Fast, heavily armed and long-range – the first flight of the modernized strategic missile bomber Tu-160M, made in Russia from scratch, is planned for the beginning of next year. Missile carriers of this type are a key element of the aviation component of the “nuclear triad”.
The appearance of the modernized Tu-160M is slightly different from the Soviet-made aircraft. The main innovation is that instead of the HK-32 engines developed in 1983, the aircraft will get a modern NK-32.02, more economical and more powerful.
A powerful bomber
Thanks to powerful propulsion systems, as RIA Novosti commentator Andrej Koc points out, the Tu-160M retains the status of the fastest bomber in the world. It can reach a speed of 2200 kilometers per hour and with the help of forcing it can easily evade enemy fighters.
The range of weapons he carries is not mentioned. However, it is known that the Tu-160M will have X-101 and X-102 cruise missiles. In addition, “White Swans” will be able to use long-range anti-ship missiles. Thanks to a special computer system based on the targeting and navigation system SVP-24 “Gefest”, as on the Su-24 and Tu-22 bombers, unguided air bombs will become high-precision weapons.
However, fundamentally new ammunition is being developed for “White Swans”. It is a promising long-range hypersonic missile X-95. Its speed will exceed five swings, which will make it extremely difficult for air defense systems to intercept. It was announced that the X-95 will be able to carry a nuclear combat unit.
Best in class
The Tu-160 is not only the fastest, but also the largest and most powerful supersonic aircraft compared to competitors, with a maximum takeoff weight of about 275 tons.
The main task of the “White Swans” is to destroy particularly important targets deep in enemy territory and in remote areas. In terms of structure, the Tu-160 is a heavy monoplane with an extended wing, variable swing and four jet engines. Rotary launchers can carry up to 12 cruise missiles, including nuclear ones.
The rocket carriers took part in the battle for the first time during the operation of the Russian Air and Space Forces in Syria. In November 2015, several planes with H-555 and H-101 missiles struck the facilities of militants from Syria. All targets were successfully hit. Later, the planes were used several times in the Syrian campaign. Tu-160s regularly patrol neutral waters near Russia’s borders.
Long-range aviation today has sixteen “White Swans”. According to the plans of the Ministry of Defense, all of them will undergo deep modernization and will serve for more than a decade with the new aircraft. In the future, the Tu-160 can be used in close cooperation with promising long-range aviation complexes (PAK DA).
It is assumed that thanks to the difficult visibility of the PAK DA complex, the plane will be able to strike with impunity on ground targets and leave the zone of action of the enemy’s air defense unnoticed. Only one bomber in the world now has such qualities – the American B-2 Spirit.
Unlike strategic missile carriers such as the Tu-160 and the Tu-22M3 long-range bomber, the DA will be subsonic. It is far more economical – aviation experts estimate the range of the flight at fifteen thousand kilometers.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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