Russian strategic jet bomber, NATO Reporting Name Blackjack. First flight 19 December 1981, entered service with 184 Guards Bomber Regiment, based at Priluki, Ukraine in May 1987. About 38 airframes built and the type holds 44 International Aviation records, established in 1989 & 1990.

Specs :-
Wingspan (Fully Swept) 35.6m
                 (Intermediate Sweep) 50.7m
                 (Fully Forward)  55.7m
Length 54.1m
Height 13.2
Max Takeoff weight 275,000kg
Fuel Weight 140,600kg
Max Weapon Load  22,400kg
Max Permitted Weapon Load 45,000kg
Max Speed at 13000m (wing 65deg) with afterburner 2,200km/h
Max Mach Number 2
Service Ceiling 15,000m
Max range at 275,000Kg 12,300Km
Flight Duration  15 hrs
Rate of Climb 60-70 m/sec

There are currently 15 Tu-160s' in service with another nearing completion at the Kazan Aircraft Plant.

Nice shot of the Tu-160 being refuelled - note the retractable IFR probe.

The tradition of naming Long-Range Aviation bombers was initiated in 1995 when two Tu-160 were 'christened' with the name of the legendary Russian Knight - Illya Mouromets :-

Aircraft 06 - Note the all-moving upper fin.

Aircraft numbers 05 & 06 named Illya Mouromets

Aircraft number 02 - Vasiliy Reshetnikov - A former Long-Range Aviation Commander-in-Chief.

Vasiliy Reshetnikov.

Aircraft number 04 - Ivan Yarigin - a famous Russian wrestler of the early 20th century.

Ivan Yarigin

Aircraft number 01 - Mikhail Gromov - Legendary Soviet test pilot
after whom the Gromov Flight Test Centre (LII) at Zhukovsky is named.
Note the Kh-55SM Cruise Missile.

Mikhail Gromov

Aircraft number 07 - the latest Tu-160 to be named. Aleksandr Molodchii was a famous Soviet wartime pilot.
Interestingly, the Ukrainian Tu-22M3 that appeared at this years RIAT Air Tattoo was also named after him !

And finally, that Russian Aviation Freak - KEN DUFFEY ! ...........

With thanks to Alexei Gretchikhine !

One of the Tu-160's is being proposed as the launch platform for the 'Burlak' satellite launcher.

Inside the cockpit ..........

Around the Outside ......

Wing-to-nacelle fairing - note the section that folds upwards when the wing is fully swept.

Engine exhaust nozzles

Main wheel bogie


Nose undercarriage bay.

For a look at the Master Club 1:72 scale model kit, go here.