As of 2015, Russia is the only country to fly Tupolev’s Blackjack. Russia is expected to build fifty additional Tu-160s under the new plans. The newly built strategic bombers will be upgraded models, dubbed the Tu-160M2. Production is expected to commence after 2023. Moscow intends to simultaneously initiate production of the PAK DA stealth bomber, also a Tupolev design.
Evan Gottesman is a former editorial assistant at The National Interest. This article first appeared several years ago and is being republished due to reader interest.