Russia to restart Tu-160 supersonic bomber production line

kaiserbill

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The first installation batch of NK-32 engines of the second stage was delivered for the modernized Tu-160M

The United Engine Corporation (UEC, part of the Rostec State Corporation) has begun mass production of the NK-32-02 engines.

Currently, UEC conducts qualification and service life tests of NK-32 series 02 engines at stands. "The newly manufactured engines meet the requirements of the design and regulatory documentation stated in the tactical and technical assignment," the corporation stressed. The UEC is completing the modernization of production at the UEC-Kuznetsov enterprise, which was required to start the serial production of the second stage NK-32 engines for the modernized Tu-160M strategic missile carriers. "Implementation of measures to organize serial production of NK-32 series 02 engines has been completed. The need to ensure an increase in production throughput entailed a large-scale reconstruction of production," the UEC said.

 

kaiserbill

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So it appears that the reintroduction of newly manufactured NK-32 engines has been established, with the model called 02.
No idea what this model entails.

Reading on this matter over the last year or so, reports are that they have re-established the specialised manufacturing capacity to fabricate the massive titanium central fuselage/wing structure that is the core of the airframe.
If this is the case, they would only do this if new airframes are to be manufactured, and not simply finishing off existing unfinished airframes, in my opinion.
So, reading the above posts, it appears that the existing airframes (2 to 4 remaining?) that were unfinished will be completed to Tu-160M specifications, which will incorporate M2 features, and whilst this is going on, preparation for newly manufactured M2 models will be ongoing?
If so, this is a very sensible approach.
 
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kaiserbill

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This is the picture from the article, labelled NK-32-02.
I have had a look online at vanilla NK-32 engines, but the cage (guide vanes?) up front in all the pictures make it difficult to see the blade design at the engine face.
Does the NK-32-02 have redesigned blades?
It looks that way to me...
 

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haavarla

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It would not be unrealistic to see the NK-32-02 fitted with a slightly larger Cold section fan.
Could make the core run colder(improved TBO), higher trust or both of them.
 

kaiserbill

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Thanks Trident.
I thought something looked off regarding some of the aspects, especially the length (NK-32 is 6 meters long), hence why I thought it prudent to mention that it was labelled as an NK-32-02 in the article.
 
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LMFS

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So it appears that the reintroduction of newly manufactured NK-32 engines has been established, with the model called 02.
No idea what this model entails.

Reading on this matter over the last year or so, reports are that they have re-established the specialised manufacturing capacity to fabricate the massive titanium central fuselage/wing structure that is the core of the airframe.
If this is the case, they would only do this if new airframes are to be manufactured, and not simply finishing off existing unfinished airframes, in my opinion.
So, reading the above posts, it appears that the existing airframes (2 to 4 remaining?) that were unfinished will be completed to Tu-160M specifications, which will incorporate M2 features, and whilst this is going on, preparation for newly manufactured M2 models will be ongoing?
If so, this is a very sensible approach.

After trying to understand what was going on with the Tu-160, this is roughly what I got:

- There is a mid-life upgrade process going on for the fleet; this does not mean bringing the planes to the "M" standard, just substitution of obsolete systems and overhaul of airframe;
- There is a contract to upgrade 10 existing units to Tu-160M level;
- Finally, there is a contract to build 10 new units in the M standard.

As far as I understand, there is no M and M2 standards, they will be both the same (izd. 70M), with new engines, systems and avionics, but since regular upgrades have been wrongy referred as M standard, it is not impossible that the modernized plane is called M2. Until now Kuznetsov was delayed with the newer engines, but both already built and new airframes should use them.

If someone is better informed, I would appreciate being corrected ;)
 

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QuadroFX

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First Tu-160M "Igor Sikorsky" with new NK-32-02 engines transferred to "Tupolev" test site in Zhukovsky for preliminary tests.
Judging by the photos, it is equipped with mockups of "Vitebsk" self-defence system(and fancy LED taxi lights :)).

photos by UAC
 

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uk 75

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How does the Tu160 compare with the B1B that is leaving US service?
 

QuadroFX

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So it makes it fifth. Well, sixth if we include 22M3M.

IL-112V, IL-76/78MD-90A, Tu-22M3M, Tu-160M - planes with "Vitebsk"
Ka-52, Mi-28NM, Mi-26T2, Mi-35M, Mi-8AMTSh - helis with "Vitebsk"
 
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Trident

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Military Il-96s and Tu-214s also have it.

I'm more surprised that the EO targeting system (normally located forward of the blade antenna) seems to be gone - didn't the Tu-22M3M get a new one?
 

QuadroFX

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Military Il-96
There is no IL-96 in VKS if I haven't missed anything in recent years.

Tu-214s also have it
Same here - never heard about Tu-214 in VKS.

I'm more surprised that the EO targeting system (normally located forward of the blade antenna) seems to be gone

Yeah, Tu-160M is no longer a bomber, but only a guided-missile carrier.

didn't the Tu-22M3M get a new one

New EOTS:
 

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Trident

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There is no IL-96 in VKS if I haven't missed anything in recent years.

Same here - never heard about Tu-214 in VKS.

