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Blackjack back into production..

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Blackjack back into production..

Old 5th May 2015, 22:08
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Blackjack back into production..

The Soviets [ in all but name] to restart production of strategic bomber...In a series of tweets on 29 April, the ministry says it is “necessary to resume production of the Tu-160 missile carriers”,..

Russia to reestablish Tu-160 supersonic bomber production line - 4/30/2015 - Flight Global
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Old 6th May 2015, 11:11
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Guess they kept the jigs unlike our muppets who order them destroyed asap
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Old 6th May 2015, 13:42
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Dysonsphere Guess they kept the jigs unlike our muppets who order them destroyed asap
Indeed. It seems the work and workers at several aircraft plants in Russia and the Ukriane just whitehered away when the money ran out, leaving all sorts jigs and partially completed airframes on the assembly lines. I recall one partuially completed Blackjack was resurected around 2000 after sitting partially built for over a decade. IIRC somthing similair with the Su-25 with a few being built with parts from the leftovers bin. An-70 also.
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Old 6th May 2015, 13:45
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It's a lot harder to restart a cold production line than most people realize. Russia and Ukraine have been trying for decades to restart the An-124 production line with no success. Yes, the jigs are still available to assemble the airplane, but the industrial base to produce the necessary parts is long gone. I suspect restarting the Tu-160 line will be at least as difficult as restarting the An-124 line, and likely more so.
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Old 6th May 2015, 16:11
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It's still a bit of a worry - and a brand new tank as well. Hopefully the West isn't totally asleep and we'll see some changes in defence spending.
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Old 6th May 2015, 18:37
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Information or disinformation? Dunno. It could be one way for a canny president Putin to cause alarm in the West without actually spending a rouble IF it is just an elaborate spoof.
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Old 6th May 2015, 19:35
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Hopefully the West isn't totally asleep and we'll see some changes in defence spending.
Well according to Janes, the French have just announced a reversal in years of defence cuts. They still won't hit the 2% NATO target, but will stabilise at about 1.8% vice the 1.4% they would have otherwise.

Wonder if they know something we don't?
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Old 6th May 2015, 19:47
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Always remember the politicians and VSOs in the Ivory Towers saying that we would have 10 years warning of an new Russian threat, I think it was a key assumption in SDSR 10; one wonders when the 10-year clock started ticking? 2010? 2009? 2005?
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Old 6th May 2015, 19:53
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Not my filming, but here is one flying over Moscow today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ5CSRUUZeY
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Old 6th May 2015, 20:13
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This one sets the improbability meter off. Maybe there are some hangar queens to be brought to upgraded/operational status, but otherwise not a lot of strategic sense to this.
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Old 6th May 2015, 21:08
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They're upgrading the 12 they have with with new a new cockpit, and looking at at engine upgrade. If they have have some extra partial airframes it might make it economic to produce a couple of attrition spares to make the fleet viable.

In the mean time, the major effort will be in the PAK-DA progarmme regardless of the hype..
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Old 6th May 2015, 21:35
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First flight of the Tu-160 was in 1981, with the type entering Russian Air Force service in 1987. Thirty-six aircraft were built. Moscow is slowly upgrading the current fleet, with money allocated for three of the remaining 16 Blackjacks. The improvements were to include comm/nav gear and better engines.

Tu-160s are based at Engels Airbase near Saratov in the heart of the former Soviet Union, relatively close to the Russian border with Kazakhstan. The Blackjacks fly with a crew of four.

The Russians have been working on Tu-160 upgrades for a long time (10 years). What they have finally been able to deliver is a partial upgrade to the avionics, but not the engine upgrade which was one of the key upgrades. My guess is that restarting the production line will take much longer.


[July 5, 2006]
At last, the Air Forces received the Tu-160 bomber that was undergoing overhaul at the Kazan Aviation Plant (this plane was expected to be back in 2005, but this was delayed several times ). The aircraft was christened "Valentin Bliznyuk", after the Chief Designer of the plane.

As it was reported earlier, the overhaul did not seem to include upgrade of avionics. However, the aircraft was reportedly given the capability to use conventional weapons.
Tu-160 returns from overhaul - Blog - Russian strategic nuclear forces
[December 9 2014]
Further delays for modernisation of Russian Air Force Tu-160 bombers

The modernisation of 16 Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack' strategic bombers, which according to the long range plans of the Russian Air Force (VVS) should have been completed in 2017, may be delayed to 2019 or beyond, IHS Jane's has been told by some of the specialists assigned to the project.

At present there is still no finalised configuration as to what Soviet-era components will be replaced on these aircraft. Additionally, the manufacturer of the aircraft's Kuznetsov NK-32 engines is unable to come to an agreement with the United Aero-Engine Building Corporation (ODK) on the question of financing.

A source close to ODK has relayed to IHS Jane's that the current work on the modernisation of the Tu-160 and the re-opening of the production line that would manufacture the necessary components for these aircraft is "at a phase when it is difficult to project a timeframe in which this process would be completed".

The delays and problems plaguing this programme are not new. Just prior to the Moscow MAKS air show in August 2011, Russian news outlets stated that of the 16 Tu-160s still in VVS inventory only four were flightworthy. The main limiting factor is that most of the NK-32 engines had at that point reached the end of their service life. The Kuznetsov Design Bureau (OKB) that developed the engine and the KMPO production plant that built them during the Soviet period have not produced any new engines in more than a decade. The enterprises no longer have either adequate personnel or the machine-tooling to be able to manufacture them.
Further delays for modernisation of Russian Air Force Tu-160 bombers - IHS Jane's 360
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Old 6th May 2015, 23:29
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"but otherwise not a lot of strategic sense to this."

we don't know that if we don't know their intentions
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Old 6th May 2015, 23:45
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Always remember the politicians and VSOs in the Ivory Towers saying that we would have 10 years warning of an new Russian threat, I think it was a key assumption in SDSR 10; one wonders when the 10-year clock started ticking? 2010? 2009? 2005?
Thats if the clocks officially ticking at all. And define what a threat is, full all out invasion, part of etc.

Its a fine line judging what may just be innocent upgrading and modernization of decrepit military forces, and a build up in a prelude to world domination.

There are significant resources in various military who try to make that judgment. Now going from history, I'm not sure we have a good track record in such things. Recent events, appear to indicate that some time in the future we might be in a little bit of dodo if we don't pull our heads out of our butts.
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