Russia has surprised the world by announcing the successful test flight of a Cold War-era Tu-160M heavy strategic bomber equipped with new NK-32-02 engines.
Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bomber completed its maiden flight on Tuesday.
The details were given in a 3 November media release, to announce the Tu-160M missile bomber has successfully performed its maiden flight with new serial engines NK-32-02 at the airfield of Kazan Aviation Plant.
“The aircraft was piloted by a crew led by Anri Naskidyants,” said in a United Aircraft Corporation’s statement. “The flight took place at an altitude of 6,000 meters and lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes.”
The Tu-160 is a multimode supersonic strategic missile-carrying bomber with a variable-sweep wing. Russia’s top brass announced its decision in 2015 to restart the production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber in its upgraded Tu-160M version at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise.
The bomber is capable of carrying up to 12 strategic cruise missiles on two multi-position rotating launchers inside the fuselage.
The newly manufactured Tu-160 bombers and their heavily upgraded versions will not differ from each other but technically they have received different labels from the Defense Ministry: the Tu-160M for upgraded operational aircraft and the Tu-160M2 for bombers manufactured “from scratch”.