Moscow has launched a program to upgrade and modernise Tu-22, Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov was quoted as saying by Lenta.ru.
"The first thoroughly modernized Tu-95MSM bomber will be tested this year," the minister said.
"By the end of 2020, the first Tu-160M strategic bomber built from scratch will take to the sky.
The country will also upgrade the already built Tu-160s to the same level," Manturov said.
Preparations are also underway for a contract to modernize the Tu-95MS, the report stated.
The modernization program will include Tu-22M3M long-range bombers. The first aircraft of this type is currently being tested, and a second will be ready by the end of 2019.
“In the third quarter of 2020, the aircraft will be presented to the military at the State Joint Tests,” said the minister, adding that based on the results of the test, a decision will be made regarding a contract to thoroughly modernize the Tu-22M3.