30 years have passed since the first flight of Tu-160 supersonic strategic missile bomber, which has been performed on December 18th 1981, Tupolev Company reported. AEX.ru
Tu-160 multi-role strategic bomber has been developed by Tupolev design bureau in 1980s. It has an unequalled combination of high level of technical excellence and vast combat and operating potential. At present it is the most efficient strategic strike aircraft in the world.
The vigorous design and technological basis along with precious experience gained during development of Tu-144 – the world’s first supersonic passenger jet, and a number of heavy combat aircraft, have allowed Tupolev design bureau to create the aircraft with unique performance and manufacturing technique. It was the outstanding milestone for the national science and engineering.
The maiden flight of test Tu-160 (designated «70-01») has taken place on December 18th 1981. The vehicle has been piloted by: Captain Boris Ivanovich Veremey, First officer Sergey Timofeevich Agapov, Navigator Anatoly Vasilievich Yeremenko and Navigator-operator Mikhail Mikhailovich Kozel.
Tu-160 is in service with the Russian air forces, providing implementation of combat assignments regardless of weather conditions, time of day and region in global and regional conflicts. 44 world records has been set using Tu-160 in different groups of International Aeronautical Federation classification for heavy land-based aircraft.
43 employees of Tupolev and its partner enterprises, who have taken part in development of Tu-160, have been awarded with State prizes.
"Passing of strategic Tu-160 missile bomber into service by Russian air forces has laid the foundation for increasing the combat potential of Russian army, which serves as one of guarantors of stability in the modern world", - Tupolev Company noted.
The 30th anniversary of Tu-160’s maiden flight has been celebrated in the hall of Tupolev Science and Engineering Board on December 19th 2011. The representatives of Long-range aviation Command and veterans, who have been participating in development of the jet, have taken part in the ceremony.