Russian defense minister orders to consider restarting Tu-160 missile carrier production

Russia’s Air Force will get two strategic bombers Tupolev Tu-160 and twelve long-range Tu-22M3 bombers this year

Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber (archive)

Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber (archive)

KAZAN, April 29. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu gave instructions on Wednesday to study the issue of resuming the production of Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) supersonic strategic bombers at the Kazan aviation plant in the Volga Republic of Tatarstan.

“It is necessary already today to start implementing tasks not only for keeping in good order and modernizing the fleet of long-range aviation but also for reproducing Tu-160 missile carriers,” Shoigu said during a visit to the Kazan plant.

The Tu-160 bomber is “a unique plane that has been several decades abreast of time and has not used its constructive possibilities to the full extent until now,” the Russian defense minister said.

“No one has devised a better plane in the supersonic category up to date,” Shoigu said.

The Russian Air Force currently operates about 15 Tu-160 strategic bombers. The missile carriers are undergoing modernization, which was announced in 2012. 

Russia is currently developing a new strategic bomber dubbed PAK DA (prospective aviation complex of long-range aviation). The new bomber is expected to make its first flight in 2019 and become operational in the Russian Air Force approximately in 2023-2025.

According to previous reports, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu held a workshop on the restoration and maintenance of the country’s long-range aviation fleet. The Defense Ministry said Shoigu has visited the Kazan Aviation Plant and gave orders to furnish the enterprise with new equipment to boost the long-range aviation power.

Ahead of the meeting, the ministry said, Shoigu visited shops of the aircraft plant where the Tu-160 and Tu-22M3 bombers are repaired and modernized.

Russian Air Force will get 2 Tu-160 and 12 Tu-22M2 bombers

The Defense Ministry press service told TASS on Wednesday that Russia’s Air Force will get two strategic bombers Tupolev Tu-160 and twelve long-range Tu-22M3 bombers before the end of this year.

In February, Russian Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said that deep modernisation of five Tu-160 and nine Tu-22M3 aircraft would be completed this year.

 The Russian Defense Ministry is set to continue the rearmament program in the armed forces this year. Infographics by TASS

“Six more Tu-22M3 aircraft have been taken for modernization to the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant,” the press service said.

The Kazan Aviation Plant, founded in 1927, is a subsidiary of JSC Tupolev. It currently manufactures special purpose aircraft on the basis of Tu-214, as well as repairs and modernises bombers. In addition, the company manufactures and supplies components and assemblies within the framework of cooperation with other plants of the United Aircraft Corporation. In particular, the Kazan plant is preparing for the production of wings and tail assembly for the IL-476 planes.

Russian Tu-160 Bomber Excels US B1 Lancer

26.12.2014   Siberian Insider

Photo from

Upgraded Russian supersonic strategic bomber Tu-160 (NATO classification – Blackjack), which was considered the fastest missile carrier of the XXI century before improvement, with the new electronic systems receives even greater superiority in the sky and finds new advantages over American bomber B1 Lancer, Inquisitr writes.

Developed in the Soviet era, the Tu-160 has become a real pride of the Air Forces of the USSR.Upgraded bomber has the latest radar system and electronic warfare system with ultra-modern elements of guidance and control, which allows to hit targets with a high degree of accuracy in any weather and at any time of the day. Also by 2016, the Tu-160 is going to be equipped with upgraded engines such as NK-32. Thereafter, the aircraft will be capable of speeds of more 2.4 thousand kilometers (1.5 thousand miles) per hour, the newspaper notes.

100 years of Russia’s long range aviation

December 24, 2014 TASS
Russian long range aviation from pre-World War I heavy military bomber to world’s largest combat aircraft in this photo gallery.
100 years of Russia's long range aviation Russia’s long range aviation marks anniversary. Source:

Russia’s long range aviation is the branch of Russian Air Force tasked with bombardment of strategic targets with nuclear weapons. It marked the centenary anniversary on December 23.

S-22 (23)

Sikorsky Ilya Muromets (S-22 and S-23) is a class of Russian pre-World War I large commercial airliners and heavy military bombers used during World War I by the Russian Empire. Aircraft series was named after a hero from Russian mythology.

Source: TASS


Tupolev Tu-4 is a four-engine bomber that served the Soviet Air Force from the late 1940s to mid-1960s. It was a reverse-engineered copy of the US-made Boeing B-29.

Source: RIA Novosti


Tupolev Tu-16 is a twin-engined jet strategic bomber used by the Soviet Union. It has flown for more than 50 years.

