Russia’s state-owned company United Engine Corporation has begun testing an upgraded NK-32 02 aircraft engines designed for the Tu-160 supersonic heavy strategic bomber.
"The bench tests of the new NK-32 02 series engines meant for the strategic missile carrying bomber Tupolev-160M2 are in progress at the public joint stock company PAO Kuznetsov in Samara," TASS reports citing a statement made by the firm.
A number of parts and components of the NK-32 engine (series 02) were upgraded to make it more fuel efficient.
"Its endurance has been improved. Equipped with this engine, the Tupolev-160M2 bomber will have far greater capabilities, including a longer range of flight," the UEC said.
In April 2015, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu ordered launching production of the Tu-160’s profoundly upgraded modification.
The project, dubbed Tu-160M2, will have completely new avionics and armament. Its performance is expected to exceed that of the baseline by 2.5 times. As earlier reported, the Defense Ministry has been looking to procure up to 50 Tu-160M2s, at a rate of three to four deliveries per year.