a shame cause those toys dont come cheap so you immediately have only a limited usage opportunity for a quite expensive aircraft.
    Do you plow fields with Rolls Royces?

    The Kh-555 cruise missile is not that expensive... they are already made as Kh-55 cruise missiles anyway.

    Why risk an expensive large bomber hauling 250kg or 500kg bombs when you already have a range of planes that can already do that?

    Which plane in the US inventory can carry FAB-3000 bombs or FAB-5000 bombs... or for that matter FAB-9000 or FOAB bombs?

    Saying the Tu-160M is a failure because it would need an escort for missions over a modern battlefield is like saying the B-2 is a failure for the very same reasons.

    There is no evidence that the B-2 can fly over Russian airspace with impunity from air and ground based radars and EO systems.

    British thermal cameras easily tracked B-2s at UK airshows... why wouldn't Russian thermal cameras in Su-35 and Mig-35 aircraft do the same... a B-2 could not out run or hide from either fighter and even if the B-2 rendered all their radar guided missiles useless they both have cannon and IR guided weapons.

    At the end of the day Russia has a range of tools for a range of roles... they already have Su-24s and Su-34s and Tu-22M3Ms for bomb trucks over considerable distances and with fairly heavy payloads.

    The Tu-22M3M can carry more 250kg bombs than a B-52 can carry, though obviously over a shorter flight range.

    The main value of the Bear and Blackjack is their speed and range with a heavy payload which is truly strategic... saying using cruise missiles is expensive is dishonest... the fuel the attack would use and pretty much any other kind of modern guided payload would not be that much cheaper anyway. The cruise missiles they would use are re-engineered ex-nukes... in other words they are recycling them anyway.

    If the Blackjack was American it would be the biggest and heaviest and fastest bomber in the world today... because it is Russian it is "not stealthy".

    The US would love to paint the Blackjack as some sort of white elephant, but I rather suspect the PAK DA will be influenced by the experience with the Blackjack.


    Last edited by GarryB on Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:50 pm

    Hello.
    If possible:
    1) Is it possible know the Tu-160 route over the Central America? If they came from the East. where are they passed for landing in Venezuela? Over Mexico?
    2) Is the Il-96 also a tanker?
    3) What's writen on the Tu-160 nose?
    4) Why the yellow/blue stripes on the nose? Ukrainian colors?? Thanks.
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    Post  SOC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:19 pm

    Giulio wrote:Hello.
    If possible:
    1) Is it possible know the Tu-160 route over the Central America? If they came from the East. where are they passed for landing in Venezuela? Over Mexico?
    2) Is the Il-96 also a tanker?
    3) What's writen on the Tu-160 nose?
    4) Why the yellow/blue stripes on the nose? Ukrainian colors?? Thanks.
    1. Don't know.

    2. No.

    3. Aleksander Golovanov, they name the Tu-160s after famous Russians.

    4. Russian air force colors.
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    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:36 pm

    Many thanks! So they are named like the Navy ships?
    1) If possible, what's the name of the other one Tu-160?
    2) Hot and moist conditions in Venezuela require changes in the flight operations?
    3) The orizontal bars at the nose gear are anti-splash spoilers?
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    Post  SOC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:54 pm

    Giulio wrote:Many thanks! So they are named like the Navy ships?
    1) If possible, what's the name of the other one Tu-160?
    2) Hot and moist conditions in Venezuela require changes in the flight operations?
    3) The orizontal bars at the nose gear are anti-splash spoilers?
    1. Don't know, haven't found a clear enough image.

    2. Based on my experience with at least the hot part of things in the Middle East, usually it means a lighter loading. No issue for the BLACKJACK, just take off and refuel.

    3. Which ones? Next to the tires along the ground: anti-splash fairings. Above the tires on the gear column: steering mechanism and anti-shimmy rods.

    Incidentally, these two dudes have now left Venezuela and are in Nicaragua.
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    Post  Giulio on Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:44 pm

    Nicaragua?? I didn't know!!! Very interesting thing for me. So maybe that they flew from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, flying over the Nicaragua Airspace?

    Is the Tu-160 "Aleksandr Golovanov" the Tu-160 number 05?


    If possible. In the "West" the Tu-160 is commonly know as "Blackjack". In Russia I understood: "White Swan", "белый лебедь". Correct?? Thanks.
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    Post  a89 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:26 pm

    1) If possible, what's the name of the other one Tu-160?
    Alexandr Novikov, former commander of VVS during WW2.



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    Post  SOC on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:42 pm

    Giulio wrote:Nicaragua?? I didn't know!!! Very interesting thing for me. So maybe that they flew from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, flying over the Nicaragua Airspace?
    No, they flew down the Atlantic to get to Venezuela, at one point coming close to Norway. What this means is that they may fly back to Russia through the Pacific, or they could always cross back over to the Atlantic.

    Giulio wrote:Is the Tu-160 "Aleksandr Golovanov" the Tu-160 number 05?
    Yes, 05 red; Novikov is 12 red.

    Giulio wrote:If possible. In the "West" the Tu-160 is commonly know as "Blackjack". In Russia I understood: "White Swan", "белый лебедь". Correct?? Thanks.
    Correct!
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:01 am

    2) Is the Il-96 also a tanker?
    That Il-96 wont be a tanker aircraft, but they are planning to produce Il-96 based tanker aircraft with greater fuel capacity than the Il-78s are capable of carrying so for the future it is possible to perhaps fly to Cuba and back without landing anywhere.

    The NATO codename is actually the ASCC codename (Air Standardisation Coordination Committee) which included the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and decided on new codenames for Soviet/Russian aircraft.

