Tu-160M2 'is capable of striking hostile ground objectives in remote strategic areas without entering the zones of operation of anti-ballistic missile and air defense systems.'Press Photo
The serial production of upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) strategic missile carriers is expected to begin after 2021, Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said on May 24.
"After 2021, we plan to begin the serial production of the modernized Tu-160M2 strategic missile carrier, which is capable of striking hostile ground objectives in remote strategic areas without entering the zones of operation of anti-ballistic missile and air defense systems," Shoigu said in the upper house of Russia’s parliament.
A source in the defense and industrial sector earlier told TASS that the serial production of the modernized Tu-160M2 missile carrier would begin in 2020 and two-three such aircraft were planned to be produced each year.
The idea to restart the production of Tu-160 bombers in their upgraded version was put forward by Russian Defense Minister Army General Shoigu in April 2015 during his visit to the Kazan aircraft enterprise, part of the Tupolev aerospace company.
In May that year, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave instructions to resume the production of these aircraft. Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in October 2016 that 50 such planes were planned to be produced.
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