Tu-22M3M first flight

The Tupolev Tu-22M3M, the latest upgrade of the Backfire-C bomber, will fly for the first time in August at the Kazan aircraft production facility. Under current planning, 30 Backfires will be upgraded to Tu-22M3M configuration at Kazan starting in 2020. The Tu- 22M3M includes improved avionics similar to those on the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack, the SVP- 22-24 improved weapons delivery and navigation system and the ability to use the Raduga Kh-32 cruise missile, an improved version of the Raduga Kh-22 (AS-4 Kitchen) that has armed Backfires since the 1970s. David C Isby