KAZAN, April 6. /TASS/. The development of Russia’s advanced Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic missile carrying bomber is underway ahead of schedule in some respects, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters on Wednesday.
"There is no reason for concern, the work is going on schedule, even ahead of schedule in some areas, which is a cause for optimism, making us confident that the airplane will fly on time," Borisov said during a visit to the Kazan Aircraft Plant.
Borisov said in early March this year that the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160 bomber would boast fundamentally new parameters as compared with the planes already in service. He added that the manufacturers were proceeding with preparations for the manufacture of upgraded bombers in keeping with schedule.
In April last year, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered the production of the Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) resumed, albeit in an upgraded variant. The updated aircraft will be designated Tu-160M2. The Tu-160M2 differs from its antecedent in more sophisticated avionics and weapons suites earmarked for it. Essentially, it will be a new airplane with the old look.