    A priority was that they should not sound similar to each other or other names of aircraft and used a limited set of rules.

    For instance names starting with B were bombers, and two syllable names were jet propelled, so the Bear is a bomber that uses turboprops, while the Blackjack is jet powered.
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    Post  Mindstorm on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:37 pm

    spotter wrote:My friend, you live in the 1970s lol No offence, ofc.
    Should i remind you there are other birds built with a nuclear delivery in mind, yet, those planes now employ the full array of advanced conventional punch?
    Oh not ,dear friend, how could i ever feel offended for maintaining such a so strictly rational position.......above all taking in consideration that i am in a so good company ,such as the entire US Air Force Command and the US Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration Department  Smile .

    I want to presume that, irony apart, you are perfectly aware that just today, the US is engaged in the most extensive nuclear deterrence delivery system and weapon's modernization plan of the last decades with urgent modifications to such .....anachronistic and inefficient relics of 1960 years like  B-61 nuclear gravity bomb   Laughing 

    Even more, the future LRS-B strategic bomber program and LRSO cruise missile program are shaped around and have just efficient nuclear deterrence optimization as theirs first and leading technical requirement.

    LRSO in particular is conceived to finally provide (within a decade) the B-2A Spirit with just a.....surrogate.....of those critical strategic nuclear cruise missile delivering capability ,indispensable at confront an advanced enemy IAD  (outside the very abrupt shifting ,in the B-2's development phase ,from an high altitude main attack profile requirement to a low altitude one ,so to provide it at least with some chance to deliver ,still in one piece, its.......gravity bombs , after 9-10 hours of journey from CONUS Laughing....against an enemy equipping itself with some of the SAM systems that where emerging at the time) that you have get the courage to label as a legacy of a Cold War mindset.  


    Those are the words of Dr. Billy W. Mullins, Associate Assistant Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration :

    "Regardless of the warhead chosen, the future bomber will carry LRSO, as will the B-52 fleet, and the service's B-2s, he said. In the case of the latter,  LRSO will give the stealth bombers a nuclear standoff capability to carry out missions in heavy air defense environments, he noted."
    http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2013/January%202013/January%2018%202013/CruiseMissileWarheadPickComing.aspx


    Delivering of JDAMs in Kosovo War against Serbia (the unique high altitude air defense of which was represented by export version of '60 years SA-3 and 10 barely flight-worthy MiG-29B) moreover with an huge complements of corollary aircraft and covering, for each single mission , ridiculous intercontinental distances, before return to its usual very long and costly maintenance operations in climatic controlled "ad-hoc" hangars, represented ANYTHING except a good example of cost-efficient delivery of high precision conventional fire power. Same story with Iraq in 2003.

    Tu-160 or Tu-22M3 could have completed the same missions, in those "heavenly" benign environments, at a fraction of the costs and of time employing the more precise KAB-1500/500Kr ; the question is that even this employment of high cost conventional ammunitions by part of very high cost assets such as long range bombers is considered by Federation's analysts terribly cost-inefficient and time inefficient.

    For regional conflicts against largely inferior enemies, the high-precision air delivered component of the required fire power, where necessary, will be provided by mission-optimized aircraft like SU-34s and SU-22M with SVP-24 "Gefest" possibly even still employing the immensely huge and variegated stock of unguided bombs , corrected to an acceptable CEP thanks to the task-optimized aiming systems and the enviable flight's stability of the delivering platforms.

    Now THIS represent truly cost-efficient solutions for exert air-delivered conventional fire power against immensely inferior enemies totally incapable to defend themselves. Rolling Eyes   
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    Post  spotter on Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:25 pm

    @Mindstorm:
    Now you are trying to superimpose the US conops onto the Russian one. In my opinion that's incorrect cause Russian budget and operational strategic needs are nowhere as near as that of the US.
    Mindstorm wrote:
    the question is that even this employment of high cost conventional ammunitions by part of very high cost assets such as long range bombers is considered by Federation's analysts terribly cost-inefficient and time inefficient.
    Precisely.
    Mindstorm wrote:
    For regional conflicts against largely inferior enemies, the high-precision air delivered component of the required fire power, where necessary, will be provided by mission-optimized aircraft like SU-34s and SU-22M with SVP-24 "Gefest" possibly even still employing the immensely huge and variegated stock of unguided bombs , corrected to an acceptable CEP thanks to the task-optimized aiming systems and the enviable flight's stability of the delivering platforms.
    And that would be my whole point. I don't know if you realize but what you just said is the strongest possible confirmation of my words. You played into my hands, a sort of. The only conflict that Russia may find itself in a foreseeable future, against a largely inferior opponent, is already well covered by the very capable machine as the su-34, su-25sm and su-24m. You mentioned su-22? I guess you mixed up something.

    @Vann7:
    There are so many faults in your reasoning that i don't even know where to start from. Before we move any further, please try to research more on the basic mechanics in today's world.
    I joined this forum cause there are some people that know every bit of info about technical aspects of the Russian military so i could learn something new. If i wanted to join a fanboyish forum i would go somewhere else.
    In the world with interconnected economies and trade, so dependable on each other, you talk about a nuclear engagement with the NATO? The Russian economy structure is far from being strong cause they vastly depend on the export of energy and very little final products. Who do you think they sell their gas&oil? Do you have any idea whatsoever how many western companies are engaged with the Russian arms industry? Do you realize that Russia imports the P&W engines? The Turbomeca's engines? The French electro-optronics? They even use the Texas Instrument's chips. Ever heard of a joint enterprise with Augusta Westlands? With Canadian airplane maker? And all the sudden you would launch a nuclear attack on them all?
    As much as the Russian officials try to hide it, the primary hypothetical strategic threat for Russia comes from a country real close to its borders. Cause they have a frozen territorial dispute. But even that country is investing into the Russian energy sector and getting their economies interconnected as well.

