58 TU-160 – BlackJack or White Swan?

TU-160 – BlackJack or White Swan?

Posted on May 13, 2010 by team


Tu – 160 (Blackjack according to NATO codification) – a Russian supersonic strategical missile bomber variable-sweep wing provided. The heaviest and the most powerful war-plane in the world. Pilots call it “White Swan”.



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58 Responses to “TU-160 – BlackJack or White Swan?”

  1. beetox says:


  2. Andre says:

    “most powerful war-plane” – really??!!

  3. PKS says:

    It is most powerful in all terms – payload, speed, range, armament.

  4. DavidDerKlabauter says:

    the cockpit looks like a passenger plane’s.
    i bet it could be used to deliver mail instead of bombs – lightning fast.

    does it have stealth capabilities? the airframe doesn’t look like it…

  5. Jesper says:

    B1b copy…

    • Gashak says:

      Butthurted, aee, yankee?

    • Yegorij says:

      Compare them before talking

    • Fred says:

      Tu-160 is a totally different aeroplane to the B1, developed from scratch without copying any parts.

      This much should be obvious to anyone who compares the basic specs – the Tu-160 is a very much larger (110 tonnes vs. 87 tonnes empty), faster (Mach 2.05 vs. Mach 1.25), and longer range (combat radius: 7,300 km vs. 5,543 km) bomber. The Tu-160’s engines each provide about twice the thrust of those fitted to the B1B.

      There is a general similarity of line between the two, but that is the only thing that the Soviets /might/ have copied. They did a lot by way of using “inspiration” of that sort – engineering their own variant of a Western gadget rather than just copying it. If that’s what’s behind the Tu-160, I have to say that the Tu-160 is a good deal more than just the Soviet (now Russian) version of the B1 – but the lines worked out were good for the job, so they used ‘em.

      Since the form of an aeroplane is dictated by engineering concerns, and since the intended job of each aeroplane is similar, the fact that they have similar lines is not surprising. The general lines – yes, they might have been copied, but little more.

  6. CastleBravo says:

    B1-B, anyone?

  7. Bau-Bau says:

    The propaganda works

  8. Testicules says:

    Cheap Russian knock off of the American B-1 built in the 1970’s. Of course the Americans upgraded their fleet to the modern standard. This one….. Not so much.

  9. Chris says:

    Does anyone here have any decent knowledge on this plane?

  10. mukmika says:

    Very impressive aircraft. Let us hope these beautiful planes never have to be used for their intended purpose!

  11. Raisuli says:

    Like most Russian women this is very pretty, but you wouldn’t want to see it angry.

  12. Scarecrow says:

    Its a big expensive target for a cheap little missile. There are only about 16 in service and they are very expensive to fly and maintain.

    • PKS says:

      Way cheaper than F-22, which cannot intercept it.

      • Kent says:

        The F22 is an air superiority fighter, it can be used in the interceptor role. The TU-160 cannot intercept, it’s a bomber. It does not carry air-to-air weapons, and it has a huge radar cross section. It would get shot down from 80 miles away by an F22 before it even knew Americans were in the sky.


      • Scarecrow says:

        The F22 can easily bring it down and the 160 crew would never know what hit it. It’s not a White Swan but a white elephant and an easy target for modern weapons. The 160 cannot maintain supersonic speeds for very long because it is a huge gas guzzler and Russia does not maintain enough of the necessary aerial refueling systems needed for such a bomber. It is not capable of doing the job it was intended to do.

  13. Josie says:

    The first few shots really make this a scary looking airplane. Very impressive, though.

  14. When you only build 16 of them guess what? Failure.

  15. SSSR says:

    I think I could fly it.

  16. den says:

    tu-95 (symbol of the Cold War) range is 11 000 km. first flue in 1950s as another symbol B-52 also did. 11000 km is not enough to strike targets’ in North America? Payload, range, speed of B-52 and Tu-95 are comparable.

    • Scarecrow says:

      The TU 95’s propellers make it stand out in a radar profile. They represent beautiful targets for even a cheap AA system.

