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Russia's modernised Tu-160 bomber performs first flight

November 19, 2014, 19:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Tu-160 missile carriers are undergoing the first stage modernisation with replacement of nearly all the onboard radar equipment and avionics
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Russia's Tu-160 bomber

Russia's Tu-160 bomber

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. Russia’s strategic bomber Tupolev Tu-160 has performed the first flight after modernisation, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on its website on Wednesday.

“On November 16, 2014 the Tu-160 bomber performed the first flight after a major overhaul with modernisation,” UAC says. The Tu-160 (“White Swan”) was in the air for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

At present the Tu-160 missile carriers are undergoing the first stage modernisation with replacement of nearly all the onboard radar equipment and avionics.

The supersonic strategic missile-carrying Tu-160 swing-wing jet is designed to engage targets in geographically remote areas and deep behind enemy lines in the continental theatres of operations. The bomber’s practical range with normal load is 13,200 kilometers and with maximum load - 10,500 kilometers. The strategic aircraft has a crew of four.

Infographics Strengthening Russia’s defense capability in 2014 Strengthening Russia’s defense capability in 2014
Modernization and reorganization of the Russia’s Armed Forces in 2014. Infographics by TASS
Last year, the Tu-160 missile carriers performed a long-distance flight from Russia’s Volga area to Venezuela. They took off from the Engels base in the Saratov region, flying over the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific, along the southeast coast of the North American continent and landed at the Simуn Bolivar International Airport near the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

The planes flew more than 10,000 kilometers during 13 hours. After that they performed a flight from the Venezuelan Maiquetia airport to Managua airport in Nicaragua. The strategic bombers covered a distance of more than 2,500 kilometres in three hours.

The Russian Air Force planes have performed and perform all the flights in strict compliance with the international rules of airspace use, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement then.

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