During Vladimir Putin's visit to Kazan aircraft plant (KAZ) on Thursday, UAC President Yury Slyusar and Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov signed a contract for the supply of 10 strategic Tu-160M bombers worth 160 billion rubles. until 2027. As Putin said at a meeting with plant workers, the contract also includes the supply of spare parts and maintenance, it will ensure the full loading of the enterprise for the period of implementation of the new state armament program until 2027. On the same day, the first flight of a new experienced pilot took place in Ulyanovsk aircraft tanker IL-78MD-90A - these aircraft are used to increase the range, including bombers Tu-160.
The Ministry of Defense announced the resumption of production of the Tu-160 in 2015, and in 2017 Borisov announced that it is planned to buy 50 cars in total. In the distributed journalists on the occasion of the visit of the president, the certificate says that the expenses for the reconstruction of production facilities within the project of restoring the Tu-160 release amount to 37 billion rubles. Thanks to these costs, it was possible to complete the Tu-160 bomber from Soviet ground, the flight of which was observed on Thursday by Putin: this car was given the name of the former commander-in-chief of the Air Force Peter Deinekin who died last year. Work continues on the creation of upgraded Tu-160M systems, the production of these machines is scheduled to start around 2023.
It is likely that the production of all 50 Tu-160M will last approximately to the mid-2030s, and the service of newly manufactured bombers will also be in the second half of the 21st century, predicts the expert of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Konstantin Makienko. At the same time, work is underway in Russia on the unobtrusive bomber of the PAC DA, similar to the American B-2, but, obviously, the scientific and technical reserve on this machine has yet to be created. Therefore, the decision to resume production of the Tu-160 can be compared with the one adopted in the USSR in the 1970s. the decision to resume production of the Tu-95MS - a radically modernized version of the Tu-95 bomber: so the authorities insured themselves in connection with the great complexity of the Tu-160 program, the expert suggests. In the 2030-2040's. the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 Soviet-made production can be written off, and the updated Tu-160M should become the main one, and in the case of the PAK YES unprepared - and the only type of strategic aviation bomber that is the most flexible in application and only capable of fighting in non-nuclear , including local, wars component of the "nuclear triad", says Makienko.
Proceeding from the declared figures, the cost of the entire Tu-160M program will be at least 900 billion rubles, which is comparable at face value to the cost of the Olympics in Sochi. Already, after the completion of the main costs of the MS-21 passenger liner and the new Su-57 fighter, this is the most expensive program for the entire Russian aviation industry, says a former Defense Ministry official. There is a risk that it can drain the VCS budget, just as in the 2000s. the program of the new strategic nuclear missile carriers Borey with missiles Bulava made it with the Navy's budget, he warns.
Putin also told the KAZ workers that "we need to think about the civil version of such aircraft." According to Oleg Panteleev from the agency "Airport", it is impossible to create a civil version of the Tu-160, and supersonic civil aircraft are now only thought of as business jets and such projects are really being worked out in the US and Europe. But it is impossible to make tickets for them at the moment.