The Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, has stated that the Russian Air Force will receive 9 upgraded strategic bombers in 2016, according to Russia state news agency TASS.
“Supporting the strategic nuclear forces is our priority. This work is carried out annually. Specifically, with regard to the strategic nuclear forces, the army and the Navy, we receive new missiles while modernization of strategic bombers is ongoing for the aviation force. The development for 2016 is planned in the same mode. We are receiving nine modernized aircraft,” Gerasimov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV Channel.
“Along with receiving this military hardware, a large volume of work is being carried out on the system of strategic nuclear force control,” he added.
The Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed, (White Swan) or Blackjack per NATO nomenclature, was the last bomber designed and built by the Soviet Union. The aircraft have been undergoing a modernization process by Russian Federation defense contractors. Last year Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that production of the TU-160 would resume for a buy of 50 new aircraft in the coming years.
Development of the Russian PAK DA, or stealth bomber, is ongoing as well.