KAZAN, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry expects to receive at least ten Tupolev Tu-22M3 (Backfire C) strategic bombers by the end of the year as part of the program of long-range aviation fleet repair and upgrade, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.
The minister opened a session on Wednesday to discuss the condition and prospects of Russia’s long-range aviation.
“We need to discuss the possibility of increasing the volume of aircraft repairs and upgrade, as well as to elaborate measures to raise the quality and reduce the time of works,” Shoigu said.
The Russian defense minister said he hoped that the repair and upgrade of Tu-22M3 strategic bombers would proceed in strict compliance with the schedule.
“We hope to receive the full volume - all ten aircraft - this year and reach the pace of 12 aircraft a year already from 2015,” Shoigu said.
Before their upgrade, the Tu-22M3 bombers had a flight range of 6,800 km (4,225 miles) and could carry a payload of 24,000 kg (52,910 lbs), including nuclear bombs and cruise missiles with nuclear or conventional warheads.