  17. brbrbr says:

    BJ beat both B1 and Spirits in any aspects[including Stealth] – Fire Power, Range, Survivability, Speed, Runway req, ECCM and ECM caps and etc and etc.
    even conventional strike caps about ~6x times better[before Sniper pod programm started]. BJ can hit house with four 250kg bombs , while B1/B2/B52 can only hope[sic!!]that carpet bombing hurt anything inside bomb cloud.
    guided cluster bomb[of high-payoad]change rules a bit.
    but not for most strategic bombers runs, payloads[dumb free-fall bombs], whose remain main workhorses of nowdays war.

    • Kent says:

      That’s just ridiculous.

      The TU-160 lacks stealth entirely, it would be tracked and shot down by any American fighter. The TU-160 fire control and aviation systems are decades old.

      It’s funny when Russians lie about stuff in order to create pride in their old, inferior military equipment.

      • Yurka says:

        yeah shot down :) TU _160 missiles have a range of 5000km its not a carpet bomber

        • FLOOD says:

          NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT SENSES WOULD WANT TO INTERCEPT THIS PLANE IT CARRIED Kh 55 ICBM each with 500 Kiloton nuclear war head 20 independently targeted with 7500 km range.

  18. Testicules says:

    I think the accuracy of the BJ is being overplayed. The B-1, B-2, B-52, group have a proven track record in mordern times of delivering massive amounts of precision munitions without significant losses to their aircraft. Aside from Chechnia and Georgia, what major modern conflict has Russia had to fight. With the collapse of the Soviet military budget. Russia is 10years behind the west. They have not fought a major war since afghanastan. They have not produced mass quantities of quality aircraft, nor have they demostrated a supeior doctrine. That may change in the near future, but right now the Russian Airforce is a shadow of what it once was. Russia Exports it’s best equipment rather than keeping it.

  19. Orange_you_tang says:

    Can’t believe people are comparing the overpriced, underpowered and pretty much useless B1 to this. Some people!

  20. skipjack says:

    well if B1 is useless so do T160 ;] it`s a very simmilar design, I doubt if it`s more “stealth” than B2 spirit and I have very hard time bielieving you that simple free fal bomb dropt from non dive run on high altitude can have such precision precision

  21. Jim-bob says:

    It looks like a relative of the TU-144 (Concordski)SST of the 1960’s and 70’s. I wonder how closely related they are…

  22. Yurka says:

    35 aircraft had been built unfortunately most of those planes were based in Ukraine and Americans paid money to Ukraine to destroy those plains

  23. Yurka says:

    so 35 in 4 years wasn’t too bad

  24. Razor says:

    Ignorant westerners? On my englishrussia? Implying that we are being brainwashed, unlike themselves?
    It’s more likely than you think!

    Beautiful and indeed the most powerful plane. Sure it’s a pity we’ve lost most of them to the cold war aftermath, but it’s more of a symbol — noone would care much about the holywar that’s going in here if we ever have to use it.

  25. Scarecrow says:

    “Kornukov said Russia has fallen 25 to 30 years behind the U.S. in air defense technologies and would find it difficult to narrow the gap because of a meltdown of its defense industries which have been plagued by the loss of qualified personnel and key technologies.”


  26. Musa says:


  27. ivo says:


  28. Stason666 says:

    Beauties! The truth?!

  29. Tsuhna says:

    Tu-95 used to fly from Russia to Cuba along eastern coast of USA, refuel and return, and they have started doing it regularly again.

  30. alex says:

    very beauty like a swam

  31. WraithNJ says:

    The shape was copied and basically inspired by the Bone, but the release dates into service was so close that the Russians had to invent their own stuff. Bad ass airplane, I would not underestimate it either. Allegedly a White Swan crossed into a sector of US airspace undetected by Alaska prompting an American investigation. I would not doubt it, Russians are tricky. I wish we could send in a Clint Eastwood type and steal it like Firefox.

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