Russian air forces have recently tested a new hypersonic missile modified for the Tu-22M3M strategic bomber, Russian state media reported.
“Recently, a new hypersonic missile was tested on the Tu-22M3. The missile will be part of the armament range of the upgraded Tu-22M3M along with a number of other latest aviation weapons,” a source told Russia state media.
According to the source, the missile’s tests should be completed simultaneously with the work on the upgraded Tu-22M3M bomber.
Tu-22M3M bomber is a modification of Tu-22M3 with expanded combat capabilities.
The first aircraft took off for the first time on 28 December 2018.
The upgrade reportedly provides new electronic equipment on the aircraft’s element base. New navigational, communication equipment, sights, engine controls, fuel mechanisms and electronic warfare (EW) were reportedly installed. The upgrades are set to increase navigation capabilities, simplify maintenance and reduce pre-flight preparation time.
Work on the new missile development reportedly began several years ago.
The source clarified that this missile does not belong to the line of X-32 missiles, noting that it is “completely different.”
Russian authorities did not name the characteristics of the new missile.
The press service of PJSC Tupolev declined to comment.
The Russian defense industry has already developed two types of hypersonic missiles for aircrafts.
The Kinzhal is the latest Russian airborne system that consists of a MiG-31K aircraft as a delivery vehicle and a hypersonic missile.
According to media reports, a Kinzhal missile is the airborne version of the Iskander tactical missile system.
Another hypersonic missile was created for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter.