Russia is expanding its fleet and soon it will have at least 50 new aircrafts – Tu-160 (Blackjack) heavy strategic bombers.
According to Russian Air Force Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, the plan of the Russian Defense Ministry is to buy 50 or more Tu-160 (Blackjack) heavy strategic bombers, as soon as the production is renewed.
Col. Gen. Bondarev didn’t say when the production might start, but he did mention that the minimum purchase of 50 aircrafts is needed in order to cover the costs of renewed production.
The renewed production of Tu-160s was previously proclaimed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
As Bondarev explained, the fact that Tu-160 will once again find its place on the production lines doesn’t mean that the production of PAK DA aircrafts will stop. This next-generation Russian strategic bomber by the Tupolev Design Bureau is still under development. The delivery of this new aircraft, equipped with the newest high-precision weaponry, was scheduled for 2020, but the plan has changed, so the Russian Air Force can expect the first PAK DA aircraft in 2023.
Meanwhile, Tu-160s are in the process of improvement. New Tu-160s will have new radars and new navigation equipment. This supersonic strategic bomber, with variable-sweep wings, has the ability to eliminate targets using nuclear and conventional weapons.