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Russia plans to upgrade 30 Tu-22M3 bombers by 2020

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Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-22M3 at Ryazan Dyagilevo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia plans to modernise 30 Tu-22M3 strategic bombers from its Long Range Aviation fleet by 2020, according to media report.

"We plan to upgrade about 30 strategic bombers to the M3M standard," RIA Novosti quoted Russian Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik as saying on Tuesday.

The Tupolev Tu-22M (NATO name: Backfire) is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by Russia.

The Tu-22M3 has a flight range of 6,800 km (4,300 miles) and can carry a 24,000 kg (52,910 lb) payload, including nuclear bombs and cruise missiles fitted with nuclear or conventional warheads. Aircraft of the M3M standard can be equipped with a wider range of weapons, the report said.

Russia mainly uses the bomber to patrol the skies over its southern borders, Central Asia and the Black Sea region, it said.


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