Tupolev Tu-160 NATO Code: Blackjack
The Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO reporting name Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber designed by the Soviet Union. Similar to the B-1 Lancer but with far greater speed, range and payload, it is one of the heaviest combat aircraft ever built. Introduced in 1987, it was the last Soviet strategic bomber designed, but production of the aircraft still continues, with at least 16 currently in service with the Russian Air Force. Its pilots call the Tu-160 the "White Swan", due to the surprising maneuverability and antiflash white finish of the aircraft. The Tu-160 bears a strong resemblance to the North American Rockwell B-1A Lancer, although it is significantly larger and has far greater range. The Blackjack has a blended wing profile and variable-geometry wings, with sweep selectable from 20° to 65°. Full-span slats are used on the leading edges, with double-slotted flaps on the trailing edges. The Tu-160 has a fly-by-wire control system. The Tu-160 is powered by four Kuznetsov NK-321 afterburning turbofan engines, the most powerful ever fitted to a combat aircraft. Unlike the B-1B, which abandoned the Mach 2+ requirement of the original B-1A, it retains variable intakes, and is capable of reaching speeds slightly higher than Mach 2 at altitude.
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