Newly developed Tu-22М3М bomber performs maiden flight

The Russian aerospace and defense company Tupolev has conducted the test flight of the newly developed Tu-22М3М long-range strategic bomber, Interfax news agency reported.

The flight took place at the airfield of the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Factory at the altitude of 1.5 km and took over half and hour. The bomber crew was led by Oleg Petunin, test pilot of the Zhukovsky Flight Test and Development Base. The event went successfully, with the aircraft showing smooth performance.

The strike bomber is a modified version of the Soviet bomber Tu-22M3, whose production started in the 1980s. The new aircraft’s gear includes a new aviation digital electronics system and advanced navigation, communications and aiming equipment, as well as electronic warfare devices and other gear.

The basic model, Tu-22M, was created back in the 1960s and incorporated a variable sweep wing fuselage design, which allowed making the aircraft multimode and expanded the range of its altitude and speed. Previous supersonic heavy bombers had been solely single-mode. As is known, high sweep is more efficient at greater speeds, while a low-sweep mode is more effective at lower speeds, including the takeoff and landing. TU-22M wings can change its sweep angle during the flight depending on the task.

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