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18-Jun-2020 09:01

On 16 November 2017, a newly assembled Tu-160M2 (built from an unfinished Tu-160 airframe) was unveiled during a roll-out ceremony at the Kazan aviation plant, signifying a restoration of certain production technologies such as electron-beam welding or titanium work reportedly lost after the termination of serial production in 1992.

According to Dmitri Rogozin, the serial production of completely new airframes for the modernized Tu-160M2 should begin in 2019 with deliveries to the Russian Air Force in 2023.

The Tupolev design, named Aircraft 160M, with a lengthened blended wing layout and incorporating some elements of the Tu-144, competed against the Myasishchev M-18 and the Sukhoi T-4 designs.

Work on the new Soviet bomber continued despite an end to the B-1A and in the same year, the design was accepted by the government committee.

The Tu-160 active fleet has been undergoing upgrades to electronics systems since the early 2000s.

The Tu-160M modernisation programme has begun with the first updated aircraft delivered in December 2014.

In 1992, Russia unilaterally suspended its flights of strategic aviation in remote regions.

A total of 19 Tu-160s were stationed inside the newly-independent Ukraine during the fall of the Soviet Union.

It is the largest and heaviest Mach 2 supersonic military aircraft ever built and second only to the XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length.The newly assembled Tu-160M2, named Petr Deinekin (after the first commanding officer of the Russian Air Force Gen.Pyotr Deynekin), performed its maiden flight in January 2018 and began flight testing the same month. The aircraft employs a fly-by-wire control system with a blended wing profile, and full-span slats are used on the leading edges, with double-slotted flaps on the trailing edges and cruciform tail.The first competition for a supersonic strategic heavy bomber was launched in the Soviet Union in 1967.

In 1972, the Soviet Union launched a new multi-mission bomber competition to create a new supersonic, variable-geometry ("swing-wing") heavy bomber with a maximum speed of Mach 2.3, in response to the US Air Force B-1 bomber project.

Squadron deployments to Long Range Aviation began that month, prior to the Tu-160 was first publicly presented in a parade in 1989.



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