Kazan aircraft plant has completed the industrial welding of the first Tu-160M2 Blackjacks missile carrier. The Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said this information to journalists during his visit to the plant.
As reported The Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov during his visit that, The Ministry of Defence confirms the previously announced dates: the first test flight of the aircraft is scheduled for 2018, and the beginning of mass production in 2021.
“A great job is done, we have several times addressed with words of gratitude to the industry that in a relatively short time, ahead of previously set schedules restored processes, associated with the reproduction of the Tu-160M2,” – said Yuri Borisov.
The new Blackjacks are going to be practically a new design under the hood with completely new avionics, propulsion and even airframe modifications. As such the aircraft will be given a secondary precision-guided munitions capability.
The Tu-160M2, a modernized version Russia’s much-acclaimed Tu-160 strategic bomber, will carry an impressive arsenal of Kh-555 and Kh-101 cruise missiles, and also the latter’s nuclear-tipped version, the Kh-102.
The Kh-555 boasts an advance flight control system allowing the missile to change curse on the go. The Kh-555 carries a cluster or fragmentation/incendiary warhead and has an effective range of over 2,000 kilometers (over 1,240 miles).
The Kh-101 is even deadlier, capable of taking out targets up to 5,500 kilometers away (3,400 miles).