Tupolev on 16 November rolled out the first remanufactured Tu-160 strategic bomber from the Kazan Aviation plant, with first flight of the supersonic aircraft scheduled for February 2018.
The Tu-160 was last produced in 2008 and the latest example is a key test of Tupolev's ability to restore final assembly. As well as modernising the aircraft with new avionics and engines, it has made extensive alterations to the existing airframe.
Russia intends to procure 50 of the new-build M2-standard Tu-160s, with serial production to begin in 2023 according to local media reports.
Tupolev intends to fly the first new-build M2 variant in 2019, which will feature next-generation systems and new Kuznetsov NK-32-02 powerplants.
Separately, sister United Aircraft company Beriev on 18 November performed the first flight of its A-100 airborne early warning and control aircraft. Based on an Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A – the latest version of the strategic transport – the new development is designed to replace the 1980s-era A-50.