Tupolev Tu-160, a Powerful Strategic Bomber Aircraft


Tupolev Tu-160 is a low wing supersonics bomber which was designed in 1980. It was a product from Russia and flown firstly in 1981. It took so long from its first flight, this was officially introduced in 2005. So far, it was produced about 36 units, 9 of them were prototypes and rests were serial aircraft. It does not need the stealth technology, since it has already completed by dielectric systems and infrared technology. Inside, there are four seated as pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, and defensive systems operator. Tu-160 is equipped by a fly by wire control system and engined by four Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan as the most powerful ever fitted to a combat aircraft. Thus, Tu-160 can reach 2200 km/h and fly about 15 hours endurance without refueling because the capacity of internal fuel tank is 130 tons.

Tupolev Tu-160 can carry 40 tons of weapons load capacity. Inside, it carries two internal bays of free fall weapons up to 12 cannons of Kh 55MS and 24 nuclear of Kh-15P. From its beginning, nowa it is counted about 10 variants of Tupolev Tu-160. Those variants are Tu-160 (as the production version), Tu-160S (serial Tu-160), Tu-160V (version of liquid hydrogen fueled), Tu-160 NK 74 (extended range vesion with NK74 engines), Tu-160M (features new weaponry), Tu-160P (very long range escort), Tu-160PP(improved in electronic warfare), Tu-160R (version of strategic reconnaissance), Tu-160SK (for commercial version), and Tu-160M2 (newest improvement features).

As it was the best bomber as long as Russian’s history, it will be planned to make improvement for Tupolev Tu-160 to be modernized. As 16 units will be fully modernized. Tu-160, or called as White Swan is the biggest, heavier, and stronger supersonic aircraft in the military aviation. Later, it will be fully completed by many kinds of bombs, nuclear, and other kind of missiles.

Country of originSoviet Union
Entered service1987
Crew4 men
Length54,2 m
Wing span35,6 m
Weight (Empty)118 t
Engines4 x SSPE Trud NK-321 turbofans
Traction4 x 137,20/ 245,16kN
Maximum speed2.220 km/h
Missiles12 x Kh-55 cruise missiles. Upto 24 x Kh-15P
BombsFree all bombs in place of the missiles