Blackjack or White Swan: what is happening with the Tu-160M?


Savings and Upgrades



February XNUMXnd happened an event that lovers have been waiting for aviation. The deeply modernized Tu-160 took off: tests were conducted at the airport of the Kazan Aviation Plant named after S.P. Gorbunov. The plane was piloted by the crew under the leadership of Henri Naskidiants. In total, the flight lasted 34 minutes.

The question immediately arises: what kind of aircraft are we talking about? The designation of the Tu-160 itself, “White Swan” (or NATO Blackjack), says little, because there are old Soviet planes and later-built vehicles for which they used the Soviet backlog. And among the names of existing aircraft you can find Tu-160, Tu-160M, Tu-160M ​​+ and even Tu-160M2. We’ll make a reservation right away: the latter is not true, since there is no Tu-160M2, just like a “completely new” bomber. The question arises: what then took off, and why so much media attention is riveted to this event? We’ll try to figure it out.

So, January 2018. The Tu-160 rises into the sky, which for some reason previously received the designation M2 with the light hand of Russian officials, although, as it turned out later, this is not entirely true (or rather, not at all). Recall that then it was a plane with serial number 8-04 and the name "Peter Deinekin": the car was built from the Soviet backlog, that is, it could be considered formally new. “Only a small modernization was carried out on the plane, the glider and engines remained the same,” TASS subsequently wrote, citing its source in the military-industrial complex.


Earlier, we recall that part of the combat machines has already undergone a partial modernization. Thus, all of them (both old and new) could be conditionally attributed to the “modernization of the first stage” aircraft, in the frames of which, in fact, we got the same Tu-160, but with some improvements. In total, the Air Force for 2019 included seventeen different Tu-160s.

The first flight is not the first


Of course, the public was waiting for the first new aircraft - the very deeply modernized one, which was supposed to become the prototype of the Super Swan. A kind of analogue of modern American "strategists". In October last year, it became known that the staff of the Novosibirsk Aviation Plant named after V.P. Chkalov manufactured the first motorcycle compartment of the Tu-160M2 strategic bomber and prepared it for shipment to the Kazan Aviation Plant named after S.P. Gorbunov. And in November 2019, TASS announced the completion of the assembly of the first deeply modernized Tu-160M ​​bomber. And on February XNUMX, the plane completed its first flight.

Blackjack or White Swan: what is happening with the Tu-160M?

Such "agility" would deserve respect, if not for one "but." As we have said, no Tu-160 "new construction" yet exists. An airplane that ascended into the sky on January 160 is nothing more than the modernization of the Tu-2 combatant with serial number 02-1.70, previously named "Igor Sikorsky." He became a kind of “prototype” of the new “Tu”, which should receive (or have already received) the on-board radar station of the Novella family HB70, the “glass cockpit”, the new navigation system HO-021M, the navigation radar DISS-70-737 , A200DP satellite navigation receiver, ABSU-505MT autopilot, S-70-70 communication system, BKR-70M state recognition system, as well as the RedutM airborne defense system.

Experts talk about new weapons, however, so far all this is at the level of rumors. For a long time, nothing has been heard about the promising X-BD long-range / super-long-range missile. Recently, the media have been talking about a kind of “hypersonic” rocket for PAK DA. However, when you consider that hypersonic weapons they call aeroballistic “Daggers”, it’s rather difficult to say something with confidence about this complex.

Most likely, the updated Tu-160 will be able, like some other aircraft of this type, to use the X-101 cruise missiles already tested in Syria. It is noteworthy that on the machine with serial number 2-02, now, apparently, the optical-television sighting system was completely dismantled, which can reduce the multifunctionality of the complex. However, we will proceed from a conditionally optimistic option: the OTPK could be made retractable, similar to how it was implemented in the case of the Plane installed on the Su-34.


No less contradictions in the case of the power plant. As it became known, the experienced Tu-160M ​​does not have new NK-32-02 engines, but they intend to install them on other modernized machines.

In the end, we got a rather controversial upgrade option, and the available data often raises more questions than answers. It is well known that fifteen drill machines are being upgraded to a new level. The same (or very close) set of equipment will have ten completely new Tu-160Ms, the first of which should take off in 2021.

On the first second


Actually, from this moment it will begin история M2: as it became known, the Ministry of Industry and Trade uses the Tu-160M2 marking to designate vehicles built from scratch.

“The construction of the strategic missile carrier Tu-160M2 is ongoing. Its first flight is planned for 2021, and deliveries to compounds and parts of long-range aviation should begin in 2023. Until 2027, ten such missile carriers will be purchased, "

- quotes the words of the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, the journal Radioelectronic Technologies.

