Putin inspects nuclear-capable bombers (VIDEO)


from RT:

The Russian president visited an aircraft plant, inspecting four newly modernized Tu-160M strategic bombers

President Vladimir Putin visited the Kazan aircraft plant in Russia’s Tatarstan Republic on Wednesday, inspecting four Tu-160M strategic bombers.

The nuclear-capable aircraft were significantly modernized at the plant, with up to 80% of their systems and mechanisms replaced. The modernization process effectively turns the Tu-160M into a new plane, retaining only the airframe of the iconic bomber, which was introduced in the late 1980s.

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The president boarded one of the planes, spending some ten minutes in the cockpit, footage from the scene shows. Putin descended from the aircraft via a steep ladder before speaking to plant officials about the aircraft.

After learning that the aircraft has yet to be named – Tu-160s are usually given monikers in Russia – the president proposed naming it after Mintimer Shaimiev, the first president of Tatarstan, who he said “had done a lot for the whole country.”

The Tu-160M aircraft, along with the Tu-22M and veteran Tu-95 strategic bombers, remains a pillar of Russian long-range aviation. The plane was created primarily to carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, but it can also be equipped with a wide range of conventional munitions.

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