Blackjack: Russia to Mass Produce Supersonic Bomber

TASS Russian News Agency reports that Russia will begin mass production of upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic missile carriers according to Yuri Slyusar, President of Russia’s Aircraft Building Corporation. In an interview, Slyusar said, “We are concluding R&D (research and development) work in 2021 and starting from 2022 we are beginning the serial production of these machines. We are discussing the exact figure with the customer. I believe their number will range from 30 to 50 machines.” In October 2016, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov stated that 50 Tu-160M2s were planned to be produced.

Code named Blackjack by NATO, the TU-160M2 is a supersonic bomber capable of speeds well over Mach 2 (1,522 mph/2,447 kmh). It is the largest and heaviest Mach 2+ supersonic aircraft ever built and has a total weapons load capacity of over 44 tons. On September 11, 2007 a TU-160 deployed a thermobaric weapon known as the “father of all bombs” which has an explosive yield four times that of the “mother of all bombs” or GBU-43/B recently dropped by the United States in Afghanistan.

TASS report found here.

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