Download: Tupolev TU 160 BlackJack, Supersonic Bomber From Russia
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The Tu-160 (NATO designation Blackjack) is the world's largest operational bomber. It is nicknamed the White Swan by the pilots. Unlike the B-1B, the Tu-160 bomber remains committed to both low-level penetration (at transonic speeds) and high-level penetration at speeds of about Mach 1.9. In 1989 the Tu-160 reached a speed of 2 200 km/h for the first time. However later maximum speed was limited to 2 000 km/h in order to extend service lives of the engines and fuselage. It is worth noting that the Blackjack set 44 world records. Even after the aircraft entered service, problems continued to severely restrict operations and production began before a common standard and configuration was agreed. The Blackjack is armed with Kh-55 cruise missiles and Kh-15 attack missiles. The aircraft can carry 12 Kh-55 and up to 24 Kh-15. Both of these missiles can carry nuclear warheads. Missiles are carried in two weapon bays. The Tu-160 can also carry free-fall bombs with a maximum weight of up to 40 t. These bombers are intended to attack the most important enemy targets. It is claimed that the Tu-160 has reduced radar cross section for stealth.