In 2022, the Kazan Aviation Plant for the first time delivered two Tu-160M strategic bombers to russia’s Ministry of Defense, one of them was actually manufactured "from scratch" using USSR stocks.
In fact, deliveries of the Tu-160M were supposed to begin as early as 2021, but this did not happen due to the fact that over the past few years russia was able to update the production capacity of the Kazan Aviation Plant by only 40% of the plan. Therefore, russians had to use Soviet spare parts instead of producing new nodes. This is stated by the Jamestown Foundation.
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The authors note that in fact the management of the Kazan Aviation Plant has long-standing and chronic problems with the efficiency of its enterprise. For instance, due to that in January 2022 they had to pay a penalty of 5.4 billion rubles to russia’s Ministry of Defense for the disruption of the deadlines for the delivery of the Tu-160M.
Moreover, in April 2022, russia’s government tasked the management of the Kazan Aviation Plant to establish the serial production of the Tu-214 passenger aircraft with a volume of up to 10 units per year. " The plant, which struggles to cope with the production demands for military aircraft, will also be forced to engage in operational civilian production, which will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the execution of contracts for the production of more strategic bombers," the Jamestown Foundation suggests.
Although it should not be ruled out that under formally civilian aircraft, there might be military "products" hidden, for example – Tu-214R reconnaissance aircraft.
The authors of the review considered the production nuances of the Tu-160M in the context of the Kremlin's efforts to modernize the "nuclear triad" of the russian federation. But here there is no doubt that russians can use their new Tu-160M for new missile attacks on the infrastructure of Ukraine.