Work on the development of the latest generation of strategic bombers were launched in the Tupolev Design Bureau in 1968. In 1972, the project is a multi-mode bombers holding variable-sweep wing, was ready in 1976 passed the sketch project protection Tu-160, and in 1977 OKB. Kuznetsova start work on the development of engines for the new aircraft. Initially it was going to arm-speed missiles Kh-45, but in the coming this idea was abandoned, preferring compact subsonic cruise missiles X-55, also Aeroballistic hypersonic missiles X-15, which were located on the multi-position launchers inside the housing.
Full-scale mock-up of a new bomber was approved in 1977. In the same year at the experimental production of MSW "Experience" in Moscow began to build the party of the 3 most experienced machines. Wing and stabilizers for them to perform in Novosibirsk, the fuselage manufactured in Kazan, the landing gear — in Gorky. Final assembly of the first prototype was made in January 1981, the Tu-160 with the numbers "70-1" and "70-3" intended for flight tests, and the plane with the number "70-02" for the static tests.
First flight of aircraft with serial number "70-01" was held December 18, 1981 (the crew commander was Veremey BI) and 6 October 1984 rose into the air machine with serial number "70-03", which already had a full set of equipment serial bomber. After another 2 years, 15 August 1986 gate assembly plant in Kazan left the 4th serial bomber, which was the first parade. All in all, performing flight tests were involved 8 aircraft experienced 2-series.
In the course of the state tests, which were completed in the middle of 1989, on board the missile-carrying bomber was made 4 successful launching cruise missiles X-55, which had been the main instrument of the machine. Also obtained the maximum level flight speed, which amounted to nearly 2200 km / h With all of this in-service high-speed threshold decided to limit the speed of 2,000 km / h, which was justified in the main resource conservation propulsion and airframe.
The first two experienced strategic bombers Tu-160 were included in the drill of the Air Force April 17, 1987. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, virtually all available at the time production machines (19 bombers) remained on the territory of Ukraine, at an air base in the town of Chernihiv. In 1992, the bombers of this type are beginning to come into service of the 1st Air Force TBAP of, which based in Engels. By the end of 1999, this air base was 6 Tu-160, another part of the machine was in Kazan (in the build stage) and at the airfield in Zhukovsky. At present, most of the Russian Tu-160 are personal names. For example, the Air Force has planes, "Ilya Muromets" (this name had the first in the world of heavy bomber, which was built in Russia in 1913), "Mikhail Gromov", "Ivan Yarygin", "Vasily Reshetnikov."
Highest properties Russian strategic bombers have been proven global setting 44 records. Namely, with a payload of 30 tonnes plane made the flight on the closed route length of 1,000 km. at 1720 km / h And in flight at a distance of 2,000 km., With take-off weight of 275 tons of aircraft managed to achieve an average speed of 1,678 km / h, also at altitude 11,250 m
In the process of production bomber was subjected to a number of improvements that lead to the experience of its operation. For example, it increased the number of valves to fuel aircraft engines, allowing increment stability turbofan (turbojet slider with afterburner), and make them easier to maneuver. The substitution of a number of parts of the structure with the iron on the carbon fiber is permitted in some measure to lower the weight of the aircraft. Hatches operator and navigator were equipped periscope rear view, it was also modified the software and configurations incorporated into the hydraulic system.
As part of a multi-stage applets to lower radar signature of the canals and vozduhopoglotiteley shell was applied to a special radio-absorbing coating graphite, also was covered with radar absorbing paint and nose of the plane. Managed to implement measures for screening engines. Introduction to the cabin windows strainers allowed to remove multipath radar radiation on its internal surfaces.
At present, the strategic bomber Tu-160 bomber is a strong military machine in the world. On the composition of arms and its main features it is much superior to the South American counterpart — a multi-mode strategic bomber B-1B "Lancer". The implication is that the upcoming update of the Tu-160, namely the expansion and renewal of arms, as the installation of new avionics, will be able to further increment of its potential.
Bomber Tu-160 made by conventional aerodynamic configuration with variable geometry wings. The design feature of the airframe is a printed circuit board assembly of the wind, according to which the motionless form of the wing to the fuselage together. This decision allowed the best use of the internal volume of the airframe to accommodate the fuel, cargo, different equipment, and reduce the amount of structural connections, which led to a decrease in the mass of the structure.
