- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in early January that the Tu-160M2 will make its maiden flight by the end of the month.
- With January coming to a close, we'll soon see if the Rogozin's statement is accurate.
We saw the announcement when it was retweeted by United Aircraft Corporation, which builds the planes.
The Tu-160M2 is an upgrade to the Tu-160M and original Tu-160, but Russian media has reported that it's expected to be a new bomber in all but name.
It was scheduled to first fly in February, but Tupolev, a subsidiary of Russia's UAC, said it would fly before that, Alert 5 reported.
Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander of the Russian Air Force, previously said that the upgraded bomber "is expected to make its first flight by the end of 2018, followed by full-scale production in 2021.”
It should be noted, however, that Russia has made predictions about its military technology and weapons that never happen. For example, it claimed in 2015 that it would make 2,300 T-14 Armata battle tanks by 2020, but later had to scale it back to 100 by 2020 because of budgetary problems.