Tu-160M2 The White Swan – Wings of Russia Documentary [VIDEO]

The Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed (or White Swan, Russian: Туполев Ту-160, NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic aircraft ever built and second only to the comparable XB-70 Valkyrie in overall length. It is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft, the fastest bomber currently in use, and is the largest and heaviest variable-sweep wing airplane ever flown.

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.

On 29 April 2015, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Russia was resuming production of the Tu-160. On 28 May 2015, the Russian News Agency TASS reported that the Russian Air Force will purchase at least 50 new-build Tu-160s and that production of the aircraft will restart at the Kazan aviation plant. General Viktor Bondarev has said that development of the PAK DA will continue alongside resumption of production of the older model bomber.

4 thoughts on “Tu-160M2 The White Swan – Wings of Russia Documentary [VIDEO]”

  1. That’s a mightily impressive machine. Considering ‘bombers’ are seen as ‘old hat’ and ‘out dated’, they show that there is a place for a heavy supersonic bomber in the world today. Perhaps the west can think about this when the Current fleets are scrapped.

    1. Very true. Although the American’s are very keen to project global power with strategic bombers. B1-Bs, B-2 Spirits and B-52s are based on rotation at Fairford right now.

    1. I would too John. The Russians used to make such functional and ‘industrial’ looking aircraft. Now their aerospace industry makes things of beauty, like the Sukhoi 27 series and the Tupolev Tu-160.

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