A new Russian supersonic bomber variant, the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack, is expected to make its first flight in 2019.

The upgraded aircraft features new weaponry, improved electronics and avionics. The bomber will carry the hypersonic Kh-90 (3M25 Meteorit-A) missile.

The Russian Air Force will receive more than 10 modernised Tu-160M2s by 2020.

Entering service in 1987, the Tu-160 was the last strategic bomber designed for the Soviet Union.

As of 2016, the Russian Air Force, Long Range Aviation branch has 16 aircraft remaining, with fewer being airworthy and in service.

The Tu-160 active fleet has been undergoing upgrades to electronics systems since the early 2000s. The Tu-160M modernisation programme has begun with the first updated aircraft delivered in December 2014.

Russian media reports in August 2011 claimed that only four of the sixteen Tu-160 were flight worthy.

By mid-2012 Flight reported eleven were combat-ready and between 2011 and 2013 eleven were photographed in flight.

In November 2013, Aleksandr Golovanov and Aleksandr Novikov went into Colombian airspace in two different occasions without receiving previous clearance from the Colombian Government.

The aircraft were going from Venezuela to Nicaragua and headed for Managua. The Colombian Government issued a letter of protest to the Russian Government following the first violation. Two Colombian Air Force IAI Kfirs stationed at Barranquilla intercepted and escorted the two Blackjacks out of Colombian airspace after the second violation.

In November 2015, Russia started using Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M strategic long-range bombers against targets in Syria, along with Kalibr cruise missiles fired from the Mediterranean. This marked the combat debut of the Tu-160 and Tu-95.

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Andrei Kornievski
Andrei Kornievski (@guest_360394)
4 years ago

Kremlin hybrid war

Scott Ingram
Scott Ingram (@guest_360444)
4 years ago

They up to something should we be worried

joe
joe (@guest_360588)
4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Ingram

Nah….. after all, the UK is the 2nd most powerful nation in the world.

…… apparently!

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/study-finds-uk-is-second-most-powerful-country-in-the-world/

Ross Hendrie
Ross Hendrie (@guest_360445)
4 years ago

Is this the one too fast for Typhoons to intercept?

Lewis Willis
Lewis Willis (@guest_360446)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ross Hendrie

Only slightly faster I think but they can still intercept it. And they don’t even need to catch it due to the Typhoons Radar in a war scenario

Alan Radisic
Alan Radisic (@guest_360487)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ross Hendrie

Also they would be at full mach burning huge amounts of fuel so would have to be careful for return run i would say. Id say their tankers would be vunerable.

Rogelio Raphael Rodriguez
Rogelio Raphael Rodriguez (@guest_360542)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ross Hendrie

Interesting . I wonder what there speed is on the deck. Good argument for keeping some F 15s around . In theory they wouldn’t know if an F 22 was approaching in supercruise until it fired an an AMRAAM. The same for a British F 35 with a Meteor AAM. You can not run from what you can not see.

Tom Crawford
Tom Crawford (@guest_360447)
4 years ago

Kind of like how the t-14 armata was meant to be in full production over a year ago, and how the PAK-FA was meant to be in service by now. Russia is pretty much click-bait in country form.

Steve
Steve (@guest_360461)
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Crawford

We can’t talk. Just look at the carriers, f35, t26, etc etc, way overdue.

I am not sure we really need a long range bomber, but I guess we will see these on the news in a few years flying close to our borders.

Filip Vyrubek
Filip Vyrubek (@guest_360996)
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I`m afraid. I would be more concerned about those missiles KH-80/3M25 Meteorit-A.Why don`t We have anything like that,as far as I know? 3.5 mach and up to 5000km range.Most of our cruise missiles are subsonic and ..

Rogelio Raphael Rodriguez
Rogelio Raphael Rodriguez (@guest_360543)
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Crawford

They do throw a lot at us. Strategic nuclear torpedoes to advanced lasers that are powered by a new kind of physics.

Tom Crawford
Tom Crawford (@guest_360559)
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Crawford

my bet is that half life 3 will come out before this thing flies

SheRwin Mirasol
SheRwin Mirasol (@guest_360601)
4 years ago
Reply to  Tom Crawford

Kinda funny that they had the Su-35 as an interim measure until the PAKs can be on the production line yet the the T-50’s nowhere near OIC.