    Since i wanna honor you with a full answer, let us now assume you were right. For some mysterious clandestine reasons, there's an impending nuclear holocaust. And the Russian MoD decides their RSMF and SSBNs are not enough so they scramble the Blackjacks.
    Among many blatant mistakes you made is also one about a difference between the peacetime and wartime conditions. Apparently, you don not realize there is a difference between the two at all. Those two birds, mentioned in this thread, were detected as soon as Norway. Perhaps even before, and they were escorted by NATO fighters along Scandinavia. You do know tu-160s didn't carry any weapons, don't you? This should give you a pretty good image of how far they would get in case of war. Or you think the USN CBGs, the French Navy's CBG, the Canadian Navy, the UK Navy, the Scandinavian Navies and all their airborne ISRs would simply chill out while a strategic bomber fully armed flies westward to the US. And every SPY-1 ship covering the Atlantic approach routes would mysteriously shut their sensors down. Aha.
    The Blackjacks can try east, ofc. Directly over the Pacific is not an option. They would never pass Japan, not in their wildest dreams, not in a million years. Research on the US/Japan installations, X-band early warring and air wings if you don't know why. Needless to mention, the S. Korea based air wing will engage early on if required. Options remaining? They can flank Japan to the north and aim for Alaska. And of course, as it usually happens, the US DoD are a bunch of idiots who didn't see it coming that way (a hint: i'm being sarcastic). The defence on Alaska will force them to launch their missiles from afar and haul ass back home...or, what's left of their home. A magnificent feet of achievement, indeed. What happens with those just launched missiles?
    Vann7 wrote:Nuclear Missiles for example flying at Mach 5.0 that Russia have.. can cover a distance of 100km in 60seconds and 300km in 3minutes. Poor the americans radar operators who have to go the bathroom when such cruise missile attack is about to happen.

    The Kh-22M Burya which travels @4.6M @80000ft altitude. Its sole platform so far is the TU-22M. Even if carried by TU-160M, its range is up to 550km, and only when launched in a HA fashion. That's easily detectable and 550km away from the coast is also within the reach of the interceptors which puts bombers into jeopardy. The kh-55/555/101/102 are all subsonic and travel up to 3000km. Even if their range is greater it makes no difference. They would still need to go for a HA launch which makes the missiles detectable and cued for intercept when they close on the coast.
    Vann7 wrote:So good luck trying to detect a cruise missile if their trajectory use as cover a mountain. Another thing.. that makes challenging cruise missiles to intercept is the curvature of earth.. and you might know the earth is not flat. But there is a curvature that can only be detected over very long distance. And no radar can track missiles that hides behind a mountain of rock ,or hide behind the earth curvature.(in this case behind water). In the case of warship.. they cannot see a cruise missile flying low beyond 50km . The only way to extend that range is using AWACS .

    They would have to launch over the sea from afar. There's no mountains to speak of. Curvature of the earth? In order to achieve the missile's long range and avoid being intercepted themselves, the tu-160s would need to launch at HA. The curvature is irrelevant in that case.
    Vann7 wrote:So all that Russia needs for their bombers to become "stealth" and hide to US radars and penetrate deep inside US coast with nuclear weapons withing a hundred of km of distance is fly low over zones not well defended.

    Maybe, in the comic books. They cannot fly low right from the Engels. Just as those two that went to Venezuela, they are always detected early on and tracked most of their flight. In case of war, the solution for intercept would be ready depending on their approach path.
    I hope you realize how little these machines would accomplish in trying to destroy the US coasts. You reasoning is not only fundamentally flawed, but you have also stacked the odds heavily in Russia's favor which is unrealistic.
    For those small regional conflict against a low tech foe, there are other much more suitable platforms, as Mindstorm described. I'm not taking any sides here. Just pointing out the role you imagine the TU160s to operate is heavily influenced by the geopolitical developments. And those developments work against the aircraft's capability (integrated NATO/NORAD surveillance and early-warning sensors in Japan, Europe, Canada; NATO fighters deployed close to Russian border). It can fly to other continents, unarmed, in the peacetime and show Russia's flag. If that alone justifies its costs then great.

    @GarryB:
    Thank you for a serious and comprehensive reply. You made some strong points that i agree with. I apologize for not knowing the engine production had restarted and that RAM applique will be improved as well. There are few remarks on my part.
    GarryB wrote:The 6 that wont be upgraded by 2020 have already been upgraded.

    So actually, all 16 will be M-upgraded. I read about 10.
    GarryB wrote:The Kh-555 cruise missile is not that expensive... they are already made as Kh-55 cruise missiles anyway.

    If so then it's a good move. Anyway, that's what i'm arguing for: more focus on the conventional ability.
    GarryB wrote:I therefore think it is funny that spending even more money on these aircraft and adding a wide range of very expensive new air to ground ordinance to their pools of weapons makes them better in your eyes.

    On the contrary, nothing can make tu-160 look better in my eyes. It's an overkill for the realistic Russian defence needs and not very survivable in case of a major nuclear war anyway. Unless you think that no NATO radar, airborne ISR nor naval CBG will ever detected it on its approach to the US, during the wartime? One may as well argue it'll suddenly pop up from the ground over New York. But i guess it's good for those cocky speeches during the election time.
    GarryB wrote:Russia is not the US remember and has no world police role to play out when it suits.

