Aug 17, 2016 00:58 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Media outlets in Russia have announced the recommencement of production of NK-32 turbofan engines by manufacturer Kuznetsov. Used exclusively in the Tu-160 bomber, the initial batch of the upgraded engines will be ready by the end of 2016. A new and improved Tu-160M2 will appear between 2020-2025, with Moscow planning to acquire at least 50 of the bombers.
Modernized Russian bombers will be able to fly in the stratosphere
At the end of 2016 the Russian Defense Ministry will receive the first delivery of the renewed NK-32 engines for the Tu-160M2 strategic missile-carrying bombers.
According to the developers, the new engine will help the plane fly up to the stratosphere at an altitude of 60,000 feet.
“The new NK-32 version can work not only as a reactive plane engine but also as a rocket engine. Thanks to this the Tu-160M2 will be able to cruise at a height where no enemy anti-aircraft system can strike it,” said a source at the Russian defense industry.
The modernized plane’s first flight will take place in 2018.
According to Russian air force chief Viktor Bondarev, the Defense Ministry plans to buy about 50 Tu-160M2 planes.
Serial construction of the aircraft will begin in 2021.
Why is Russia recreating the Tu-160?
Currently Russia is working on the construction of new-generation strategic bombers, the PAK DA (an acronym for “prospective aviation complex for long-range aviation”). However, the development of the new aircraft is being delayed: The first unit will appear only some time between 2020 and 2025.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces Command is now creating a “medium-term” substitution for the PAK DA. A series of long-range aviation planes will soon finish their alert missions and it will be necessary to conduct a planned substitution of the technology with new armed planes,” explained Dmitry Litovkin, military observer at the daily newspaper Izvestiya.
The source in the defense industry told RBTH that the project could become the most expensive program in the Defense Ministry in the 2020s. Its cost is comparable to the construction of new nuclear submarines from the Borei series, which carry the Bulava missiles – $5-7 billion.
Armament for the Tu-160M2
According to military experts, the Tu-160M2 will be used not only as a deterrent weapon but also for meeting the current challenges of the Defense Ministry.
“The word ‘missile-carrier’ emphasizes the bomber’s capability to use both nuclear and non-nuclear winged missiles. Among them are the H-101 and H-555 new-generation long-range winged missiles,” said Pyotr Dainekin, former commander of the Russian air force and Hero of Russia.
He added that the plane would also be capable of carrying the H-55SM winged missile with programmed coordinates for striking targets on the ground.
“The Tu-160 can be equipped with any type of nuclear and ordinary bombs: armor-piercing, concrete-piercing, cluster, naval mines, etc. The total weight of the warheads can reach 40 tons,” said Dainekin.
He added that the new plane would be able to hit potential targets while outside the area that existing anti-aircraft or missile defense systems are capable of striking.
NK-32 is a three-shaft turbofan engine with 3-stage. fan, 5-stage. střednětlakým compressor with discharge of compressed air to further letounové systems 7-trans. a high pressure compressor (the compressor blades are made of titanium, steel, and in the steps of high pressure from nickel alloys). The engine has an annular combustion chamber with two lighters 1-trans. high pressure turbine blades monocrystalline, 1-trans. with medium and two-stage. high pressure turbine. The mixer currents afterburner chamber with a reduced infrared radiation and limited dýmením. Restrictions dýmení probably so true for Take-off with afterburner. Takeoff Tu-160 is in fact accompanied by a distinctive orange smoke nicknamed “foxtail”. This coloring is caused by the use of nitride fuels and a high proportion of nitrogen oxides in flue gas. Even so, the NK-32 one of the first engine on which were applied some approaches to reduce radar visibility and reduce infrared radiation. Output nozzle is a convergent-divergent having an outer diameter of 970-1760 mm.
Combustion chamber and afterburner chamber NK-25 and NK-32, the last slide nozzle NK-32
Current status of NK-32
Status after production
Serial production of engines NK-32 finished sometime in 1992-1994 (eg. Baranova OKB in 1994 ceased production of some components of the engine). In the following years many race only carried out repairs and inspections. And in a very limited capacity – at best, while only worked on one engine, others did not order any. This corresponded to a stagnation of the entire Russian Air Force.
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.
|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|
|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 (?)|
|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|
|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|
NK-32 based engine developed for PAK DA