Source: TASS / Semyon Maisterman


Tu-95 is an icon of the Cold War as it performed a maritime surveillance and targeting mission for other aircrafts, surface ships and submarines. It is large, four-engine strategic bomber and missile platform. The aircraft entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956.

Source: TASS/Marina Lystseva


Tu-160 is a supersonic heavy strategic bomber. The aircraft entered service in 1987. It was given the nickname White Swan among Russian airmen. Tu-160 is the world’s largest combat aircraft and largest supersonic aircraft built.

Maiden Flight of Upgraded Bomber Tu-160

19.11.2014 Siberian Insider
Photo from

Upgraded strategic bomber Tu-160 made its first flight, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Wednesday.

Missile carriers Tu-160 are now at the first stage of modernization at the “Tupolev” plant.The specialists replace virtually all airborne radar and navigation equipment. It is expected that by 2020 the Russian Air Force will receive more than dozen of modernized Tu-160.

“On November 16, 2014, Tu-160 made the first flight after overhaul with modernization.“White Swan” was in the air for 2 hours 40 minutes,” was said in a statement.

The financing of PAK DA project has already been started

The financing of PAK DA project has already been started

Russian Military Technologies, 06.03.2014
The financing of PAK DA (Russian next-generation strategic bomber) project has already been started; it will be a part of the new State Arms Program for 2016-2025, Director of Department of Aviation Industry of Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, Andrey Boginsky, said at Singapore Airshow 2014, RIA Novosti reports.

The contract for development of PAK DA between the Ministry of Defense and an enterprise was signed in December 2013.

“The financing of the project has already been started; it will be a part of the new State Arms Program for 2016-2025”, — Boginsky said. At present Russia’s long-range aviation operates Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers.

Russia Plans Cruise Missile Tests, Bomber Patrols for 2014

Russia Plans Cruise Missile Tests, Bomber Patrols for 2014

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Air Force is preparing to conduct a series of tests of new cruise missiles, as well as carrying out strategic bomber patrols including stops in other countries, the commander of its long-range fleet said Wednesday.

“In 2014 we are planning practice launches of cruise missiles, including new models,” Gen. Lt. Anatoly Zhikharev told reporters, without specifying the missiles to be fired. Russian planes launched 15 cruise missiles last year.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last summer that Russia was planning a 30-fold increase of its cruise missile arsenal by 2020.

The buildup is planned to include the new Raduga Kh-101 cruise missile that can carry an 880-pound (400 kilogram) payload up to 6,000 miles (9,600 kilometers).

Zhikharev also said that Russia’s long-range air fleet would conduct long-distance patrols this year, including stops at airbases in other countries that will be named in the future.

In October last year a pair of Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers visited Venezuela and Nicaragua while conducting patrols over the Caribbean, in the first such visit since 2008.

Columbia protested the flights and scrambled jet fighters to escort the bombers, claiming that they had violated its airspace.

The Tu-160 is a supersonic strategic bomber with variable-sweep wings, designed to engage targets around the globe with nuclear and conventional weapons

Russia Speeds Up Development of New Strategic Bomber

Russia Speeds  Up  Development of New Strategic Bomber

SOCHI, November 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will begin the full-scale R&D work on its future strategic bomber in 2014, a senior aircraft-manufacturing industry official said Thursday.

The project, known as PAK-DA (an acronym meaning “future long-range aircraft”), has been in the works for several years but was given the formal go-ahead by the Russian leadership last year.

“A decision was made this year to expedite the development of the PAK-DA aircraft,” Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, said at a meeting on the future of the Russian air force chaired by President Vladimir Putin.

“We finished coordinating the project with the Defense Ministry in September and at present we are getting ready to start full-scale work on research and development of these aircraft next year,” Pogosyan said.

According to Russian media reports citing defense ministry sources, the Tupolev design bureau has won the PAK-DA development tender with its concept for a subsonic aircraft with a “flying wing” shape that provides superior “stealth capabilities.”

The Defense Ministry insisted that the PAK-DA should be equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems and armed with new nuclear-capable long-range cruise missiles in addition to a variety of high-precision conventional weapons.

The new bomber is expected to go into production by 2020 and will most likely be built at a new aircraft assembly line at Russia’s Kazan plant (KAPO), according to defense ministry officials.

The PAK-DA is due to replace Russia’s aging fleet of 63 Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear and 13 Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers in the next decade.

Pogosyan said Thursday that the preliminary tests of the modernized Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers have been completed and they will now undergo a series of inspections by a state acceptance commission.

He did not specify the number of modernized aircraft to be inspected.

According to aircraft industry officials, the modernized bombers feature new weaponry, improved electronics and avionics that double their combat effectiveness.