MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. The Tupolev Aircraft Company (part of the United Aircraft Corporation) has handed over the next upgraded Tu-22M3 strategic missile-carrying bomber to Russia’s Aerospace Force, the Tupolev press office reported on Friday.
"The Tupolev Aircraft Company integrated into the United Aircraft Corporation announces the transfer of the next Tu-22M3 missile-carrying bomber for operation in the long-range aviation of Russia’s Aerospace Force after modifications under service bulletins," the company said in a statement.
The bomber underwent some modifications at the Kazan Aviation Enterprise (a branch of the Tupolev Aircraft Company), the statement says.
"All ground trials were successfully held on the aircraft at the flight testing station of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise. After its transfer to the customer, the plane made a flight to its base," according to the statement.
A Tu-22M3 bomber with a crew of four is designated to strike targets in the strategic depth of an enemy territory. The bomber can develop a maximum speed of 2,300 km/h and has an operating range of 7,000 km.
The bombers will be modernized under the Tu-22M3 project to get new long-range missiles. As a source in the defense ministry told TASS, the Tu-22M3 will be used to test Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic weapon. The bomber will be capable of carrying several hypersonic missiles.