Tu-160 Black Jack

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Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber was manufactured by the Tupolev. The NATO reporting name for the aircraft is Blackjack.

Tu-160

About the Aircraft

The purpose of the bomber is the deliver conventional and nuclear weapons in military operations.

Tu-160 is the world’s largest combat aircraft, largest variable-sweep aircraft built and largest supersonic aircraft.  It has the heaviest take-off weight of any military aircraft other than transport military aircraft.

There were plans in the 1990’s to use the Tupolev Tu-160 as a launch platform for Burlak – Air-Launched Satellite Launcher.

Propulsion

Tu-160 uses four Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan engines. It is capable of reaching Mach 2.05 speed at altitude.


Specifications

Type: Long Range Bomber

Powerplants: Four NK-321 Kuzenestov 25, 000 kg thrust afterburning turbofans.

Empty Weight: 118, 000 kg

Max. Take-Off Weight: 275, 000 kg

Span: 55.70 m

Length: 54.10 m

Height: 13.10 m

Speed: 2,220 km/h

Range: 12,300 km  unrefuelled

Number of Aircraft: About 35 aircraft were built. 16 are in service in Russia.

History

The first flight of the Tu-160 was in December 1981. The bomber entered service in April 1987.

Tu-160 Production restarted. First was delivered to the Russian Air Force in May 2000.

Future

Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack is an upgrade variant and its first flight might be in late 2018. Full production of the aircraft may begin in 2021.

Russia’s Tu-160 Bomber vs America’s B-1B

Tu-160 Black Jack is Russia’s Premiere Bomber. Is the B1-B better? It is larger than the B1-B. What do you think?

They both look similar.

Books

Tu-160 BookTupolev Tu‑160: Soviet Strike Force Spearhead by Yefim Gordon (Author), Dmitriy Komissarov (Author) from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca

Tu-160 Links


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