Russia's Putin to fly on modernised supersonic strategic bomber aircraft | World News - Hindustan Times

Russia's Putin to fly on modernised supersonic strategic bomber aircraft

Bloomberg |
Feb 22, 2024 06:44 PM IST

The giant swing-wing plane is a substantially modernised-version of a Soviet-era bomber that the USSR would have deployed in the event of a nuclear war.

President Vladimir Putin is flying on one of Russia’s newest strategic bombers, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, a show of military might as the war in Ukraine appears to turn in his favor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin(AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin(AP)

Putin took off in the Tu-160M from an aircraft plant that produces the jets in Kazan, 720 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow, the Interfax news service reported. His flight will last as long as 40 minutes, though the route has not been disclosed, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Interfax.

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The trip won’t be Putin’s first in a military airplane. The Russian leader flew in the earlier Tu-160 version of the next-generation bomber during military drills in 2005. In 2000, he joined a Su-27 fighter jet flight, briefly taking over the controls mid-air, the Kremlin said at the time.

The flight comes after Putin has kicked off his official campaign for a fifth presidential term, an election he’s almost sure to win. Russia’s forces also have shifted to the offensive in the country’s war against Ukraine and captured the eastern city of Avdiivka after months of fighting, darkening the mood among Kyiv and its allies.

The Russian Defense Ministry has said the Tu-160 is the fastest missile-carrying bomber in service in the world, capable of reaching speeds up to 2,200 kilometers per hour (1,370 mph). By contrast, the US’s B-1B Lancer strategic bomber has a speed of more than 900 mph, according to the Air Force.

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