Tu-160 Black Jack


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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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