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Russia's first Tu-160M2 strategic bomber entered construction phase.

| 2017
World Aviation Defense & Security News - Russia
Russia's first Tu-160M2 strategic bomber entered construction phase
The first strategic Tu-160M2 bomber is already under construction. The aircraft works in Kazan is ready to launch serial production of the aircraft, the leadership of the enterprise reported to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Russi first Tu 160M2 strategic bomber entered production phase 640 001A RusAF Tu-160 strategic bomber
(Credit: Tupolev)
"At present the first Tu-160M2 is being constructed. The necessary components are being procured to assemble new aircraft," the report said.

Shoigu earlier said the bomber project will be on special control with weekly implementation reports.

The upgraded Tu-160M2 will feature new mission systems. It will be possibly be powered by upgraded variant of the existing Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan.

The enterprise also said it will soon hand over to the defense ministry a Tu-214ON aircraft to monitor the Open Skies agreement. One such aircraft has already been transferred to the Aerospace Forces.

During a visit to the enterprise Shoigu inspected new mechanical processing equipment as well as welding tools for large-size titanium alloy items. He reminded the leadership of the necessity to renew and upgrade both production tools and the whole facilities to properly cope with the assignments.

The minister was promised that all exposed drawbacks will be remedied in the near future.

Shoigu also inspected the implementation of the state defense order to repair and modernize strategic Tu-160 and long-range Tu-22M3 bombers as well as the construction of various modifications of Tu-214 aircraft for the defense ministry.

In 2015 it was decided to resume Tu-160 bomber production in the modernized Tu-160M2 option and to postpone the design of the new-generation Perspective Aircraft Complex of Long-range Aviation (PAK DA) to a later time. The defense ministry said the serial production of Tu-160M2 was due in 2023. The Russian Aerospace Forces plan to acquire not less than 50 bombers. Their commander-in-chief said Tu-160M2 is expected to make its maiden flight in late 2018.
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