MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. The Tupolev Aircraft Company (part of the United Aircraft Corporation) confirmed on Wednesday it was testing the second prototype of the heavily upgraded Tu-22M3M long-range missile-carrying bomber at supersonic speed.
"The press office of the Tupolev Aircraft Company confirms entering the stage of testing new equipment and systems in supersonic flight modes of the heavily upgraded plane," the Tupolev told TASS.
A TASS source said earlier on Wednesday that the second prototype of the heavily upgraded Tu-22M3M strategic bomber had undergone trials at supersonic speed during its fourth test flight out of five already conducted.
As the source said, the upgraded bomber showed stability and controllability and the modernized systems and equipment operated in the normal mode during the trials.
The second prototype of the Tu-22M3M long-range missile-carrying bomber is undergoing the first stage of flight trials at the aerodrome of the Kazan Aviation Enterprise (part of the Tupolev Aircraft Company). The bomber performed its debut flight in March. As the Tupolev press office specified back then, the flight's aim was to assess the aircraft’s take-off and landing characteristics and test the on-board information and control system, adding that the bomber would soon enter a cycle of test flights.
According to the data of the Tupolev Aircraft Company, the Tu-22M3M features expanded combat capabilities and an increased operating range. Russia’s Aerospace Force ex-Commander Viktor Bondarev, currently Head of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, earlier said that the bomber’s upgraded version could carry Kh-32 cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons.
The Tu-22M3M is a modernized version of the Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic missile-carrying bomber with the variable-sweep wing. During its upgrade, the bomber will get new avionics and a capability to employ new missiles.