The serial production of the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) strategic bomber will begin in 2020, a source in Russia’s defense and industrial sector told TASS.What a waste, and our response will be more waste.
There are plans to produce two or three Tu-160M2 planes annually, the source added.
“Work to manufacture the plane has begun. Under the contract signed between the United Aircraft Corporation and the Defense Ministry, the Tu-160M2 plane is expected to perform the first flight in 2018,” the source said.
“The Gorbunov Aircraft Plant in Kazan [an affiliate of the Tupolev Company] is expected to launch the serial production of the plane in 2020. It will produce two or three strategic bombers for the Aerospace Force annually,” the source added.
According to the source, it will be an absolutely new plane.
“The upgraded Tu-160M2 plane will retain only the airframe of the baseline model, which meets all modern standards. The plane’s equipment, including its avionics, electronics, cockpit, communications and control systems and a number of weapons, will be replaced. This will considerably improve the plane’s operational capabilities, in particular, the thrust of the NK-32 engines and the unrefueled range,” the source added.
To quote Ike, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."