Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A breathtaking trip with the wonderful Strategic Bomber Tu 160

A breathtaking trip with the wonderful Strategic Bomber Tu 160

The Tu-160 (NATO designation Blackjack) is the world's largest operational bomber. It is nicknamed the White Swan by the pilots. Unlike the B-1B, the Tu-160 bomber remains committed to both low-level penetration (at transonic speeds) and high-level penetration at speeds of about Mach 1.9.

In 1989 the Tu-160 reached a speed of 2 200 km/h for the first time. However later maximum speed was limited to 2 000 km/h in order to extend service lives of the engines and fuselage. It is worth noting that the Blackjack set 44 world records.

   The Blackjack is armed with Kh-55 (NATO designation AS-15 Kent) cruise missiles and Kh-15 (NATO designation AS-16 Kickback) attack missiles. Both of these missiles can carry nuclear warheads. Missiles are carried in two weapon bays. The Tu-160 can also carry free-fall bombs. These bombers are intended to attack the most important enemy targets. 
   In 2014 overhaul and modernization of the T-160s commenced at the Tupolev plant. Modernized aircraft are fitted with new radars and navigation equipment. It is expected that by 2020 more than dozen of Tu-160s bombers will be upgraded and will be in operational service with the Russian Air Force.
   Furthermore in 2015 it was announced, that Russian MoD plans to relaunch production of the Tu-160. Newly build bombers will be fitted with new engines, new radars and new avionics. These future production aircraft are referred as Tu-160M2.