On January 12, the first newly manufactured strategic missile carrier Tu-160M made its first flight from the airfield of the Kazan Aviation Plant, a branch of the Tupolev Branch of the United Aircraft Corporation.
The flight took place at an altitude of 600 meters and lasted about 30 minutes. The crew of test pilots of PJSC Tupolev performed maneuvers to test the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air.
The program of reproduction of Tu-160 aircraft in a modernized appearance of the Tu-160M was deployed by the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As part of the implementation of the program under the state contract between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and Tupolev, the design documentation for the Tu-160M aircraft was fully digitized in a short time, the technology of vacuum welding of titanium products was restored, the production of aircraft airframe units was resumed, a new cooperation was formed from advanced industrial enterprises in the field of metallurgy, aircraft construction, mechanical engineering and instrumentation, the bulk of which is part of the Rostec State Corporation.
Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov emphasized: “We have restored the full production cycle of the Tu-160, but already in the “M” modification, using modernized engines, modernized aircraft control systems, navigation systems, weapons control systems. An important role in the restoration of the production of unique aircraft was played by the modernization of the Kazan Aviation Plant: the equipment of the workshops, the flight test base were updated, the world’s largest installation of electron-beam welding and vacuum annealing of titanium was put into operation. Today we see significant prospects for the Tu-160 platform: further development will allow it to be used for new types of weapons, including promising ones. ”
The aircraft retains its appearance, but is created on a completely new technological base using digital technologies.
“The Tu-160 is one of the largest and most high-tech projects in the aviation industry. The implementation of this program required not only the renewal of production facilities, but also the creation of a fundamentally new digital environment for working on the project. A number of aircraft design bureaus participated in the preparation of digital documentation in the interests of the project. The fundamental importance of today’s event is that the new machine is completely built anew, from scratch, – said UAC Director General Yuri Slyusar. “In the new machine, systems and equipment have been updated and modernized by 80 percent.”
The implementation of the program of modernization and reproduction of strategic missile carriers Tu-160 required a significant update of the production base.
“Within the framework of the program, more than 40 percent of the workshop equipment was updated and modernized at the Kazan Aviation Plant, a significant part of the team underwent additional training. For Tupolev, the reproduction of the Tu-160 is the most important project, which means not only updating the material and technical base and restoring key competencies, but also reaching a new level of design capabilities and serial production of the most complex and advanced aviation systems,” said Vadim Korolev, Managing Director of Tupolev.
The Tu-160 is the largest and most powerful supersonic aircraft in the history of military aviation with variable wing geometry.