First Tu-22M3M bomber set for maiden flight

The first modernized Tu-22M3M long-range bomber got totally new on-board equipment after renovation. The air frame and some aircraft systems are the only things left from the previous aircraft, Alexander Konyukhov, director-general of the Tupolev aerospace and defense company, told TASS.

First Tu 22M3M bomber set for maiden flight 001 A Russian Air Force Tu-22M3M long-range bomber
(Credit: UAC/Tupolev)

"A new Tu-22M3M appeared as a result of in-depth modernization. A totally new on-board radio-electronic equipment has been installed on it," Konyukhov said.
He added that the aircraft’s service life would be extended to 45-50 years.

Konyukhov also said that the new Tu-22M3M bomber would make its first demonstration flight in September. The aircraft will start undergoing factory tests the same month. Later, it will undergo joint state trials.

"The aircraft will make its first flight in September as part of factory trials. Joint state trials will take place after that. They will last for several months," the director-general said. The Russian Defense Ministry will use the results of the state trials to decide if the first shipment of Tu-22M3 aircraft should undergo in-depth modernization.

An aviation plant in Kazan has said that the modernized Tu-22M3M aircraft has got new avionics, a new navigation target acquisition system and other on-board radio-electronic equipment which are harmonized with similar systems of the Tu-160M version of the Tu-160 aircraft.

Tu-22M3M is a modernized version of a long-range supersonic missile carrying Tu-22M3 bomber with a variable sweep wing. The aircraft will get new avionics and an opportunity to carry new missiles after modernization.

Previous reports said that 30 aircraft would be upgraded to the Tu-22M3M level.

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