Russian Tu-160 Mach 2 Bomber Reportedly Left Two F-35A Fighters Behind in the Skies Over Japanese Sea

Russian Tu-160 Mach 2 Bomber Reportedly Left Two F-35A Fighters Behind in the Skies Over Japanese Sea

By Dario Leone
Nov 9 2019
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The F-35As tried to pursuit the bomber, but the Tu-160 Blackjack was too fast for the stealth jets.

An unusual incident took place in the skies over Japanese Sea.

According to Sputnik in fact, on Nov. 3, 2019 a Russian Tu-160 (NATO reporting name Blackjack) supersonic bomber performing a routine training flight was reportedly intercepted by two US-built F-35A stealth fighters.

The bomber lit its afterburners and left the Lightning IIs behind.

The F-35As tried to pursuit the bomber, but the Blackjack was too fast for the stealth jets.

The Tu-160 was still visible on radar screens, but it accelerated to Mach 2 and quickly left the fighters behind.

Noteworthy while the Tu-160 has a top speed of Mach 2.05 (1570 mph) the F-35A reaches Mach 1.6 (1200 mph).

The Tupolev Tu-160 “Beliy Lebed” is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, strategic bomber. The Blackjack is the largest and heaviest combat aircraft, the fastest bomber currently in use, and is the largest and heaviest variable-sweep wing airplane ever flown.

The aircraft entered operational service in 1987, and as of 2016 the Russian Air and Space Force (RuASF) fields 16 Tu-160s. The Blackjack fleet has been undergoing upgrades to electronics systems since the early 2000s. The first upgraded Tu-160M has been delivered in December 2014.

In January 2018 the first Tu-160M2 prototype performed the maiden flight.

The Tu-160M2 is essentially a prototype of a next generation variant of the venerable Blackjack and represents a huge effort undertaken by Russia to modernize its bomber fleet.

The new bomber feature new mission systems and is powered by upgraded versions of the existing Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan. The upgraded engines are more fuel-efficient and more reliable than the original ones.

Russian plans to buy about fifty Tu-160M2.

Russian Tu-160 Mach 2 Bomber Reportedly Left Two F-35A Fighters Behind in the Skies Over Japanese Sea
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35A Lightning II 56th OG, 61st FS, LF/12-5050 / 2014

Photo credit: Alex Beltyukov via Wikipedia


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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