    Exactly my point! So what do they need it for? To show the world they have something remaining of the super-power status? And all that in a situation where Russian military/R&D industry sector lags behind in much more basic needs.
    -they arm their fighters with SAHR missiles, for God's sake! And it's 2013. Even the 9B-1348E seeker (R-77 ARH) was developed in 1990s and lags behind the US/Israeli designs. Plus, it's doubtful how many ARH missiles Russia has at all or they are mostly for export.
    -they still haven't developed the FPA seeker for IR missiles.
    -a decade after the US, Russia yet hasn't put AESA in the air.
    -the Russian officials constantly complain about insufficient tanker fleet.
    -what about flying hours for the crews?
    -ineffective SEAD ability. It's not just about the platform. They lag behind the HARM-D, let alone the HARM-E. Or should we remind ourselves of how dismally the Russian SEAD performed in Georgia?
    -how many of their arsenal is comprised of the PGMs in comparison to dumb bombs and unguided rockets?

    And you wanna argue that nothing of these matter? But keeping the strategic bombers operation will somehow fix everything, no doubt. If you ask me, improving the SU-25 and TU-22 fleets is ten times more important for true Russian defence needs. And yes, i consider the TU-22 as a very important asset. And it employs one of the most potent anti-ship missiles ever. Thus, i will closely follow what improvements the M3M standard will bring.
    [quote="GarryB"]The most likely target for Russia at the moment will be Afghanistan in about 3 years time when the Taleban are trying to take over again.
    Yes, and what's the conclusion? The US flew their B2 all the way from the Whiteman AFB to A-stan to drop tonnes of JDAMs. Russia doesn't need an expensive strategic bomber to attack a low-threat target so close to home. They can easily launch SU-34/24 or TU-22 or Iskander from Tajekistan if needed.
    There are much more pressing needs in the Russian military (both Army and navy) and defence industry that could benefit from the funds used up by unneeded aircraft for which you won't have any appropriate mission until the end of decade and beyond. Nevertheless, that aircraft will drain your budget all the time.
    GarryB wrote:Who is Russia going to bomb that has anything like a modern IADS?
    And whom is Russia going to bomb that is so far so they need a strategic bomber's range? I understand that having such a prestigious aircraft makes one proud. But i'll be hardly convinced that spending money on it, under current conditions both in military and internationally, is prudent. There are many better ways, in terms of realistic needs, to improve military power. Worrying about a near-impossible nuclear war with the US, for which TU160 could be used, doesn't sound very rational to me.
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    Post  Giulio on Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:17 pm

    -
    Giulio
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    Post  Giulio on Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:20 pm

    SOC wrote:
    Giulio wrote:Nicaragua?? I didn't know!!! Very interesting thing for me. So maybe that they flew from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, flying over the Nicaragua Airspace?
    No, they flew down the Atlantic to get to Venezuela, at one point coming close to Norway.  What this means is that they may fly back to Russia through the Pacific, or they could always cross back over to the Atlantic.
    I don't understood. They flew down the Atlantic or the Pacific? Because the statement said: "... flew over the Caribbean, the eastern Pacific and along the southwestern coast of the North American continent ...".

    The Tu-160 is for me one of the most beautiful aircrafts in the world (regardless its nature), but I don't know a lot about this bird and I read in the web conflicting reports. This Aircraft in the West is very little know.

    I apologize if these are things that you have already spoken.

    1) Why the Tu-160 don't have a mimetic camouflage, but it is all in white (anti-nuclear?) camouflage? Is this a difference in the nature of its mission with respect to the B-1b?
    2) The big main landing gear of the Tu-160, with six strengthened elements on three axes, is it obtained from the Tu-154, the Tu-22M, or is it original?
    3) If possible, why the presence of the two Tu-95MS??? Can't the Tu-160 fly in areas without navigation and communication aid???
    4) Is the Tu-160 only a property of the Air Force, or it is also in the Navy fleet, or of a coastal command?
    5) If possible, why the Russian air forces use (they appear to use) only the probe and drogue system for the aerial refueling?
    6) Can the Tu-160 work like a tanker in a "buddy-buddy" configuration, similar to the Mirage IV?
    7) Only the best pilots of the long range aviation on the Tu-160s? Is it true that if a pilot thinks that he's not suitable for the Tu-160, he can say it and he goes elsewhere?
    8)The innermost parts of the wing, which become vertical with the wing at maximum angle; they work like wing fences at high speeds?
    Many thanks for whatever answer.
    TR1
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    Post  TR1 on Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:49 pm

    spotter wrote:
    Exactly my point! So what do they need it for? To show the world they have something remaining of the super-power status? And all that in a situation where Russian military/R&D industry sector lags behind in much more basic needs.
    -they arm their fighters with SAHR missiles, for God's sake! And it's 2013. Even the 9B-1348E seeker (R-77 ARH) was developed in 1990s and lags behind the US/Israeli designs. Plus, it's doubtful how many ARH missiles Russia has at all or they are mostly for export.
    -they still haven't developed the FPA seeker for IR missiles.
    -a decade after the US, Russia yet hasn't put AESA in the air.
    -the Russian officials constantly complain about insufficient tanker fleet.
    -what about flying hours for the crews?
    -ineffective SEAD ability. It's not just about the platform. They lag behind the HARM-D, let alone the HARM-E. Or should we remind ourselves of how dismally the Russian SEAD performed in Georgia?
    -how many of their arsenal is comprised of the PGMs in comparison to dumb bombs and unguided rockets?
    This is kinda baloney.

