MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The work to extend the service life of Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers and raise their combat efficiency is on the Russian Defense Ministry’s priority list, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.
"We’ll continue discussing today how tasks are being solved to develop the fleet of Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers. These planes are an important component of the country’s nuclear potential," the defense minister said at the ministry’s conference call.
These planes carry out regular flights under the nuclear containment plan over the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea and also in eastern areas, the defense minister said.
"That is why, extending the service life of the missile carriers and raising their combat efficiency are among our priority tasks. Now the public joint-stock company Tupolev is carrying out modernization of the planes jointly with other industrial enterprises and also repairing aviation engines, onboard equipment and reproducing new units and assemblies. Considering the high significance of works being carried out, we’ll discuss what has been done over this month," the defense minister said.
The Tu-160 is the Soviet strategic missile carrier armed with cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. Along with the Tu-95MS missile carrier, the Tu-160 makes part of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces along with the ground-based missile systems and submarines.