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Russia beefs up its strategic aviation (VIDEO)

Russia’s Long-Range Aviation has received a modernized Tu-22M3 strategic bomber, while two Tu-160M planes have been submitted for flight tests, the state-run United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) announced on Friday.

The Tu-22M3 was given a number of tweaks aimed at boosting its capabilities, the UAC said in a statement. After a test flight, the plane was delivered to the country’s long-range bomber fleet. The Tupolev-22M3 is a modern version of the iconic Soviet-era strategic bomber, which has been in service since the 1970s. This aircraft type has been repeatedly modernized, with the latest makeover, the M3M, unveiled back in 2018.

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The corporation has also submitted two Tu-160M nuclear-capable bombers for flight tests. One of the aircraft is a modernized version of an existing plane, while the other has been built from scratch as part of Russia’s efforts in recent years to re-start its strategic plane-manufacturing program. 

“The Tu-160 is the most important part of Russia’s nuclear triad, so the modernization of the active-duty warplanes and the resumption of production of these strategic bombers is our priority,” Sergey Chemezov, the head of Rostec, the UAC’s parent company, stated.

The UAC shared a video showing the aircraft being rolled out from a hangar at an undisclosed location.

The Tu-160 long-range bombers have remained in service since the late 1980s, having been introduced shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The plane was created primarily to carry long-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, but it is capable of using conventional munitions as well.

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