Blackjack is the NATO reporting name for the Tupolev Tu-160 bomber. Larger, longer ranged, and more heavily armed than the older Tu-22M Backfire, it resembles the US B-1 strategic bomber both in capability and appearance.

The Tu-160 can carry nuclear and conventional weapons including long range nuclear missiles. The missiles are carried in rotary racks in internal weapons bays. The Tu-160 is capable of carrying up to 12 AS-15 Kent (Kh-55MS) long-range cruise missiles, or up to 24 shorter-range AS-16 Kickback (Kh-15P) missiles, or as much as 40 tons of gravity bombs. Depending on payload, it can cruise as far as 14000km, able to reach virtually the entire continental United States from Russian bases, without refueling.

A layman could easily mistake the Blackjack for the B-1. Both are large swing-wing bombers with the wing gloves smoothly blended with a sleek fuselage, having 4 engines under the wing roots. However, Blackjack is quite a bit larger.

Specifications:
Russian designation: Tu-160
NATO designation: Blackjack
Design Bureau: OKB-156 Tupolev
Manufacturer: Plant nr. 22 Kazan
Development began: 1975
First flight: 1981
Series production: 1984
Deployed: 1987
Crew: 4
Power Plant: 4 NK-32 turbojet engines, thrust 25000kg each
Dimensions: 54.1m long by 13.1m high by 55.7m (min sweep) to 35.6m (max sweep)
Cruising speed: 900kph
Maximum speed: 2200kph
Flight ceiling: 16000m
Max takeoff weight: 275000kg
Maximum weapon load: 40000kg
Operational range: 14000km (9000kg load) 10500km (max load)
Armament: 12 AS-15 (Kh-55) missiles, or 24 AS-15 (Kh-15) missiles, or up to 40000kg of 250kg-1500kg free fall bombs


The performance of your Tu-160 may vary. Information was obtained from multiple sources including the Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network (www.fas.org). Information on military hardware is usually compiled from a variety of once-classified, unclassified, mistranscribed, and just-plain-lying sources, and as such is fragmentary and inconsistent; please do not use this information to plan a war.

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