Air Platforms

Russia continues Tu-160 'Blackjack' bomber modernisation work

28 July 2013
The Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack' strategic bomber is being upgraded for operations over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This example was intercepted by the UK Royal Air Force over the North Sea in 2010. Source: Crown Copyright

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to upgrade a further three of its Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack' strategic bomber aircraft at a cost of RUR3.4 billion (USD103 million), a national news agency reported on 26 July.

The supersonic, variable geometry bombers will undergo the modernisation work at the Kazan Aircraft Plant, before being delivered back to the Russian Air Force Voyenno-Vozdushnyye Sily (VVS) by the end of 2015, RIA Novosti reported.

The VVS has 16 of the 1980s-vintage Tu-160 bombers in its inventory, and has plans to upgrade a further 10 aircraft by 2020 (the first upgraded platform was delivered back to the VVS in May 2008).

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