Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Russia to receive a “digital” Tu-160 strategic bomber after upgrade

In the Soviet past, over several thousand engineers worked on the design of the world’s largest supersonic bomber Tu-160 for over a decade. Today, in the framework of the program for the aircraft modernization, the Tupolev company has introduced new methods for designing and manufacturing.

For instance, a unified information system (EIS) is used to digitize design documentation and to launch the production of Tu-160M2 “in digital”. In total, it is planned to attract about 1,500 specialists to participate in the project. Using the EIS would allow to finish all the work in about four years.

“Tu-160M2 differs from its predecessor by a totally new complex of on-board electronics and a set of weapons,” Russia Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said earlier. – Tu-160 in the M2 variant will be an absolutely new aircraft with a new on-board radio electronic equipment, but has the old well-known look. Its efficiency will increase two and a half times compared to its predecessor.”


The aircraft was manufactured by the Kazan Aviation Plant since 1984. The last machine was handed over to the customer in 2008. In order to use the latest achievements in the field of digitalization and updating the product life cycle, United Aircraft Corporation along with the MoD of Russia have launched a project to digitize the Tu-160 design documentation.

In the framework of the Tu-160M2 project, special work has been carried out, such as the protection of data exchange channels, a unified network with centralized corporate apps has been set up and exchange of design and engineering data was orginized.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.