MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. Russia’s first Tupolev Tu-160M deeply modernized strategic bomber will appear in 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Viktor Bondarev told TASS in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
"The first deeply modernized Tu-160M will appear in 2021. The share of new components in it will be 60%," he said.
Bondarev said the program for the resumption of the Tu-160 manufacturing would not be disrupted.
"I think this program will be implemented without fail. We thoroughly analysed our capabilities before adopting it. The industry said there will be no problems with the Tu-160 reproduction," he said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry this year made a decision to restart serial production of the Tu-160 strategic bombers.
The Russian Air and Space Force is expected to receive no less than 50 new planes, which will enter serial production in 2023.
The Russian Air Force currently operates about 15 Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) supersonic strategic bombers.
Russia is at the moment developing a new strategic bomber dubbed PAK DA (prospective aviation complex of long-range aviation). The new bomber was expected to make its first flight in 2019 and become operational in the Russian Air Force approximately in 2023-2025, but its development has been postponed amid plans to resume series production of the modernized Tu-160 bomber in 2023.