Russian President Vladimir Putin was shown modernized combat aircraft, including strategic missile carriers, during his visit to the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant, RIA Novosti news agency reports.
A Tupolev Tu-214 medium-range jet airliner, based on the Soviet Tu-204, was presented to the president inside a special hangar. Vladimir Putin was also shown a modernized version of a unique variable-sweep supersonic strategic bomber and missile carrier. This plane, called by the military White Swan, was developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the 1970s. It is the largest and most powerful supersonic aircraft in history. In addition, it is the world’s heaviest combat aircraft and the fastest bomber now in use (its operating speed is some 2,500 km/h).
Another combat aircraft shown to the president was the Tu-22 (Blinder), a heavy supersonic bomber developed by Tupolev in the 1950s (its first flight took place on June 21, 1958).
Vladimir Putin also took interest in helicopters and stepped aboard a Mi-38T helicopter designed for the Airborne Troops and capable of carrying 40 people, and also examined Ansat helicopters.