The bomber-missile carrier features new aeronautical and navigation equipment, including an on-board communication complex, a control system, a radar station, and the electronic countermeasures complex. The Ministry of Defence claims the aircraft’s overall efficiency has increased, and the flight range has increased by one thousand kilometers.
The test flight was conducted by test pilots of the Zhukovsky aircraft test and development base under the leadership of Arnie Naskidyants. Under the current contract, the transfer of the upgraded strategic Tu-160M bombers to the Russian air force will begin in 2021 with a further annual increase in the number of deliveries.
The original Tu-160 strategic bomber-missile carrier was developed at the Tupolev Design Bureau in the 1970s, and the combat aircraft has been in use since 1987.