Russian Air Force expects Tu-160M2 bomber's maiden flight for late 2018

World Defense & Security News - Russia
Russian Air Force expects Tu-160M2 bomber's maiden flight for late 2018
The upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber (designated as Tu-160M2) may perform its maiden flight in late 2018, according to the Commander of Russia`s Aerospace Forces (Russian acronym: VKS, Vozdushno-Kosmicheskie Sily), Colonel General Viktor Bondarev.
Russian Air Force expects Tu 160M2 bomber s maiden light for late 2018 640 001A RuAF Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber
"The maiden flight of the Tu-160M2 strategic bomber `s demonstrator is scheduled for late 2018. The first serial plane will fly up in 2021. The aforementioned maiden flights will be followed by the Ministry of Defense`s (MoD) acquisition of the Tu-160M2 strategic bombers," Bondarev said.

In 2015, the MoD revealed its intention to resume the production of the upgraded Tu-160 strategic bombers in the Tu-160M2 configuration and to shift the development of the PAK DA perspective strategic aircraft to a later date. The Ministry said that the Tu-160M2`s serial production may start in 2023. At present, the Aerospace Forces are planning to acquire about 50 Tu-160M2s.

The new bomber will possibly be powered by upgraded versions of the existing Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan.

Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern - KRET - will be creating new on-board systems, controls, a gimbal-less inertial navigation system, electronic warfare complex, fuel use monitoring systems, as well as weapons control systems.

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