06:20 GMT +325 May 2019
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    A Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bomber during a Victory Parade rehearsal at the Alabino training ground in the Moscow Region

    WATCH Heavily Modernised Tu-22M3M’s First Flight

    © Sputnik / Alexei Kudenko
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    The modernisation is aimed at prolonging the service of the Tu-22M3 modification, while at the same time upgrading its capabilities. The planes will be able to carry cutting edge Russian missile weaponry, including the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ("Dagger") ballistic missile, which can reach speeds of 10 Mach.

    Russian TV channel Zvezda has published a video of the first flight of the modified Tupolev Tu-22M (NATO codename: Backfire) called Tu-22M3M, which underwent tests for its upgraded systems on 28 December. The video shows the plane's take-off and first seconds of its flight, which lasted 37 minutes and was performed at a 1500-metre altitude.

    The plane is an upgraded version of the Tu-22M3, which received new targeting equipment, engine, and avionics. It was also given the ability to carry and fire top-of-the-line Russian missiles, such as the Kh-32 cruise missile and the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ("Dagger") ballistic missile.

    READ MORE: Russia's Next-Gen Stealth Bomber to Replace Tu-22, Tu-95 and Tu-160 Planes

    The latter was presented in 2018 by Vladimir Putin and can achieve Mach 10 speed within the first seconds of its flight and perform evasive manoeuvres to outsmart enemy air defence systems. The missile is constantly changing the direction of its flight, which, along with its incredible speed, makes it a hard target to take down since its path is unpredictable.

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    Tags:
    video, Kinzhal missile system, Tu-22M3, tu-22M3M, Russia
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