The Russian Tu-160 is the most combat-ready strategic bomber in the world and significantly surpasses its competitors. However, his primacy may soon be challenged. This opinion was shared by military experts from the United States.
The Russian Federation has resumed serial production of Tu-160 strategic bombers, and the first aircraft from the new batch recently conducted a 30-minute flight. Against this background, the world community is increasingly asking: why did Russia decide to resurrect the aircraft of the Cold War era? This is reported by the American edition of Military Watch.
"The Russian Aerospace Forces expect to receive 50 new Tu-160 bombers in addition to the 17 already in service," the authors of the American publication said.
The Tu-160 entered service with the Soviet army in 1987, it was originally planned to build 100 such bombers. The possibility of creating several variants of a combat vehicle was also considered. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union prevented the implementation of these plans.
The Tu-160 has set 44 records over the years of operation and is the fastest and heaviest bomber in service. In addition, it is the only combat vehicle with a variable wing sweep that is still being produced. In addition, it has more powerful engines than any other combat aircraft in the world. The new version of the bomber was named Tu-160M2 вЂ” it is equipped with modern control systems and avionics, has digital displays in the cockpit, and also received other updates.
"The old Tu-160 aircraft are also being upgraded in accordance with the standard under the designation Tu-160M," Military Watch observers noted.
The United States added that today the Tu-160 surpasses all its competitors by a significant margin, but in the next decade its superiority may be challenged by the United States and China. The latter are developing new strategic bombers вЂ” the B-21 and H-20, respectively.
"Although the Tu-160 is considered the most powerful strategic bomber in the world by a significant margin, it is expected that in the next decade its superiority will be seriously challenged by the first Chinese and American developments since the end of the Cold War вЂ” the H-20 and B-21," military analysts from the United States expressed the opinion.