The Russian military plan to operate well over 32 Tu-160 bombers and its variants by 2027.
In an interview with the defense ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda on December 30, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko revealed that the Air Force’s fleet of Tu-160 supersonic strategic bombers-missile carriers would grow more than 50% in the next seven years. “The government contracts have already been concluded and work is underway to produce more of these strategic aircraft. They will begin to enter the troops in 2021,” the minister reprotedly said.
The military currently operates 16 units of Tu-160s that are of different modifications. Each of these aircraft came with a price tag of nearly $215 million in 2018. They are in service with the 121st Guards TBAP of the 22nd Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Donbass Red Banner Division.
The minister added that deep modernization of the Tu-95MS turboprop strategic missile-carrying bombers will also continue.
The MoD wants to order 50 Tu-160Ms when serial production of the aircraft begins in 2023.
Russian Military’s Future Projects
Aside of bombers, Krivoruchko stated that experts were working on a new anti-drone laser system, and small ammunition for combat drones. Russia has also been testing domestic UAV systems that can fly in swarms, he said.
Other plans include acquiring additional Su-57 jets; launching serial production of T-14 Armata tank and T-15 BMP before completion of all trials; and construction of two more nuclear powered Borei-A submarines.