Tu-160Strategic missile carrier bomber
ABOUT THE PLANE
Tu-160 missile carrier bomber (NATO codification: Blackjack) is designed to destroy targets in remote geographic areas and deep in the rear of continental theaters of operations. It is the largest supersonic aircraft and variable geometry wing aircraft in the history of military aviation, as well as the world’s heaviest combat aircraft having the highest gross take-off weight among bombers. For its power and grace, Tu-160 was unofficially named “White Swan”.
Tu-160 is an integrated low-wing configuration aircraft with a variable-swept wing, tricycle landing gear, all-flying tailplane and fin.
High lift devices include slats, double-slotted flaps, spoilers and flaperons are used for roll control. Four engines are mounted in pairs in nacelles in the belly.
Two compartments to accommodate the payload are located in tandem (one after the other). The main materials of the airframe are titanium, heat treated aluminum alloys, steel alloys and composite materials. Tu-160 is equipped with a receptacle of the in-flight refueling system of a hose-cone type.
- In particular, a flight for closed-course distance of 1000 km with payload of 30 tons was performed at an average speed of 1,720 km/h.
- In total, 44 world records are set on Tu-160
Work for intercontinental strategic multimode missile carrier aircraft equipped with long-range cruise missiles was started in Tupolev Experimental Design Bureau in the early 1970s.
Tu-160 aircraft prototype was piloted by test pilot B.I. Veremey during its maiden flight on December 18, 1981. In October 1984, tests of the first production aircraft began. In April 1987, Tu-160 was first supplied to combatant forces of the long-range aviation in the Ukraine. By 2000, 36 Tu-160 aircraft had been produced.
In 2015, a decision was made to restore the production of Tu-160 strategic missile carriers at the Kazan aviation factory named after S.P. Gorbunov. In 2017, a new Tu-160 strategic missile carrier aircraft was built. The first flight of the aircraft was on January 25, 2018.