I realize that (hence "military" not "air force"), but the presidential aircraft and certainly the airborne command posts can't exactly be classed as civilian, even though they may not be specifically part of the aerospace forces...

... and Tu-214R ;)

Yeah, Tu-160M is no longer a bomber, but only a guided-missile carrier.

ALCM carrier, more accurately (there are plenty of shorter range guided weapons that would very much benefit from EO targeting). Makes a certain amount of sense, given the limited fleet - it'll be rare for any to be even available for non-nuclear deterrence missions. Still, it all but locks the Tu-160 into that role - didn't they do some conventional bombing in the 2008 War?
 
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Tu-160 launched cruise missiles @ Georgian radar sites during 2008, I think only Tu-22M3 did bombing runs vs airfields.
 

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Does the system have the built in IRST functions that the DIIRCM turrets on the Su-57 possess?
 

PlanesPictures

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It is still not clear to me whether a Tu-160 or B-2 aircraft is more suitable as a long-range missile carrier (4000-5000 km)? If the missile launches 1000-2000 km away from the enemy is invisibility and so important? Isn't the bigger plus double speed and the ability to react faster?
 

uk 75

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Let me know when Russia flies a B2 lookalike prototype rather than an indifferent copy of a nearly 50 year old US design
 

PlanesPictures

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Let me know when Russia flies a B2 lookalike prototype rather than an indifferent copy of a nearly 50 year old US design
This is a general question. Is Mach 2 machine with less invisibility or subsonic machine with high invisibility more suitable?

"an indifferent copy of a nearly 50 year old US design" - do you know M-18 and M-20 as predecessor of Tu-160?
 

uk 75

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No idea.
The US has B2, B1 and B52 with B21 in due course.
It looks like a B1 sorry
 

tequilashooter

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I just think alot of users have just been on edge lately because of the f-16 replacement thread which is noticeable recently on multiple russian aircraft threads to go vent out on. I dont even know in terms of shape or size reference what the pak-da would be between the b-21 or b-2, they already have a small size bomber like the su-70 pushing production in 2024. Upgrading existing bombers for new hypersonic weapons seems no different to what the U.S. is currently dong with some of its existing aircrafts to carry new hypersonic weapons as well. I am trying to figure out the drama here?

Because of the su-70, i find it more preferable that the pak-da would be B-2 size, but it seems they have a preference to use existing aircrafts and strike targets at a far range(we see same thing with US), and the only use pak-da and su-70 would be used for is more advanced SAMs.
 
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uk 75

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I admit to not seeing the point of these threads which just re-post news stories about current production aircraft.
They are by definition not "unbuilt" and the "secret" aspect is largely guesswork.
My comparison with US aircraft is to to try and avoid the "weapons porn" or "the Russians are ten metres tall" themes which have plenty of their own websites.
If asking questions or making points is "trolling" then I really do not see why these threads are here.
 
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kaiserbill

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If you don't see the point, that's your prerogative. Please don't troll.
This is in the General: General Discussions: NOT UNBUILT projects: Aviation&Space section.

This part of the forum is for precisely this type of topic.

The largest, heaviest, most powerful operational combat aircraft ever fielded, with 4 of the most powerful afterburning jet engines ever put into operational service ... which hasn't been newly built in 30 years since the collapse of the USSR which splintered into many different countries...is being attempted to be put back in production. And in a modernised form.
It will require a herculean effort, of which they have already ticked off arguably the two hardest parts: Engines and the huge titanium wing/fuselage box.
I can only imagine the work it's taken, with many people who previously worked on it now either deceased, retired, or living in different countries now.

So, of course this is worthy of discussing and following in this section of the forum, even to us who are not Russian. If for nothing else but to see if they manage it.

I myself am waiting to see if they manage it, as opposed to completing unfinished airframes. The re-establishment of the production capability for the massive titanium wing/fuselage structure points toward serious intentions to new builds.
I am still on the fence as to whether it will be accomplished.

I don't think trolling is helpful.
Using terms such as "weapons porn" and "The Russians are 10 meters tall" from other sites is mystifying.
This site is not those "other" sites, and those terms have not been used here.
It is of a far higher quality, and is in my opinion, the best forum of its genre on the internet by a country mile. And has been for almost 2 decades.

This is not an attack on you btw, I do enjoy many of your posts across the forum. :)
Respectfully.
 
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uk 75

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kaiserbill you make a good point.
I shall keep my powder dry unless the thread shows signs of becoming a platform for political point scoring
 

Flyaway

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The TU-160 is certainly a very aesthetically pleasing aircraft and I wonder how much that informs people’s view of it?
 

Hood

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I don't think its any coincidence that the sexiest looking and most talked about post-war aircraft were all painted white (Arrow, TSR2, B-70, B-1A, Concorde, Tu-160, Vulcan etc.).
 

Flyaway

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I don't think its any coincidence that the sexiest looking and most talked about post-war aircraft were all painted white (Arrow, TSR2, B-70, B-1A, Concorde, Tu-160, Vulcan etc.).
Am I mid-remembering or was that a function back in the day of giving some kind of protection to them from the nuclear flash.
 

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