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Aviakor delivered the first upgraded Tu-95MS strategic bomber to Russian military.

| 2015
World Defense & Security News - Russia
Aviakor delivered the first upgraded Tu-95MS strategic bomber to Russian military
Samara-based Aviakor aircraft plant has handed over to the Russian Defense Ministry officials the first upgraded strategic missile carrier Tu-95MS (NATO reporting name Bear-H). This news has been revealed to TASS by the aircraft plant press service. "This is the first upgraded Tu-95MS that has arrived in Samara under a program to re-equip the strategic missile carriers in August 2015. The aircraft is called Dubna," the press service said.
Aviakor delivered the first upgraded Tu 95MS strategic bomber to Russian military 640 001Russian Air Force's Tu-95MS (Bear-H) strategic bomber
Also, it explained that the upgrade has substantially improved the missile carrier fighting capability so that now it will meet better the Russian Aerospace Force requirements.

"The modernization has dramatically enhanced the Tu-95MS capabilities, improving its operating performance and crew comfort," said Aleksey Gusev, Aviakor Director General at the handover ceremony.

Before the end of 2015 it is planned to upgrade and hand over to the customer another aircraft, which had arrived at the plant in October. A third missile carrier will also arrive at the plant before the year’s end. According to Anatoly Zhikharev, long range aviation commander, six Tu-160 strategic bombers will be upgraded, while the total of in-service Tu-95MDs will be brought up to 43. The modernization must extend the aircraft service life till 2025. Tu-95 went into service in 1957. A total of 64 machines have been built. Tu-95MS is believed to be the core of Russian strategic air force. This airborne missile complex is highly upgradable in that it can be fitted with a more effective missile armament and new equipment. Upgrade involves radio-electronic equipment and sighting and navigation systems enabling the use of new strategic non-nuclear long-range cruise missiles Kh-101 and Kh-555.

The Aviakor plant officials note that work on re-equipping the Tu-95MS will help the company to load its manufacturing capacity and make up for suspension in the production of An-140 aircraft that occurred because of the Ukraine crisis. The preparation for the plant’s participation in the strategic bomber re-equipment program began more than a year ago. Previously, such aircraft had been manufactured at Aviakor, which is why the Samara aircraft plant was chosen as a platform for their modernization. Details of the combat aircraft modernization are not disclosed.

In 2015, Aviakor suspended the An-140 aircraft production program because of the Ukraine crisis. Under this project, 34 component suppliers and the lead design bureau, Antonov, are in the Ukraine. Following this, the plant put more than 30% of its workforce on a part-time scheme. However, in connection with the signing of a number of new contracts, including with the Russian Defense Ministry, the Company plans to completely restore its manufacturing capacity in 2016.
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