The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) will receive into service the first Tupolev Tu-160M (also designated Tu-160M2) 'Blackjack' strategic bomber in 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Russian Federation disclosed on 30 January.
Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu announced the date of the entry-into-service (EIS) of the first upgraded Tu-160M/M2 during a visit to the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant, a branch of the Tupolev PJSC.
The Tu-160 first entered into Soviet service in the late 1980s. Since then the swing-wing supersonic bomber has undergone a number of upgrades, including in the early-2000s a bolstering the aircraft's nuclear armament with the capacity to carry 12 conventionally armed Raduga NPO Kh-555 (AS-15 'Kent') long-range cruise missiles and laser-guided bombs.
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