    1.) The RuAF JUST started recieving new fighters en-masse. The legacy birds could not use ARHs, so the point is moot. With new birds, there are new weapons.
    2.) How many AESAs are flying worldwide? Not many. Russia flew PESA far before the US did on fighters, and still has more of em. US flies mostly MECHANICAL arrays. Wheres the outrrage?
    3.) Russia doesn't need a huge tanker fleet, period. Not to mention the tanker fleet deficiency...is an argument for keeping the Tu-160.
    4.) The flying hours have been steadily increasing for the past several years, what is the issue?
    5.) Lol, Kh-31 lags? Faster, longer ranged, such lag. Remind me the last time another nation had such a hurried response needed like Russia did in Georgia? Had Russia months to prepare a massive offensive like the US, the results would have been better.
    6.) Once again, new planes, new weapons.

    At the end of the day, do you have a basis that the Tu-160 fleet is so expensive is massively infringes on other sectors of the defense budget? RuAF values the fleet greatly, good enough for me.
    SOC
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    Post  SOC on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:02 am

    Giulio wrote:
    SOC wrote:
    Giulio wrote:Nicaragua?? I didn't know!!! Very interesting thing for me. So maybe that they flew from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, flying over the Nicaragua Airspace?
    No, they flew down the Atlantic to get to Venezuela, at one point coming close to Norway.  What this means is that they may fly back to Russia through the Pacific, or they could always cross back over to the Atlantic.
    I don't understood. They flew down the Atlantic or the Pacific? Because the statement said: "... flew over the Caribbean, the eastern Pacific and along the southwestern coast of the North American continent ...".

    The Tu-160 is for me one of the most beautiful aircrafts in the world (regardless its nature), but I don't know a lot about this bird and I read in the web conflicting reports. This Aircraft in the West is very little know.

    I apologize if these are things that you have already spoken.

    1) Why the Tu-160 don't have a mimetic camouflage, but it is all in white (anti-nuclear?) camouflage? Is this a difference in the nature of its mission with respect to the B-1b?
    2) The big main landing gear of the Tu-160, with six strengthened elements on three axes, is it obtained from the Tu-154, the Tu-22M, or is it original?
    3) If possible, why the presence of the two Tu-95MS??? Can't the Tu-160 fly in areas without navigation and communication aid???
    4) Is the Tu-160 only a property of the Air Force, or it is also in the Navy fleet, or of a coastal command?
    5) If possible, why the Russian air forces use (they appear to use) only the probe and drogue system for the aerial refueling?
    6) Can the Tu-160 work like a tanker in a "buddy-buddy" configuration, similar to the Mirage IV?
    7) Only the best pilots of the long range aviation on the Tu-160s? Is it true that if a pilot thinks that he's not suitable for the Tu-160, he can say it and he goes elsewhere?
    8)The innermost parts of the wing, which become vertical with the wing at maximum angle; they work like wing fences at high speeds?
    Many thanks for whatever answer.
    1. It's got an anti-flash white coating for nuclear war. Since it was never intended to be a low-altitude penetrator, there's no real point in camouflage.
    2. Original I think.
    3. The BEAR-Hs are there for the same reason as the BLACKJACKs, exercising their long-range capability. BLACKJACK can fly around just fine by itself.
    4. RusAF only, specifically Long-Range Aviation.
    5. It's simpler and cheaper. Is it easier to use? Depends on who you ask. The drawback is that fuel transfer rates are slower; SAC came up with the flying boom concept to be able to refuel bombers faster.
    6. No.
    7. I assume they're high-hour pilots.
    8. That's exactly what they're there for, to act as fences and provide additional directional stability at high Mach.
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    Post  flamming_python on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:01 am

    Russia hasn't put an AESA in the air?

    What do you call the Zhuk AEs flown on MiG-35 prototypes & demonstrators for the last 5 years?

    The PAK-FA T-50s started getting fitted with AESA-N050-Radars as of the 3rd prototype or so too; which first flew over a year ago.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:00 am

    Now you are trying to superimpose the US conops onto the Russian one. In my opinion that's incorrect cause Russian budget and operational strategic needs are nowhere as near as that of the US.
    So Russia is not allowed to do things the way America does them in the near future?

    What you are basically saying is that because the US spends more money they can afford to use much more expensive platforms to do certain jobs rather more expensively...

    Precisely.
    Now you are guilty of what you accused Mindstorm of.... it is not cost effective for the US to use bombers flying from the US to bomb targets in Europe or Asia or the ME, but if Russia had to bomb targets in, say Croatia or indeed Libya it would have to fly from Russia as it would have no friendly basing or fly over rights to allow it to use the shorter range aircraft the US could have used if it wanted to.

    Dropping relatively small bombs with a B-2 over 12,000km ranges is expensive overkill... they could have used F-16s for that over 200km or less from nearby bases.

    For many long range potential uses the long range bomber with a 3K km or now 5K km range cruise missile might be their only airpower option apart from Su-34s with tankers that refuel them 5 or 6 times enroute to the target area. In such cases it makes rather more sense to use heavy bombers and cruise missiles than tactical aircraft AND tankers AND support aircraft AND tankers for those support aircraft etc etc.

    Needless to say carrying 8 cruise missiles to targets 3,000km away from your base either means 4 Su-34s with two tankers supporting them or one Tu-22M3M.

    And that would be my whole point. I don't know if you realize but what you just said is the strongest possible confirmation of my words. You played into my hands, a sort of. The only conflict that Russia may find itself in a foreseeable future, against a largely inferior opponent, is already well covered by the very capable machine as the su-34, su-25sm and su-24m. You mentioned su-22? I guess you mixed up something.
    Future planning is not about what will happen, but what is likely to happen.

