7 Aug 2018 17:33

Aerospace Forces need over 100 upgraded Tu-22M3M bombers - Russian expert

MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax-AVN) - An upgraded version of the Tupolev Tu-22M3M long-range bomber will get new weapons and on-board equipment, Magomed Tolboyev, a well-known test pilot, a Hero of Russia, and the honorary president of the MAKS Air Show, told Interfax on Tuesday.

"The aircraft has been upgraded for new weapon. We have Kinzhal missile systems and other weapons. The aircraft's combat effectiveness will be increased many times over," Tolboyev said.

Tupolev has created the first prototype of a deeply upgraded Tu-22M3M bomber, the company's spokesperson told Interfax on Tuesday.

"The Tu-22M is an excellent aircraft which has proved its characteristics over decades of use. Life does not stand still. The task was to modernize it with the application of new technologies: radio electronics, a digital control system, radar and navigation systems. It is a completely different aircraft on the inside," Tolboyev said.

The Aerospace Forces will need around 120 upgraded Tu-22M3M bombers, he said.

According to the Tupolev company, the upgraded bomber will be rolled out on August 16 and then begin ground tests and preparations for its maiden flight.