In accordance with the State Arms Program Russian Ministry of Defense will take delivery of 10 upgraded Tu-160 strategic bombers by 2020. The implementation of this program is possible thanks to resuming the production of NK-32 engines, Lenta.ru reports with reference to the Deputy Minister of Defense, Yuri Borisov.
In February 2013 the Commander-in-Chief of Russian long-range aviation, Major General, Anatoly Zhikharev, said that the armed forces will take delivery of 10 upgraded Tu-160Ms by 2020. It was reported that the bombers will be fitted with new equipment and weapons (in particular, advanced long-range cruise missile). According to some experts, the jet’s combat effectiveness will increase at least two times. Similar work has already been completed earlier by a Kazan-based plant during overhaul of Tu-160 bombers.
In autumn 2013 it was reported that the upgrade of Tu-160 bombers may take several years. In particular, the final configuration of the upgraded vehicle has not been approved. In addition, manufacturers of NK-32 engines have not come to terms with United Engine Corporation (UEC) in terms of financing of the project.
In April 2014 the press-service of Samara Region reported that the Samara-based Kuznetsov Company plans to increase its production capacities and resume work on NK-93 and NK-32 projects.
Under the State Arms Program for the period from 2011 to 2020 about 20 trillion rubles should be allocated to Russian Ministry of Defense. About 5 trillion rubles will be spent on purchasing new and upgrading existing aircraft operated by Russian air forces, along with developing, producing and purchasing new aircraft, including advanced T-50 (PAK FA) fighters. Over 1500 new and upgraded aircraft should be delivered to the Russian air forces by 2020.