Russian media reports manufacturing firm Kuznetsov will be producing an initial batch of the upgraded Kuznetsov NK-32.02 aircraft engines by the end of 2016 after they have been out of production since 1993.
These will be installed in the TU-160 bomber, which was first flown in 1981, and which was the Soviet response to the US Air Force B-1 bomber project.
According to newspaper Izvestia, the manufacturing firm Kuznetsov will be ready to begin testing the engine once its test site in Samara has received the appropriate government license, after the facility was recently renovated.
Ground testing of the engines will begin in early 2017 and earlier this month, Colonel General Viktor Bondarev current commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force said that flight tests of the first military aircraft using the NK-32.02 would start by the end of 2018.
Last year, Russia announced the comeback of the Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-16 in an upgraded Tu-160M2 version, production of which will slow the final development phase of the fifth-generation PAK-DA bomber – prototype name T-50.
The fist PAK-DA first flew on January 29, 2010, and the first production aircraft is slated for delivery to the Russian Air Force, starting in late 2016 or early 2017.
The Russian Defense Ministry estimates that serial production of the upgraded strategic supersonic bomber Tu-160M2 fitted with the new engines will begin in 2023. It plans to buy at least 50 such aircraft.
August 19, 2016