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Tu-160M2 prototype to perform first test flight in late January.

| 2018
World Defense & Security Industry News - Russia
Tu-160M2 prototype to perform first test flight in late January
Russia’s upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack strategic bomber will perform its first test flight in January 2018. Earlier, its first test flight was planned to take place in February 2018. "The Tupolev Design Bureau has promised to take the plane into the air earlier - in late January," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on his Facebook page.
Tu 160M2 prototype to perform first test flight in late January 640 001The first Tu-160M2 bomber prototype being rolled out in November 2017
(Credit: UAC)
During a working meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November 2017, Rogozin said that the Tu-160M2 bomber was planned to perform its maiden flight in February 2018.

It was reported in 2015 that a decision had been made to resume the production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber in the upgraded Tu-160M2 version. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the serial production of the Tu-160M2 bomber was expected to begin in 2023.

The bomber was rolled out in late November 2017. "The aircraft is the first one produced in the framework of the program to resume production of strategic bombers. It is a successful result of the joint work of the interdepartmental taskforce under the leadership of the Russian defense ministry. All Tu-160 currently operational in the long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces will be definitely upgraded. Due to rapid resumption of production and available technologies, I believe it will happen in the coming years," the Russian long-range aviation Commander Sergei Kobylash said then.

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 airfield of the enterprise is upgraded for Tu-160M2 test trials. A 3.2-km long airstrip was built. It is one of the longest airstrips of defense enterprises in the European part of Russia.

Russia’s Aerospace Force is planning to purchase no less than 50 planes of the type.

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