Modernized Tu-160M2 Bombers Will Fly In 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," a source in the Russian defense industry said.
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.