The glider is in the main bomber of aluminum alloys (V-95 and AK-4, heat-treated for the growth of the resource). Wing panels are made from titanium and durable duralumin alloys and dock onto the hinges, allowing the variable sweep wing in the range of 20 to 65 degrees. Fraction of titanium alloys in the airframe weight equals 20% of the bombers, also used fiberglass, widely used three-layer laminated structure.
Bomber crew, consisting of 4 people, located in a single spacious press
urized cabin. In the front part of it is furnished with chairs first and second pilots, a navigator and operator and navigator. All crew members are in ejection seats K-36DM. To increase the efficiency of operators and pilots during the commission of a long flight back seat cushions are equipped with pulsating air massage. At the rear of the cockpit is located compact kitchen, fold-down bed for rest and toilet. Aircraft later models equipped with an integrated production ladder.
Tricycle landing gear with 2 steering wheels front support. The main landing gear strut are swinging and are behind the center of mass of the bombers. They have air springs and three-axle carts on wheels 6. The chassis is tucked away in a small niche in the fuselage of a bomber on the flight back. Shields and aerodynamic deflectors started to press the air to the runway, are responsible for protecting vozduhopoglotiteley engines from getting into their mud and sediment.
Power plant Tu-160 contains 4 turbojet engine with afterburner NC-32 (made EDB ND Kuznetsov). The engines are performed serially in Samara in 1986 until the mid-1990s, they had no analogues in the world. NC-32 — one of the world's first mass-produced engines, the design of which have been taken to reduce the infrared and radar signature. Aircraft engines are placed in pairs in nacelles and split between a particular firebreak. The engines operate independently of each other. For the implementation of the independent power supply to the Tu-160 has been installed as a separate auxiliary gas turbine power plant.
Bomber The Tu-160 is equipped with a sighting and navigation system PRNK consisting of optoelectronic bombsight, surveillance and targeting radar, INS, SNS, and astrokorrektorom board defense "Baikal" (containers with chaff and infrared traps teplopelengator). There is also a multi-channel digital communication system, which is associated with satellite systems. In avionics bombers involved more than 100 special computers.
Board defense strategic bombers ensures detection and ordering of enemy air defense radar system, the determination of their origin and the following disorientation wrong purposes, or the oppression of strong, active interference. Used to carry out the bombing sight "Thunderstorm", which ensures destruction of purposes with the highest accuracy in the daytime and the criteria for the missing light levels. Teplopelengator to detect missiles and enemy aircraft with a rear hemisphere is in the last of the rear fuselage. At the tail cone of the containers with the chaff and infrared traps. In the cockpit are standard electromechanical devices that are generally similar to those installed on the Tu-22M3. Managing the heavy machine using the control stick (joystick), as the fighters.
Armament is a 2-vnutrifyuzelyazhnyh cargo compartments, in what may be motivated by different loads weighing up to 40 tons. Armament can consist of 12 subsonic cruise missiles X-55 on 2 multi-position launchers drum type, and up to 24 hypersonic missiles X-15 4 launchers. For the destruction of small tactical goals of the aircraft can use the corrected bombs (KAB) weighing up to 1500 kg. Also plane can carry up to 40 tons of conventional bombs svobodnopadayuschih. In the long term strategic bombers set of weapons can significantly increase due to the inclusion of new high-precision cruise missiles, for example, X-555, designed to defeat both tactical and strategic land and sea targets virtually all possible classes.
The performance properties of the Tu-160:
Dimensions: wingspan highest — 55.7 m, small — 35.6 m, length — 54.1 m, height — 13.2 m
Wing Area — 360.0 square meters. m
Weight Plane kg.
— empty — 110000
— normal take-off — 267600
— maximum take-off — 275000
Engine type — 4 NK-32 turbofans, dry power-4h137, 2 kN in afterburner — 4h247, 5 kN.
The highest speed at altitude — 2230 km / h, cruising speed — 917 km / h
Flight range without refueling: 12,300 km.
Combat radius: 6,000 km.
Service ceiling — 15,000 m
Crew — 4 people
Armament: a 2-ventral compartments is motivated by different load a total weight of 22,500 kg, maximum — up to 40 000 kg. The structure of weapons includes tactical and strategic cruise missiles X-55 and X-55M, also aeroballistic ur short-range hypersonic X-15 (M = 5) with nuclear and non-nuclear warhead, as corrected bombs KAB different types to KAB-1500, the mundane types of bombs and mines.