    I suspect the Su-22M was supposed to be Su-24M with Gefest & T upgrades.

    Su-24M, Su-34, and Su-25SM would be very useful for supporting operations near Russia, but for longer range missions they would become a liability in terms of the extra support they would need.

    They need the Tu-160M, Tu-95MSM, Tu-22M3M anyway... they are an integral part of the nuclear triad (the latter with tactical nukes on theatre strikes against China and Europe), but their conventional weapon upgrade (they needed upgrades anyway) makes them more flexible and actually cheaper to operate and maintain, and also bring to the table some capabilities that other tactical aircraft cannot offer... a Tu-160M could fly supersonic all the way from Russia to launch distance from the UK in a matter of an hour or two with a payload of 3,000km range or 5,000km range cruise missiles or a range of other weapon types on board... which other aircraft in the Russian inventory could do that?

    From the airspace to the north of the UK at Blackjack could fire a conventionally armed stealthy Kh-101 cruise missiles at targets in a range of African nations... the point is that it could do it without tanker support except perhaps a quick top up just after take off... an Su-34 could carry a single Kh-101 perhaps and with tanker support might be able to launch from the same place, but not without planning to have the tanker already in position to refuel it on the way and certainly not at mach 2 all the way with a 2.2 ton cruise missile hanging from its belly.

    For some mysterious clandestine reasons, there's an impending nuclear holocaust. And the Russian MoD decides their RSMF and SSBNs are not enough so they scramble the Blackjacks.
    Here you blunder... the bomber force is not the last resort least effective... they are the one option Putin has to say he means business... he can have the Blackjacks armed and in the air flying to their setting off points flying orbits getting topped up by aerial tankers just waiting for that word to go... any enemy that ignores such a signal is going to die... because once the signal for them to go is issued at the same time the signal for ICBMs and SLBMs will be issued too. Limited nuclear strikes are a western fabrication.

    A magnificent feet of achievement, indeed. What happens with those just launched missiles?
    Do you think the air forces of Japan and the US will be intact when the Blackjack launches its missiles?

    Even at Mach 2 the SLBMs and ICBMs will start taking apart the Japanese and US air defence network at T plus 15 minutes and T plus 30 minutes respectively... do you really think that at T plus 6 hours there will be any fighters coming up to meet them?

    The Bombers for Russia are not and have never had a first strike role to try to take out US nuclear capability... for that you need stealth bombers... getting it yet?

    The Kh-22M Burya which travels @4.6M @80000ft altitude.
    Heard of Kh-32? Based on Burya, but rather faster and with double the range of the earlier missile... Burya actually travels at something like mach 3.2... it is Kh-32 that travels at mach 4.5.

    The M in Tu-160M, Tu-95MSM, Tu-22M3M was a unified upgrade of radars, electronic systems, and weapons...

    So actually, all 16 will be M-upgraded. I read about 10.
    You have read about 10 to be upgraded.

    If so then it's a good move. Anyway, that's what i'm arguing for: more focus on the conventional ability.
    The new 5,000km range Kh-101 and Kh-102 are finally accurate enough to have terminal guidance and in the Kh-101s case a conventional warhead.

    The Kh-555 is merely a Kh-55SM with the conventional warhead and terminal guidance of the Kh-101/102.

    Because of its light weight the range of the missile has gone from 3,000km of the Kh-55SM to 3,500km in the Kh-555 version.

    On the contrary, nothing can make tu-160 look better in my eyes. It's an overkill for the realistic Russian defence needs and not very survivable in case of a major nuclear war anyway.
    The Tu-160 is a necessary tool in the strategic nuclear role. In the conventional role it might never be used or might be tasked with destroying a deeply buried Afghan base using a FOAB or two... the point is that it needs to be in service till the PAK DA is ready anyway so a decent upgrade will make it cheaper to operate and offer capabilities other Russian military aircraft can't match.

    The whole point of MAD is that nothing survives... that is the point.

    Unless you think that no NATO radar, airborne ISR nor naval CBG will ever detected it on its approach to the US, during the wartime? One may as well argue it'll suddenly pop up from the ground over New York. But i guess it's good for those cocky speeches during the election time.
    All the major US airfields and radar stations are known and largely fixed... as I said above at T plus 5-15 minutes when the SLBMs are flattening things the Blackjacks will likely still be topping up extra fuel just after takeoff and be flying in the direction of their launch positions... at T plus 30 anything that could be called a long range radar in North America will be glowing when the ICBMs start ripping them a new one.

    Over Russia it will largely be the same except the B-2s are first strike aircraft and will face fully operational air defence networks... quite a different kettle of fish really... ironic the effective bombers will be flying with explosions happening all around them and are painted white, while the real white elephants are painted black...

    Exactly my point! So what do they need it for? To show the world they have something remaining of the super-power status?
    Should Russia stand by and let the US do what it wants, when it wants?

    What if the US decides to have a go at regime change in Cuba... flying a couple of Tu-160Ms overnight to land in Cuba would be a pretty clear signal to Washington don't you think? And no shot need be fired. Or it could be Venezuela, or Peru.

    The Russians need MAD and Tu-160s are part of MAD. If they are going to need to have them anyway, then making them multirole just makes sure they get better value for money.

    -they arm their fighters with SAHR missiles, for God's sake! And it's 2013. Even the 9B-1348E seeker (R-77 ARH) was developed in 1990s and lags behind the US/Israeli designs. Plus, it's doubtful how many ARH missiles Russia has at all or they are mostly for export.
    The new aircraft entering Russian AF service will be armed with RVV-SD.

