According to information released by Tupolev’s director general, Alexander Konyukhov, first deliveries of new Tu- 160M2 Blackjack strategic bombers to the Russian Air and Space Force are planned for 2021.
Tupolev is currently designing new systems for the Tu-160. Digitalisation of design documentation was completed at the end of 2016, and production of the first parts and assemblies has been already begun. Russia’s deputy defence minister for procurement, Yuriy Borisov, revealed in October 2016 the Russian Ministry of Defence is considering an order for as many as 50 new Tu-160s. Production will be launched at the Kazan-based KAPO plant, now a subsidiary of Tupolev.
According to Borisov, the maiden flight of the Tu-160M2 is tentatively planned for 2018, while the series production is to be launched in 2020. Alexander Mladenov