In addition to a new engine, Russia’s elite Tupolev Tu-160M2 strategic bomber (“White Swan”) is capable of carrying cruise and nuclear missiles and will receive cutting-edge avionics, said Vladimir Mikheev, the adviser of the deputy head of Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (RETC), according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The new avionics and electronic warfare system of the Tu-160, codenamed Blackjack by NATO military experts, will begin this year. Construction of the design materials and documentation of battle performance characteristics and technical specifications are currently underway, Mikheev informed.
"There will be nothing left from the earlier version of Tu-160, only the platform. Much more advanced hardware will be installed on it," Mikheev said, as cited by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The new avionics system is currently being tested on the Sukhoi PAK FA Tu-50, Russia's fifth-generation fighter. After that, military engineers will take best elements tested on the Tu-50 and use them to create an aircraft with fundamentally new capabilities, the official representative of RETC said.
The new strategic bomber will also be equipped with an advanced radio-electronic system, highly effective against anti-aircraft missiles.
The revival of the production of this bomber was announced by the Russian Defense Minister in April 2015.
The Tu-160M2's advanced equipment will make it possible to increase its effectiveness by more than two-fold as compared to the old version.