As The National Interest previously reported, last month Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia would resume production of the Tu-160 strategic bomber, a Soviet-era aircraft that is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons.
On Thursday, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, the commander-in-chief of Russia’s Air Force, revealed that Moscow will purchase at least fifty of the Tu-160 strategic bombers once production resumes.
“No less than 50 aircraft over time will be purchased in order to cover the costs that will go into production,” Bondarev said, according to Russian state media outlets.
This will dramatically increase Russia’s bomber capabilities as only fifteen Tu-160s currently remain in service (about 35 were originally built, according to Russian media outlets). That is at least a 333 percent increase in the number of Tu-160s in Russia’s arsenal. Continue reading