Tu-160 strategic bombers

The Tu-160 (NATO designation Blackjack) is the world’s largest operational bomber. It is nicknamed the White Swan by the pilots. Dwarfing the similar-looking B-1B Lancer, it is the heaviest combat aircraft ever built. Unlike the B-1B, the Tu-160 bomber remains committed to both low-level penetration (at transonic speeds) and high-level penetration at speeds of about Mach 1.9.

Although the aircraft has a fly-by-wire control system all cockpit displays are conventional analogue instruments, with no multi-function or head-up displays. The long pointed radome houses a terrain following and attack radar. Below this is a fairing for a forward-looking TV camera used for visual weapon aiming.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the pilot’s seat of a TU-160 supersonic strategic bomber


The development programme of the Tupolev Tu-160 was extremely protracted; the prototype Tu-160 first flew in 1981 and the second aircraft was lost in 1987. First aircraft became operational in 1987. Series production was at Kazan and continued until 1992, when President Yeltsin announced that no further strategic bombers would be built. It is believed that production totaled no more than 39 Blackjacks.

In 1989 the Tu-160 reached a speed of 2,200 km/h for the first time. However later maximum speed was limited to 2,000 km/h in order to extend service lives of the engines and fuselage. It is worth noting that the Blackjack set 44 world records.

  Even after the aircraft entered service, problems continued to severely restrict operations and production began before a common standard and configuration was agreed. Thus wingspans, equipment fit, and intake configurations differ from aircraft to aircraft.

The Blackjack is armed with Kh-55 (NATO designation AS-15 Kent) cruise missiles and Kh-15 (NATO designation AS-16 Kickback) attack missiles. The aircraft can carry 12 Kh-55 and up to 24 Kh-15. Both of these missiles can carry nuclear warheads. Missiles are carried in two weapon bays. The Tu-160 can also carry free-fall bombs with a maximum weight of up to 40 t. These bombers are intended to attack the most important enemy targets. It is claimed that the Tu-160 has reduced radar cross section for stealth.

Kh-55 (NATO designation AS-15 Kent) cruise missiles Current-production versions are equipped with the increased power of 450 kgf Russian-made NPO Saturn TRDD-50A engine.  It can be launched from both high and low altitudes, and flies at subsonic speeds at low levels (under 110 m/300 ft altitude). After launch, the missile’s folded wings, tail surfaces and engine deploy. It is guided through a combination of an inertial guidance system plus a terrain contour-matching guidance system which uses radar and images stored in the memory of an onboard computer to find its target. This allows the missile to guide itself to the target with a high degree of accuracy. Range 2,500 km (1,300 nmi) (Kh-55) 3,000 km (1,600 nmi) (Kh-55SM)Kh-15 (NATO designation AS-16 Kickback) attack missiles The Kh-15 climbs to an altitude of about 40,000 m (130,000 ft) and then dives in on the target, accelerating to a speed of about Mach 5, which makes it the fastest aircraft-launched missile to date. Range 300 km (160 nmi) guidance inertial guidance, active radar homing, or anti-radiation missile.7056bfdbe58436af99440bf264cThe long-range Kh 101 cruise missile apparently still under development by the Raduga Design Bureau and long-range aviation. It was apparently first launched in October of 1998 by a Tu-160 during 37th Air Army exercises. It will reportedly be employed with either a conventional (Kh-101) or a nuclear (Kh-102) warhead. The conventional warhead version required the use of a highly accurate guidance system, which reportedly provides a circular error probability of 12-20 meters. An electro-optic flight path correction system uses a terrain map stored in its onboard computer, as well as a TV-seeker for the terminal stage of flight. The Kh-101’s launch weight is 2,200-2,400kg and its maximum speed is Mach 0.77. The Kh-101 is described as having an “aerial torpedo” configuration, but with swept wings and use of radar absorbing materials, conformal antennas, and other stealth technologies. The design features an INS guidance and satellite navigation receiver for midcourse guidance, with terminal attack using an image matching system. This high precision allows a conventional warhead, though the Kh-102 version has a nuclear warhead. Russia’s new, never before publicly exhibited cruise missile was spotted on the footage which showed strategic bombers flying their first ever attack missions in Syria 17 November 2015, reports in Russian media suggest. The missile was believed to be the unique long-range Raduga Kh-101. The stealthy airborne Kh-101, in development until recently, was said to be already in service with the Russian Air Force. the Kh-101 could have been launched from Russian territory and hit targets in Syria but land-based launching systems for the new missile have not been developed yet.