    And lags behind?

    You are not one of those idiots that thinks the best technology always wins are you?

    Even the best ARH missile has less than a 50% PK rate against unaware enemies in aircraft with poor ESM equipment... in real combat between modern fighters the majority of kills will actually come from IR guided weapons.

    -they still haven't developed the FPA seeker for IR missiles.
    -a decade after the US, Russia yet hasn't put AESA in the air.
    That is OK because it was three decades from when the Russians have PESA in a fighter interceptor before the US got AESA... did the US suck for those 30 odd years?

    Russia would need to seriously rush a FPA seeker missile into service if their current missile was crap. It isn't.

    Even the F-22 doesn't have a helmet mounted sight to take advantage of high offboresight targeting... every Russian fighter... even the ones from the 1980s has those...

    -the Russian officials constantly complain about insufficient tanker fleet.
    The thing is that is not really relevant unless they start flying tactical aircraft on theatre or strategic missions like the US does in Kosovo/serbia/iraq or elsewhere.

    -what about flying hours for the crews?
    Actually very good for the last 5 years or so. Less real combat experience than NATO but that is hardly their fault.

    -ineffective SEAD ability. It's not just about the platform. They lag behind the HARM-D, let alone the HARM-E. Or should we remind ourselves of how dismally the Russian SEAD performed in Georgia?
    HARM is junk... they finally have given it some features the AS-11 has had for 30 years... let alone AS-12 and AS-17.

    The Georgian attack was a surprise... the US AF response to 11/9 was pretty ordinary too from memory.

    The introduction of a few Mi-9 and reportedly a single Su-34 the losses stopped and the SA-11 unit was captured... BTW when was the last time NATO went up against any double digit Russian SAMs?

    -how many of their arsenal is comprised of the PGMs in comparison to dumb bombs and unguided rockets?
    In 2008 there were very few PGMs... the only platform that would make sense to carry such weapons was the Su-24M.

    Things have changed however now that upgraded and new aircraft that can actually use PGMs are entering service.

    But keeping the strategic bombers operation will somehow fix everything, no doubt.
    What?

    You are the one claiming the Blackjack is an expensive white elephant that is no use. I am telling you it is a necessary leg of the nuclear triad, but can be made more useful and cheaper to operate with a major upgrade that will allow its use for strategic and theatre missions.

    Needless to say they have built a weapon called the father of all bombs that weighs in the region of 11-12 tons and has a TNT equivalent payload of about 44 tons of HE... do you think a Mig-35 will be carrying that?

    The US uses a bomb called a daisy cutter... specifically for clearing areas of jungle to use as helicopter Landing Zones... they use C-130 Hercules low speed transport aircraft to deliver them.

    Would you agree that over Afghanistan the Tu-160M would be less vulnerable than an An-12?

    If you ask me, improving the SU-25 and TU-22 fleets is ten times more important for true Russian defence needs. And yes, i consider the TU-22 as a very important asset. And it employs one of the most potent anti-ship missiles ever. Thus, i will closely follow what improvements the M3M standard will bring.
    So you object to strategic aircraft being upgraded but not other aircraft?

    What about when both are getting upgrades?

    Yes, and what's the conclusion? The US flew their B2 all the way from the Whiteman AFB to A-stan to drop tonnes of JDAMs. Russia doesn't need an expensive strategic bomber to attack a low-threat target so close to home. They can easily launch SU-34/24 or TU-22 or Iskander from Tajekistan if needed.
    Which of those aircraft is cleared to carry the FOAB?

    The Tu-22M3M could deliver a very powerful payload, I agree, but not anything from the Russian arsenal... and lets face facts the FOABs is a thermobaric weapon... it would be ideal for wiping out a whole mountains worth of poppy field in one hit and making sure anyone hiding in a cave nearby had their lungs hanging out their mouths too.

    There are much more pressing needs in the Russian military (both Army and navy) and defence industry that could benefit from the funds used up by unneeded aircraft for which you won't have any appropriate mission until the end of decade and beyond. Nevertheless, that aircraft will drain your budget all the time.
    The whole point of the reform of the Russian military is the realisation that precision conventional weapons are becoming strategic in nature.

    During WWII if you wanted to hit a single ball bearing factory you sent a thousand bombers and you pummelled the crap out of the entire area for 4 or 5 nights in a row and if you were lucky a few bombs would hit that factory and work would stop for a few hours. Then came nukes and you could miss by half a city but still take out that ball bearing factory.

    The difference is that today a single satellite guided bomb could take that factory out again or conventionally armed cruise missile.

    Until Russia has thousands of PGMs in service and all its aircraft are either upgraded to use them or new builds, until Russian pilots are trained to use them then she has to rely on tactical and strategic nuclear weapons systems to ensure her safety.

    The Blackjack is part of that security.

    They are spending money changing this, but until about 2020 or just after that there is no way they will stop spending on their strategic nuclear capacity... spending a little extra to get a few extra features is just common sense.

    And whom is Russia going to bomb that is so far so they need a strategic bomber's range? I understand that having such a prestigious aircraft makes one proud. But i'll be hardly convinced that spending money on it, under current conditions both in military and internationally, is prudent. There are many better ways, in terms of realistic needs, to improve military power. Worrying about a near-impossible nuclear war with the US, for which TU160 could be used, doesn't sound very rational to me.
    Assuming the only country Russia will ever come into conflict with as being the US is fairly irrational to me too.

    We have seen flights by Tu-160s to Venezuela... the last flight they landed and pictures were revealed as the first clue to the visit.

    A US threat to Venezuela regarding a new bout of regime change... what better response than to fly a couple of Tu-160Ms there overnight to show Russian support for the government there.

