"A great achievement of the Russian industry": the Tu-160M missile carrier built from scratch made its first flight, by Natalia Sergievskaya and Daria Uskova for Russian RTNews. 12.01.2022.
The first strategic missile carrier Tu-160M built from scratch in the history of modern Russia made its first flight, the press service of the Rostec state corporation reported. The aircraft retains the appearance of the famous Tu-160 bomber-bomber, however, it is being created on a completely new technological base using digital technologies. UAC General Director Yuri Slyusar added that 80% of the new machine has been updated and modernized systems and equipment.
The Tu-160M strategic missile carrier, the first in the history of modern Russia, built from scratch, made its first flight. This was reported by the press service of the state corporation "Rostec".
The flight was carried out from the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Plant, a Tupolev branch of the United Aircraft Corporation. The flight took place at an altitude of 600 m and lasted about 30 minutes.
"The crew of test pilots of Tupolev PJSC performed maneuvers to check the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air," the message says.
The press service recalled that the program for the reproduction of the Tu-160 in a modernized form was deployed by the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They explained that the aircraft retains the appearance of the famous Tu-160 bomber-bomber, but is being created on a completely new technological base using digital technologies.
“The fundamental importance of today's event is that the new car is completely rebuilt from scratch. It has 80% of its systems and equipment upgraded and modernized, ”said UAC General Director Yuri Slyusar.
To implement the project, the design documentation was fully digitized, the technology of vacuum welding of titanium products was restored, and the production of airframe units was resumed.
The head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, Denis Manturov, emphasized that specialists have restored the full production cycle of the Tu-160, but already in the modification M. Now, modernized engines and aircraft control systems, navigation systems, and weapons control systems are used in production.
“Today we see significant prospects for the Tu-160 platform: further development will allow it to be used for new types of weapons, including promising ones,” Manturov emphasized.
In turn, the managing director of Tupolev, Vadim Korolev, added that as part of the program at the Kazan Aviation Plant, more than 40% of the workshop equipment was updated and modernized, and a significant part of the team underwent additional training.
In early January, the commander of long-range aviation, Lieutenant General Sergei Kobylash, reported that two Tu-160M missile carriers equipped with new weapons would enter long-range aviation in 2022.
"The process of modernizing long-range aviation aircraft is carried out in accordance with the approved plan," TASS quoted him as saying.
He specified that new electronic warfare systems and new types of weapons will be installed on the new Tu-160Ms.
A military expert, retired colonel Viktor Litovkin, in a conversation with RT, called the great achievement of Russian industry that specialists assembled a new strategic bomber for the first time in the post-Soviet period.
“Of course, 30 years after the Soviet era, new instruments, new avionics, new weapons control systems, types of weapons, new missiles, a nuclear warhead, and a nuclear-free warhead have been created. This plane can carry more than 20 tons of such missiles in its hatches, ”the expert said.
He stressed that the Tu-160M is equipped with the latest systems.
“It has more powerful engines ... It's good that we have new bombers. A bomber, a carrier of nuclear weapons, is one of the elements of the three-tier system of strategic nuclear deterrence of a nuclear adversary. The aircraft has not yet been accepted into the Aerospace Forces. But the fact that he is already flying means that in the near future he will become a member of the Aerospace Forces and will be on alert, ”Litovkin concluded.
Military expert Alexei Leonkov noted that as the TU-160M enters the troops, they will gradually replace the Tu-95MS aircraft.
“At the same time, the new aircraft has already been created taking into account modern technologies. The aircraft that existed before were created at the enterprises of the Soviet Union, and after that for a long time they were not even assembled. When the question arose that we need to modernize our nuclear triad, work was carried out on a deep modernization of the Tu-160, new engines appeared, already with completely different control systems, "he said in an interview with RT.
The specialist added that electronic warfare systems were added to the new aircraft, which protect the strategic missile carrier from various types of air-to-air and ground-to-air weapons.
“The airplane has increased its flight range, flight speed and duration of maintaining the afterburner mode. If we compare it with other aircraft, for example, with strategic aircraft in service with the United States - B-52, B-1B, B-2, then you need to understand that even these aircraft are ahead of them, ”he said.
Leonkov noted that the new aircraft used a technology that helps to relieve the load from the crew when performing a combat mission.
“It controls many systems and subsystems that ensure the stability of the aircraft flight and the accuracy of the combat mission,” said the expert.