If the information provided by the leading Russian media is correct, then we can talk about the conditional unification of the Tu-160 strategic bombers in the future. This is very useful when you consider that, in addition to them, the Air Force will continue to operate "strategists" of the Tu-95MS type, as well as the Tu-22M3 long-range bomber and its new version of the Tu-22M3M.

All this will go against the backdrop of the active development of the promising PAK DA - the first Russian strategic “invisible” bomber, which they plan to raise to the sky in the mid-2020s and put into operation near the end of the decade. But this is if everything goes as planned by the UAC. The experience of creating "stealth" in Russia is incomparably less than that of the United States. And the price of PAK DA can be, if not comparable with the cost of the B-2, then quite comparable with the price of the promising American B-21 (experts say that one “American” will cost about $ 500 million).


On the whole, we can expect repeated postponements of the first PAK DA flight: we saw something similar in our time using the example of a fifth-generation Russian fighter. In other words, the modernized Tu-160, as the frankly old Tu-95 is decommissioned, is likely to become the basis of strategic aviation in Russia. At the same time, a real alternative to the White Swan may not appear for many more years.
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  1. iouris 6 February 2020 18: 04 New
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    An alternative requires structural change. Come back in twenty years - we'll talk.
    1. Lamata 6 February 2020 18: 37 New
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      here I could hold out until retirement))))
  2. Lamata 6 February 2020 18: 07 New
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    beautiful car
  3. alex aircraft 6 February 2020 18: 33 New
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    They stopped producing the 95ms in 1992, like the 160. so why is it frankly old ?? much younger than the B 52. and the resource and time of preparation for the departure of 95 is much higher than 160 cars.
    1. Nick Russ 6 February 2020 19: 29 New
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      "They stopped producing the 95ms in 1992, like the 160. so why is it frankly old ?? much younger than the B 52. and the resource and time to prepare for the departure of 95 is much higher than 160 cars."

      This refers to obsolescence. And so, with periodic overhaul, the aircraft resource can be increased almost to infinity. I think that about 30 Tu95 will still be in operation.
  4. K-50 6 February 2020 18: 39 New
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    the public was waiting for the first new aircraft - the very deeply modernized one, which was to become the prototype of the "Super Swan". A kind of analogue of modern American "strategists".

    Why be equal to the obviously worst? belay
    They even didn’t stand next to ours. yes
    1. Zaurbek 6 February 2020 18: 51 New
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      And what were they standing with? Americans are the benchmark for using bombers. From them we must take an example adjusted for our realities. Until the universality of the application of B52, we still have to saw and saw.
      1. Vasily Ponomarev 6 February 2020 19: 05 New
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        b 52 of course is very good, what other workhorse should I look for
        1. Mihail2019 6 February 2020 19: 20 New
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          "The old horse will not spoil the furrow, but it will not plow deeply!"
          1. Zaurbek 6 February 2020 19: 42 New
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            He plows just fine.
      2. Nikolaevich I 7 February 2020 07: 11 New
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        Quote: Zaurbek
        Until the universality of the application of B52, we still have to saw and saw.

        “Tahiti, Tahiti” But is it really bad food for us? ”You bump, at least on Wikipedia, about the Tu-16 bomber, and count the shikoko modifications of the bulo!
        1. Zaurbek 7 February 2020 07: 11 New
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          Pobochte yourself ...
          1. Nikolaevich I 8 February 2020 08: 07 New
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            I have already beaten ... a lot!
        2. K-612-O 7 February 2020 14: 53 New
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          So it is still being produced, though by Chinese comrades. But this is their main strategist and alternative, if not soon
  5. Sergey39 6 February 2020 18: 58 New
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    In general, the picture of the development of bomber aviation looks quite harmonious and logical (according to the information given in this article).
  6. Dima_Anlim 6 February 2020 19: 11 New
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    Chef, u was gone! ... It was possible not to write an article, everyone was adequate, and so they understood that it was not a new plane that took off for 30 minutes, but another hybrid of the old combatant with a new interior that was known to some specialists. And that all this dregs will last a very, very long time. So long that many already forget half the promise. Journalists will give us headlines about the next achievement of the "having no analogues in the world" supernova and collect likes. Minus as you want, deep on the side.
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. Lipchanin 6 February 2020 19: 54 New
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        Quote: Michael2019
        And you listen to fewer journalists

        Gather Journalists at a Lakeside GDP Press Conference
        Those naturally ask what will be there.
        - Come, see for yourself.
        Well, the people gathered, waiting.
        Putin enters the shore, comes to the edge and walks on the water. He made two circles and left in silence.
        The next day, British newspapers came out with the headline "Putin Can't Swim"
    2. Nastia makarova 7 February 2020 12: 27 New
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      cons put you right
  7. Observer2014 6 February 2020 19: 13 New
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    In the last figure. On the “pope” the raised sheet of white slate was especially touched laughing good wassatThe author of the article has nothing to do with it. This is not his exuberant fantasy. This figure I’ll honestly say. I don’t even know anyone. But this is the pack negative This is not "PAK-DA" And all sane people are well aware of this. hi
    1. Lipchanin 6 February 2020 19: 56 New
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      Quote: Observer2014
      This is not PAK YES