    Imagine if Tu-160s landed in Libya before the west started bombing from their no fly zone? Would France have happily sent in bombers to attack Libyan targets knowing there was a Russian presence there like that?

    At the end of the day, do you have a basis that the Tu-160 fleet is so expensive is massively infringes on other sectors of the defense budget? RuAF values the fleet greatly, good enough for me.
    The fact that they kept them operational during the 90s when there was no money suggests they are not that expensive to operate.

    Sure they didn't fly much, but that was because of a lack of funds for fuel... now they clearly have money for both.
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    Post  Rpg type 7v on Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:47 pm

    USA is building a new anti-balistic radar defence in Romania, so this was the Russian answer, that and pulling out joint talks about european bmd.
    On the Tu-160 is has capabilities unlike any other bomber but not that much and at a tremendeous cost ,so there are too few i can belive they can all be taken out in a insider spec-ops operation if there was a nuclear conflict imminent. There is less tu-160 then B-2 !!
    And the design with swing wing is backward , even sukhoi T-4 would have been earlier (when it was trully needed), better and in greater numbers built.
    Lets say if there wasnt for Tu160 Ussr would have had a 5th generation fighter , and its military usefullness in todays conflicts as a bomber has been 0 ~! Tu-95 has been a much much more usefull machine.
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    Post  Giulio on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:54 pm

    GARRY B wrote:
    Over Russia it will largely be the same except the B-2s are first strike aircraft and will face fully operational air defence networks... quite a different kettle of fish really... ironic the effective bombers will be flying with explosions happening all around them and are painted white, while the real white elephants are painted black...
    Very interesting. So, if I had correctly understood, the explosions happening all around the Tu-160s wouldn't be caused by its weapons, but would be Russian ICBM explosions? If yes, perhaps better a transfer in the Navy!

    Again, I don't correctly understood:
    1) Is the Tu-160M already in operative service?
    2) Is it with RAM components?

    3) Is the Tu-160 suitable for anti-ship missions against enemy carriers like the Tu-22M? Thanks.

    @SOC: thanks.
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    Post  TR1 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:28 pm

    Rpg type 7v wrote:USA is building a new anti-balistic radar defence in Romania, so this was the Russian answer, that and pulling out joint talks about european bmd.
    On the Tu-160 is has capabilities unlike any other bomber but not that much and at a tremendeous cost ,so there are too few i can belive they can all be taken out in a insider spec-ops operation if there was a nuclear conflict imminent. There is less tu-160 then B-2 !!
    And the design with swing wing is backward , even sukhoi T-4 would have been earlier (when it was trully needed), better and in greater numbers built.
    Lets say if there wasnt for Tu160 Ussr would have had a 5th generation fighter , and its military usefullness in todays conflicts as a bomber has been 0 ~! Tu-95 has been a much much more usefull machine.
    So much fail.

    Spec ops? 5th gen instead of Tu-160?

    So much armchair generalship in this thread, good grief.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:50 pm

    ,so there are too few i can belive they can all be taken out in a insider spec-ops operation if there was a nuclear conflict imminent.
    Hahaha... that is funny... I would be very impressed if US special forces could effectively operate deep inside Russian territory like that... they failed in Somalia when the locals saw them coming... I would expect Russian strategic bombers to be rather better protected...

    Perhaps Tom Clancy might write it that way...

    And the design with swing wing is backward , even sukhoi T-4 would have been earlier (when it was trully needed), better and in greater numbers built.
    The Sukhoi T-4 was a stupid waste of money that would have been 10 times more expensive than the Blackjack and only slightly faster... perhaps you are confusing the T-4 with the T-4MS? And even it has swing wings.

    Very interesting. So, if I had correctly understood, the explosions happening all around the Tu-160s wouldn't be caused by its weapons, but would be Russian ICBM explosions? If yes, perhaps better a transfer in the Navy!
    The only nuclear explosions near the Tu-160 (and when I say near, I mean a couple of hundred kms away) would be Kh-15 missiles destroying any nearby airbase or radar station again a few hours after the SLBMs and ICBMs destroyed them.

    Lets say if there wasnt for Tu160 Ussr would have had a 5th generation fighter , and its military usefullness in todays conflicts as a bomber has been 0 ~! Tu-95 has been a much much more usefull machine.
    All backwards as usual... the Tu-160 is infinitely more valuable to Russia than a 5th gen fighter ever could be.

    Even if Russia had no fighters at all the west would not even consider using force because of their nuclear deterrent... that is what keeps them safe and prevents "regime change" via Washington... you know... 21st C democracy in action.

    Again, I don't correctly understood:
    1) Is the Tu-160M already in operative service?
    2) Is it with RAM components?

    3) Is the Tu-160 suitable for anti-ship missions against enemy carriers like the Tu-22M? Thanks.
    1)AFAIK several Tu-160s have been upgraded already... they were talking about starting upgrades in 2006, and it was in 2012 they said 10 more would be upgraded by 2020.

    2)The first build Tu-160 had RAM coatings and RCS reduction measures.

    3)The only reason why it couldn't is lack of numbers.

    The early plan was to make more aircraft to build numbers up to about 30, Which would have created a much more viable force, but the cost of building a factory that could handle such large aluminium forgings meant it would be cheaper to just upgrade all the heavy Tupolevs and to work on a unified replacement aircraft (PAK DA)... which is what they are doing.
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    Post  Giulio on Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:17 pm

    Ok, if possible what's your thinking about antimissile shield in Europe, in bases like Deveselu in Romania? Officially anti Iran missile?

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