Tupolev Tu-160

The Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO reporting name Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber designed by the Soviet Union. Similar to the B-1 Lancer but with far greater speed, range and payload, it is the heaviest combat aircraft ever built. 

Introduced in 1987, it was the last Soviet strategic bomber designed, but production of the aircraft still continues, with at least 16 currently in service with the Russian Air Force.

Tupolev Tu-160
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Tupolev
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1981
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) 1987 2008 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Tupolev 35 View

Role Supersonic strategic bomber and missile carrier
National origin Soviet Union
Design group Tupolev
Built by Kazan Aircraft Production Association
First flight 19 December 1981
Introduction 30 December 2005 (IOC in 1987)
Status In service
Primary user Russian Air Force
Produced 1984–1992, 2000, 2008
Number built 35


General characteristics

  • Crew: 4 (pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, defensive systems operator)
  • Length: 54.1 m (177 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan:
    • Spread (20 sweep): 55.70 m (189 ft 9 in)
    • Swept (65 sweep): 35.60 m (116 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 13.10 m (43 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area:
    • Spread: 400 m (4,310 ft)
    • Swept: 360 m (3,875 ft)
  • Empty weight: 110 t (242,000 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 267 t (590,000 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 275 t (606,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 x Kuznetsov NK-321 turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 137 kN (30,900 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 245 kN (55,100 lbf) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.05 (2,220 km/h, 1,380 mph, 1,200 knots) at high altitude
  • Range: 17,400 km (9,400 nm, 10,800 mi) unrefueled
  • Combat radius: 10,500 km (5,670 NM, 6,500 mi)
  • Service ceiling 15,000 m (49,200 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 70 m/s (13,860 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 743 kg/m with wings fully swept (152 lb/ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.37

Armament

  • 2 internal bays for 40,000 kg (88,200 lb) of ordnance, options include:
    • 2 internal rotary launchers each holding 6 x Raduga Kh-55 cruise missiles (primary armament) or 12 x Raduga Kh-15 short-range nuclear missiles
    • Subsonic L/D is 18.5-19, while supersonic it is above 6.

End notes