NICO BRAAS COLLECTION
No. 10046. Tupolev Tu-160 ("24") "Blackjack" Russian Air Force
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Tupolev Tu-160

09/30/2010. This four-engined variable geometry long-range strategic bomber was designed under leadership of V.I. Bliznuk, and the prototype was first observed by satellite at Ramenskoye flight test center on November 25, 1981, while it was first flown on December 18, 1981. Reportedly 38 have been produced, and the first operational squadron was formed at Dolon air base, central USSR, in 1988.

Operated by four crew members seated in pairs, on individual ejection seats, the type was intended for the high altitude standoff role carrying ALCMs (air-launched cruise missiles) and for defense suppression, using short-range attack missiles along path of bomber making low altitude penetration to attack primary targets with free-fall nuclear bombs or missiles, which implicated capability of subsonic cruise/supersonic dash at almost Mach 2 at 18,300 m (60,000 ft) and transonic flight at low altitude.

Powered by four 55,115 lb (25,000 kg) s.t Soloviev Type 'R' turbofans, the aircraft has an internal stowage for up to 36,000 lb (16,330 kg) of free-fall bombs, short-range attack missiles or air-launched cruise missiles.

Created September 30, 2010