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India to buy Six Tu-160 long-range bombers from Russia

India intends to purchase Tu-160 bomber from Russia, in order to boost its strategic force. America objected to its initial flight because of how hazardous this bomber is in nature. Tupolev Tu-160 bomber can reach a peak speed of 2220 kmph. The maximum weight that this aircraft can carry while flying is 110,000 kg. It has a 56-meter wingspan. Russia produces the tactical bomber known as the Tu-160 bomber. As a result, the bomber may carry out an attack at a distance of thousands of kilometres from its base.

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Tu-160 Bomber: Highlights

  • On December 16th, 1981, the Tu-160 bomber had its maiden flight. Currently being refurbished, the Russian army has 17 Tu-160 bomberstrategic bombers.
  • Russia retired this aircraft from active duty in 1995. The justification offered at the time was that Russia could not afford the hefty operational costs of this aircraft.
  • In 2015, however, the Tu-160 bomber was modernised and put back into duty due to the Russian strategic bomber fleet’s diminishing size.

Tu-160 Bomber: Why should India purchase it?

  • The Tu-160 bomber is a tactical bomber made by Russia. Because of this, the bomber may launch an attack from thousands of kilometres away from its base.
  • Long-range cruise missiles and nuclear warheads can both be fired by strategic bombers.
  • Their major goal is to provide their nation a tactical advantage by eliminating the enemy’s hiding place from a great distance. Typically, they don’t even require aerial refuelling to perform their function.
  • The tanker aircraft does not have to participate in the mission with this aircraft in such a circumstance.

Why Indian Air Force showed interest in Tu-160 Bomber?

  • In fact, retired Air Chief Marshal Anoop Raha brought up India’s procurement of strategic bombers during the Chanakya Dialogues programme hosted by the Chanakya Foundation a few days ago.
  • He responded that India is interested in Russia’s Tu-160 bomber to Defense Analyst Bharat Karnad’s query.
  • Following this, there were rumours that India’s Tu-160 bomber might be purchased.
  • There was a chance that President Vladimir Putin may sell his strategic bomber to the Indian Air Force given the strong Indo-Russian ties.
  • The Indian Air Force or the Indian Government, however, have not yet responded to these charges.

Tu-160 Bomber: Upgrades

  • According to United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the Russian manufacturer of the Tu-160 bomber, 80% of its systems have been modernised.
  • The Tu-160 bomber is one of the biggest and most high-tech projects in the aviation sector, according to UAC General Director Yuri Slisar.
  • The Tu-160M, which has since been renamed the Tu-160M, is the upgraded version of the Tu-160 bomber.
  • In January 2018, President Vladimir Putin saw the official signing of the order for the construction of 10 new Tu-160M at the Kazan facility.
  • Each new bomber at the time was estimated to cost $270 million per unit.

Tu-160 bomber can be very important in a two-front battle:

  • India is encircled by adversaries on both sides. If a conflict breaks out simultaneously on both fronts in such a scenario, India will be forced to divide its military power.
  • If the Indian Air Force has a Tu-160 bomber in its fleet, it will have a strategic advantage in this situation.
  • This bomber has the ability to enter Pakistan and China and strike their vital air bases, warships, and aircraft carriers that are patrolling the seas.
  • In contrast to other fighter aircraft, this bomber can transport large missiles.

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