The new missile will be fitted onto the Tu-160M, an upgrade of the largest and heaviest supersonic aircraft ever built. The modernized version of the White Swan, as the plane has become known, is expected to enter service in the early 2020s.
The development of the new missile appears to reflect a broader trend in Russia's approach to warfare which has seen the Russian Armed Forces place a greater emphasis on long-range weapons systems designed to counterbalance air defenses of a potential opponent.
"If it is a matter of a strategic nuclear strike, then at least one missile will always reach its target. It will be enough," Fedosov said.
Defense analyst Dave Majumdar described the Tu-160M as "practically a new aircraft under the hood." The upgrade will see 60 percent of the plane's equipment replaced with top-end gear, including hypersonic missiles, improved avionics and electronics.
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