11:37 GMT08 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian long-range bomber Tu-22M3M (NATO reporting name: Backfire-C) will be able to carry up to four hypersonic missiles dubbed Kinzhal ("Dagger"), a source in the Russian defense industry told Sputnik on Monday.

    "Tu-22M3M, on which Kinzhal will be tested, can carry up to four of these missiles," a source said.

    At the moment, the missiles are installed on MiG-31BM interceptor aircraft (NATO reporting name: Foxhound), one system per a jet.

    READ MORE: Russian Military to Move Supersonic Bombers to Protect Arctic Borders

    Military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Sputnik that the Tu-22M3M would need to undergo a serious upgrade to house this many Kinzhal missiles.

    "There will need to be a serious upgrade in terms of radio electronics and strengthening external load, to install these missiles," the expert said.

    Murakhovsky noted that four Kinzhals would allow Tu-22M3M to be more effective in reaching targets defended by advanced defense systems.

    The expert added that the upgrade would allow saving money by revitalizing an old-type aircraft rather than investing in building a new one.


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