A heavily upgraded Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber performed its debut flight with new engines, the press office of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced, TASS news agency reported.
“At the aerodrome of the Kazan Aircraft Factory, a subsidiary of the Tupolev Company (part of the UAC within the state tech corporation Rostec), a heavily upgraded Tu-160M missile-carrying bomber with new serial-produced NK-32-02 engines performed its debut flight. The aircraft was piloted by the crew under the supervision of Anri Naskidyants. The flight proceeded at an altitude of 6,000 meters and lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes,” the UAC said in a statement.
During the flight, all the bomber’s renewed aircraft systems and avionics installed in the course of its upgrade were checked and the operation of the new NK-32-02 engines was evaluated.
“According to the crew’s data, the flight proceeded in the normal mode and all the systems and equipment operated without a hitch,” the UAC said.
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.
On February 2, the first heavily upgraded Tu-160M prototype derived from an operational Tu-160 bomber took to the skies for the first time. The upgraded bomber features advanced flight and navigation equipment, communications, a new radar and electronic countermeasures system. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 12 strategic cruise missiles on two multi-position rotating launchers inside the fuselage.