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    New serial Tu-160 Blackjack bomber undergoes flight test

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    A new serial strategic Tu-160 Blackjack bomber has undergone a flight test at an aviation production association in Kazan on the Volga, a deputy director of the Tupolev aircraft maker said Thursday.

    MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - A new serial strategic Tu-160 Blackjack bomber has undergone a flight test at an aviation production association in Kazan on the Volga, a deputy director of the Tupolev aircraft maker said Thursday.

    "The first flight of a regular [new] serial plane Tu-160 took place December 28, 2007 at the Gorbunov Kazan aviation production association," Alexander Zatochny said.

    He said after all the flight tests had been completed, the aircraft would be adopted by the Air Force.

    The Tu-160 supersonic heavy bomber with variable geometry wings has been serially produced since 1984 and was adopted by the Air Force in 1987. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, only one such plane was built, which was adopted in 2000.

    The Tu-160 has a maximum takeoff weight of 275 tons, a maximum flight speed of over 2,000 kmph, and a range of over 13,000 km. It is armed with long-range cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads.

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