Moscow, Aug 17 (IANS) An upgraded long-range multimode missile carrier bomber Tu-22M3M made its debut in the Russian city of Kazan on Thursday, the designer of the aircraft said.
The new aircraft, designed by Russian aerospace and defense company Tupolev, was officially rolled out and delivered for ground and flight tests at an unveiling ceremony held on the premises of Tupolev’s branch Gorbunov aviation plant, the company said in a news release, Xinhua reported.
“The first experimental aircraft Tu-22M3M was designed within the ambitious modernization program of strategic and long-range aviation complexes… The following step of the program is the complete modernization of the first batch of combat aircraft Tu-22M3,” Tupolev’s general director Alexander Konyukhov said, according to the release.
The Tu-22M3M bomber is the new modification of the Tu-22M3 long-range strategic strike bomber which went into service in 1989 and has been used extensively in airstrikes in Syria.
According to Tupolev, 80 percent of the aircraft’s avionics system was replaced as a result of the upgrading, which enhanced the navigational accuracy and aircraft control abilities, thus significantly increased its combat efficiency and range of operation.
Russian Aerospace Forces will start receiving the modernized Tu-22M3M bombers in 2021, according to Yuri Slyusar, president of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation to which Tupolev is affiliated.
As reported previously, a total of 30 aircraft were scheduled to be upgraded to the level of the Tu-22M3M.