      Naturally. His even natural layout still does not exist.
      While there is only this
      1. Chaldon48 6 February 2020 21: 55 New
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        PAK-YES, the military will say well, but in my opinion it would be better if such a sad need arose, then they would fight on the battlefields with the help of shotguns. Although I understand that there is no return to the past. However, you look at this technique, you think when people become so wiser that they stop creating new means of exterminating each other.
  8. Mityay65 6 February 2020 19: 27 New
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    Actually, from this moment the story of M2 will begin: as it became known, the Ministry of Industry and Trade uses the Tu-160M2 marking to designate vehicles built from scratch

    Well, finally at least some specifics. Good article.
    And then around the "fog of war" ... turning into a banal lie.
    Tu-160 in the performance of the 80s, when the majority was released, pretty condo made. The glider is very overweight. The weight of the empty rolls over, if not for the scale of the airplane, this would be noticeable to the public.
    I wonder how the bird M2 will look / made? Will the era of composites affect a titanium veteran?
    1. abc_alex 7 February 2020 14: 35 New
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      Quote: Mityai65
      The glider is very overweight. The weight of the empty rolls over, if not for the scale of the airplane, this would be noticeable to the public.

      Wait ... If you compare it with a similar in design and tasks shtatovskim B-1B, then ours is simply larger in size, but not overweight. If we take the ratio of the maximum take-off mass to the empty mass, then both of them have a coefficient of 2,47-2,5. Our weapon takes more and flies on. That is, he is simply bigger. Well, like a Su-27 more MiG-29.
      1. LastPS April 2 2020 18: 52 New
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        I would put a plus, but I can not already. But Comrade Mityai froze garbage, and six more people decided that he knew what he was talking about.
  9. gurzuf 6 February 2020 19: 32 New
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    The author sketched versions and rumors and ... made true conclusions.
  10. Petrol cutter 6 February 2020 20: 37 New
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    M-yes.
    The article is a warning.
    But at the same time, did not plunge into despondency. Personally me. Unfortunately, I am not an aircraft manufacturer, therefore I have no authority to affirm anything on this topic.
    However, there are a lot of assumptions and assumptions in it. The conclusion is drawn from this: neither the author nor we know what is really being done on airplanes. And this is right, because there is a state secret. hi
    1. LastPS April 2 2020 19: 02 New
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      What is there to understand. The 160s will gradually become the main fleet of strategic aviation. The 95th will also be still in service until they are all written off. Version 160M2, perhaps, will be slightly better than the M-version, some constructive changes may be made at the stage of production of new gliders, but hardly anything very significant.
  11. Velmark 7 February 2020 10: 32 New
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    They write about 17 in the ranks, and 15 will be upgraded, do they really write down 2 that their resource has already run out?
  12. pavelty 7 February 2020 13: 57 New
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    To carry out a deep modernization, especially of such an aircraft, it takes years and years of development and research and development so that all these are fairy tales of the Vienna forest ...
  13. JonnyT 7 February 2020 14: 10 New
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    Thanks to the advanced managers of the Racean optimizers - there is nothing left of the factories and cooperation (there seems to be money and specialists, but nowhere to produce !!!
  14. Ilyas Ziyavudinov 7 February 2020 18: 56 New
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    Does the author of the article understand anything about military doctrine? This machine, in principle, doesn’t need something new especially, in order to show something these days, it’s enough to put the latest electronic warfare and the newest missiles with an engine and voila, you’ll bite your elbows for another 20 years. It’s ridiculous just sometimes to listen to the delirium of PR managers of the yellow newspaper.
    1. Magog 7 February 2020 23: 25 New
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      Don’t listen! The main thing is that we know that so far everything is reliable with the Tu-160 and Tu-95. EW on these machines put such that they can only be tried to fight with the help of aircraft guns, flying close to visual contact. By the way, I can’t make out in the photo and video: the place of the arrow in the tail is preserved?
      1. Diverter 18 February 2020 08: 30 New
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        He has never been there.
    2. LastPS April 2 2020 19: 07 New
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      Taki, the author does not particularly say that it was lost. Just a typical review article on a modernization project. With missiles neponyachki, for example.
  15. Diverter 18 February 2020 08: 39 New
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    it would be possible to print the money ourselves, then:
    1. Give the Tu-95 to the fleet,
    2. Tu - 160 in a modernized form have about 90 pieces,
    3. Tu - 22M in the maximum unification with the 160th, representing half of its capabilities,
    have about 150 pieces.
    sorry there is no possibility (((