BANGALORE /India/, February 14. /TASS/. The first Tupolev Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber built under the resumed production program has been named after the Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Chief Yury Slyusar told TASS at the Aero India 2023 international air show on Tuesday.
"The first built Tu-160M has been named in honor of Valentina Tereshkova," he said.
Tu-160 bombers traditionally get names of outstanding people in long-range aviation. In 2022, Tereshkova turned 85.
In late 2022, the first Tupolev Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bomber built anew, completed factory tests. During its test flight, the strategic bomber conducted maneuvers to check the aircraft’s stability and control in the air, the working capacity of its airborne systems and engines, and the onboard radio-electronic equipment.
Russia launched the program of restarting the production of upgraded Tu-160 strategic bombers in their Tu-160M configuration following a decision by President Vladimir Putin.
Under a state contract signed to implement the program, the Industry and Trade Ministry and the Tupolev Aircraft Company fully digitized the design documentation on the Tu-160M bomber within the shortest time possible, restored the titanium vacuum welding technology, restarted the production of the bomber’s airframe assemblies and set up a new cooperation chain of advanced metallurgical, aircraft-, machine-and instrument-building enterprises, with most of them integrated into the state tech corporation Rostec.
The Tu-160 is the world’s heaviest supersonic military aircraft with a variable-sweep wing to date.
The Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a Soviet and subsequently a Russian supersonic variable-sweep wing strategic missile-carrying bomber. Along with the Tu-95MS bombers, these planes are the mainstay of the Russian Aerospace Force’s long-range aviation. The Tu-160M is designated to strike enemy targets in remote areas with nuclear and conventional weapons.