MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. A heavily upgraded Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber performed its debut flight with new engines, the press office of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on Tuesday.
"At the aerodrome of the Kazan Aircraft Factory, a subsidiary of the Tupolev Company (part of the UAC within the state tech corporation Rostec), a heavily upgraded Tu-160M missile-carrying bomber with new serial-produced NK-32-02 engines performed its debut flight. The aircraft was piloted by the crew under the supervision of Anri Naskidyants. The flight proceeded at an altitude of 6,000 meters and lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes," the UAC said in a statement.
During the flight, all the bomber’s renewed aircraft systems and avionics installed in the course of its upgrade were checked and the operation of the new NK-32-02 engines was evaluated.
"According to the crew’s data, the flight proceeded in the normal mode and all the systems and equipment operated without a hitch," the UAC said.
The Tu-160 is a multimode supersonic strategic missile-carrying bomber with a variable sweep wing. Russia’s top brass announced its decision in 2015 to restart the production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber in its upgraded Tu-160M version at the Kazan Aircraft Enterprise.
On February 2, the first heavily upgraded Tu-160M prototype derived from an operational Tu-160 bomber took to the skies for the first time. The upgraded bomber features advanced flight and navigation equipment, communications, a new radar and electronic countermeasures system. The bomber is capable of carrying up to 12 strategic cruise missiles on two multi-position rotating launchers inside the fuselage.