"On 2 February 2020, the first flight of the first deeply modernised Tu-160M prototype bomber based on the Tu-160 combat aircraft took place at the KAZ airfield named after S. P. Gorbunov, a branch of PJSC Tupolev", the press service told reporters.
#Видео Минобороны России опубликовало видеокадры первого полёта модернизированного стратегического ракетоносца-бомбардировщика #Ту160М https://t.co/aD8cEKzrEP #ВВС #ВКС #КАЗ #ОПК #Модернизация #Самолеты #ДальняяАвиация #Испытания pic.twitter.com/PX36NS9qRw— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) February 6, 2020
Russian MoD footage of the first flight of the first modernized Tu-160M strategic bomber.
The flight proceeded at an altitude of 1,500 metres and lasted 37 minutes.
"During the flight, the necessary checks were performed on updated systems and equipment installed as part of the deep modernisation of the aircraft. According to the crew, the flight went as normal, the systems and equipment worked without any remarks", the press service added.
Today our first deeply modernized Tu-160M bomber successfully performed its maiden flight. The flight took place at an altitude of 1,500 meters and lasted 34 minutes. pic.twitter.com/0j7IwBF2Zu— UAC Russia (@UAC_Russia_eng) February 2, 2020
Tu-160M features an onboard defence system, an advanced communications system, new engines and weaponry that significantly expand the bomber's performance and strike capabilities.
In December, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said that deliveries of the modernised strategic Tu-160M bombers to the army would begin in 2021.