Russia’s modernized Tu-22M3M strategic bombers will be capable of carrying Kh-32 cruise missiles, and also hypersonic weapons, Head of the Federation Council Defense Committee, former Aerospace Force Commander Viktor Bondarev said on Thursday.
“The range of weapons that can be carried onboard will be expanded: the planes are being adapted for being furnished with modern Kh-32 [air-to-surface] precision cruise missiles and also with hypersonic missiles,” the senator said.
The ergonomics of the pilots’ cockpit will be improved and the bombers with be fitted out with radio-electronic equipment based on the new components base and with communications systems, the ex-commander said.
The Tu-22M3M will also get the SPV-24-22 digital specialized computer sub-system that will make it possible to use “the Glonass satellite-based guidance system,” the senator said.
A total of 30 operational Tu-22M3 aircraft are expected to be modernized to the level of the Tu-22M3M in the immediate future, the senator said.
As the ex-commander of the Russian Aerospace Force stressed, the previous Tu-22M3 version “is a remarkable multipurpose maneuverable plane that has proven its worth in Syria.”
“The Tu-22M3M is a new lease of life of the Tu-22M3 supersonic long-range missile-carrying bomber,” the senator said.
As a source in the defense industry earlier told TASS, the Tu-22M3M bombers are expected to be used to test Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missiles. As compared to the basic MiG-31K carrier, the bomber will be capable of carrying several Kinzhals.
New anti-ship missiles
Russia’s most advanced Tupolev Tu-22M3M long-range bomber will be outfitted with new anti-ship missiles, Tupolev Aircraft Company CEO Alexander Konyukhov said on Thursday.
“The basic tasks of the Tu-22M3M will be to fight shipborne air groups. The new weapons suite will be able to carry modern armament and new anti-ship missiles. This will radically and qualitatively improve the plane’s capabilities, aside from the routine assignments linked with the use of the bomb armament,” the Tupolev chief said.
The Tu-22M3M is a modernized version of the Tu-22M3 long-range supersonic missile-carrying bomber with the variable-sweep wing. During its upgrade, the bomber will get new avionics and a possibility to use new missiles.
As was reported earlier, 30 aircraft will be upgraded to the level of the Tu-22M3M.