Kenneth Burns
Kenneth Burns (@guest_360448)
4 years ago

Oh look concord is back

Filip Vyrubek
Filip Vyrubek (@guest_360997)
4 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth Burns

It`s not a bad idea

Ray Lovie
Ray Lovie (@guest_360449)
4 years ago

Vulcan……mk2?

Gaius Aurelius Hammond
Gaius Aurelius Hammond (@guest_360450)
4 years ago

We need to start making Vulcans again

Jonny Davies
Jonny Davies (@guest_360548)
4 years ago

Why?

Stephen Attrill
Stephen Attrill (@guest_360451)
4 years ago

A stolen copy of the US Swing WIng Bomber I believe. They can’t design or build like tghe west can 🙂 X

Rob Collinson
Rob Collinson (@guest_360460)
4 years ago

To me this just looks like a Russian copy of the most incredible aircraft of all time – the Vulcan bomber.

Let us build a 21st century Vulcan.

Philip Harris-Smith
Philip Harris-Smith (@guest_360488)
4 years ago

It looks very like the 60s British jet bombers.

Brant Sowden
Brant Sowden (@guest_360602)
4 years ago

Which 60s bombers did you have in mind? We have never had anything like the B1 copy.

SheRwin Mirasol
SheRwin Mirasol (@guest_360603)
4 years ago

Probably refering to the TSR2.

Philip Harris-Smith
Philip Harris-Smith (@guest_360618)
4 years ago

Just the general look from the front looks like all those old delta wing bombers we had. I’m m assuming it is not s variable/swing wing plane.

Alan Radisic
Alan Radisic (@guest_360489)
4 years ago

Wont hold my breath. Its like their new carrier…pakfa…t14…kirov refurbs etc etc…..

Bob Abson
Bob Abson (@guest_360490)
4 years ago

Looks like a Bone from that angle.

Brendan Clarke
Brendan Clarke (@guest_360511)
4 years ago

Time to dust off the victors and vulcans ?

Mike Gregory
Mike Gregory (@guest_360532)
4 years ago

They need to call one ‘Aleksandr Meerkat’, I think. ?

Steve Lewis
Steve Lewis (@guest_360533)
4 years ago

Colin Ross Richard Johnston The Soviets are coming again?

Colin Ross
Colin Ross (@guest_360534)
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lewis

An F35 would have that thing’s pants round it’s ankles before it knew what happened.

Steve Lewis
Steve Lewis (@guest_360535)
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lewis

Could an F35 fly high and fast enough to catch it?

Colin Ross
Colin Ross (@guest_360536)
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve Lewis

The little beasties that it carries in its belly will ?

Rickie Donnie
Rickie Donnie (@guest_360544)
4 years ago

‘Blackjacks’ have previously ‘buzzed’ the UK’s ‘area of interest’ and been escorted away by Typhoons from Coningsby.

Paul C Phillips
Paul C Phillips (@guest_360555)
4 years ago

Looks similar to a Vulcan Bomber

Geoff Dutton
Geoff Dutton (@guest_360560)
4 years ago

It’s a copy of the US’s B-1 that has been flying since the 90’s, but yes, it does look very much like a Vickers Valiant from the 50’s RAF bomber fleet.

Brant Sowden
Brant Sowden (@guest_360604)
4 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Dutton

Sorry but it doesn’t look remotely like a Valiant.

Geoff Dutton
Geoff Dutton (@guest_360609)
4 years ago
Reply to  Geoff Dutton

Brant Sowden have you ever seen one at all ??

Henry Sinclair
Henry Sinclair (@guest_360605)
4 years ago

A genuine Golden Horde copy of the Vulcan! Did the patents on the Vulcan expire? LOL

Jack Blair
Jack Blair (@guest_361697)
4 years ago

It looks like a cross between a Vulcan and a B1 Lancer…but I’d say it looks more like a B1. When I saw the article thumbnail I thought the US was bringing it back, but no…just the Russians copying the west again