MOSCOW – Recently, the Russian Ministry of Defense released images of the much awaited strategic bomber Tu-22M3M in action.
In the disclosure it is possible to see the bomber in takeoff, flight and landing maneuvers.
Tupolev’s press office said the aircraft had 80% of its avionics replaced, which will improve navigation accuracy and automation level, and optimize technical maintenance and pre-flight, according to The National Interest magazine .
The aircraft will also feature the integration of GLONASS navigation system, integrated digital interface, glass cabin and electronic warfare countermeasures (ECM).
Russia makes clear that it is updating its models with the best technology, keeping the chassis of the Soviet era, that is, the country is modernizing its fleet with the best, without raising the costs of research and development, and accelerate the development of their projects.
However, it is not just the avionics that matter in the modern war era, and with that in mind, the Russians have included in the upgrade package the inclusion of up to three new Kh-32 missiles in the Tu-22M3M.
The Kh-32 was developed as an anti-aircraft missile but is also effective against critical infrastructure targets, such as bridges and power plants, enabling greater offensive flexibility, which makes the aircraft “unique” in playing tactical, strategic, and operational roles.
As a result, the bomber will be one of the few aircraft compatible with the Machzhal Kh-47 missile, Mach 10 speed, unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to military specialist Yuri Knutov, the Tu-22M3M is the spearhead of a new strategy of force projection.
In addition, the bomber will likely be able to land on most of the terminals using the take-off points. In this way, the Tu-22M3M can be sent to the Crimea in the Black Sea, where North American destroyers regularly enter.
In that case, if tensions increase, the presence of the Tu-22M3M bombers will be an extremely ‘unpleasant’ surprise to the US Navy, media reports say.
The Russian Air Force is expected to receive the first Tu-22M3M bombers in 2021, while dozens of Tu-22M3s will be upgraded with the M3M upgrade package.