Russia’s heavily upgraded Tu-95MSM strategic bomber that took to the skies for the first time recently has capabilities equal to Tu-95MS multiplied by two.
The aircraft took off from Taganrog Aviation Plant on August 22 and flew for 2 hours and 33 minutes. It attained an altitude of 9000m, Russian MoD said in a statement Sunday.
A video released by manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) shows the Russian bomber with its peculiar coaxial contra-rotating propellers, taxiing, taking off, performing a fly by and landing.
The Tupolev Tu-95MSM has received a brand new Novella-NV1.021 phased array radar, a new flight control and information display system, and Meteore-NM2 airborne defence complex that is reportedly “capable of jamming enemy ground and aircraft-based radar.”
The aircraft also features a new SOI-021 information display system, weapons control system, and is powered by upgraded 15,000hp Kuznetsov NK-12MPM turboprop engines. These are said to increase the range of the strategic bomber and halve the level of the motors’ vibration.
“This is an aircraft with a new set of weapons, new onboard electronic equipment, new modified engines, new propellers. The combat capabilities of the plane have doubled after this modernisation,” Yuri Slyusar, general director of UAC, told defense ministry-run Zvezda.
Slyusar noted that tests of the upgraded plane will continue, after which, the entire fleet of long range bombers will undergo modernization.