   Nineteen Tu-160s were delivered to the 184th Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment at Priluki (Ukraine) beginning in May 1987. These were left at the Ukrainian base after the break up of the USSR in 1991 and, after protracted discussions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, eight were returned to Russia in 1999. Scrapping of the remaining Tu-160s held in Ukraine began in late 1998 under a contract issued by the US government. In early 2001, six Russian Tupolev Tu-160s were declared operational as air-launched cruise missile carriers under the START treaty. These are assigned to the 121st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment at Engels and were joined in 2001 by the first of the eight refurbished aircraft formerly held in Ukraine. Although perhaps up to a dozen further airframes are nominally serviceable it seems unlikely that Russia has sufficient funds to rework these aircraft. Some sources claim that Russian Air Force currently operates 16 of these strategic bombers.


  In 2014 overhaul and modernization of the T-160s commenced at the Tupolev plant. Modernized aircraft are fitted with new radars and navigation equipment. It is expected that by 2020 more than dozen of Tu-160s bombers will be upgraded and will be in operational service with the Russian Air Force.

   Furthermore in 2015 it was announced, that Russian MoD plans to relaunch production of the Tu-160. Newly build bombers will be fitted with new engines, new radars and new avionics. These future production aircraft are referred as Tu-160M2. So even though it will look similar, essentially it will be a new plane.

Russian will receive the first delivery of the renewed NK-32 engines for the Tu-160M2 bombers: Here


According to sources [Tomsk] had already done before 1996 modernization of the Tu-160 (marked by some media aircraft Tu-160M). Something started to happen but in the new millennium

In 2004-2006, based on government procurement carried out modernization of NK-32: Kuznetsov plant produced (or modified?) Several engines, which has been greatly increased resurs compared to the original types. This contract coincided with the beginning of an initiative on the modernization of the Russian long-range aviation. The first modified aircraft, the aircraft was No.02-02 “Valentin Bliznjuk” into service in the Air Force back filed July 5, 2006.

However, although the Russian Air Force plans its modernization in 2015, agency contract to modernize the entire fleet of NK-32 at that time received. Until mid-2007, at a meeting of representatives of the office Tupolev and OKB Kuznetsova confirmed the need for further operation and modernization of engines NK-32nd

The development office planned in 2008 to create documentation for the conversion of existing engines NK-32 phase I to release the NK-32 Phase II and from 2009 onwards to implement these modifications to increase the reliability and economical operation of power units of airplanes Tu-160th The changes should apply to the core engine, it should implement some structural and technological elements applied by ground gas turbine NK-37th One of the sources already in 2006 indicates that NK-32 engines Stage II have been tested on a test stand. Necessity to accelerate repairs and modernization of NK-32 is gaining prominence mainly because the Russian Air Force currently stepping up its activities.

NK-32/321 RD-36-51 RD-36-51
Thrust – maximal kp 14000 20000  
– Full afterburner kp 25000   20000
– Supersonic cruise mode kp   5100 5100
– Subsonic cruising mode kp      
– To overcome M = 1 adj. He slept. kp      
– idle kp      
SFC – maximum thrust kg.kp -1.h -1      
– Full afterburner kg.kp -1.h -1      
– Supersonic cruise mode kg.kp -1.h -1   1.26 1.26
– Subsonic cruising mode        
Airflow kg.s -1 365 (?)    
pass ratio   1.36    
Compressibility blower        
The total compression of the compressor 28.2    
Maximum temperature before turbine C 1357    
The total length of the engine mm 7453   5228
The maximum diameter of the engine mm 1700 8)   1415
diameter blowers mm      
Dry weight engine kg 3650   4125
The full weight of the engine kg      
Acceleration from idle to max. Draft with      
Acceleration from idle to full adj. He slept. with      
Source [Dvig]   [SST]

Source @leteckemotory.cz

NK-32 based engine developed for PAK DA


Tupolev-Tu-160-Foto-Dmitriy-Christoprudov-7.jpg4 × Samara NK-321 turbofans Dry thrust: 137.3 kN (30,865 lbf) each Thrust with afterburner: 245 kN (55,115 lbf) each

   US-based Platforms International Corp. has acquired three demilitarized ex-Ukrainian Tu-160s which it planned to convert as Tu-160SK launchers for space vehicles.

Tu-160M2 to Have New Avionics That Will Increase Its Effectiveness Twofold

Reported by Sputnik 29.07.2015

In addition to a new engine, Russia’s elite Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic bomber (“White Swan”) is capable of carrying cruise and nuclear missiles and will receive cutting-edge avionics, said Vladimir Mikheev, the adviser of the deputy head of Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC), according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

The new avionics and electronic warfare system of the Tu-160, codenamed Blackjack by NATO military experts, will begin this year. Construction of the design materials and documentation of battle performance characteristics and technical specifications are currently underway, Mikheev informed.

Read full article: HERE

Tu-160M2 on the drawing board

CdS2_-eUAAAXpKmCdS2_pxUEAAa6Utd652e935f5c88e4e.jpgImage @realnoevremya.ru

Source: military-today.com/wiki/from the net

Updated Aug 24, 2016

Like our FB page World Military Forum


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s