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Vladimir Putin hails new generation of Russia’s strategic bombers

The Tu-160 originally came into service during the Soviet era and is the largest combat plane in the world.

Modernised strategic bombers will boost Russia’s military power, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking on a visit to an aircraft-making plant in Kazan, Mr Putin said the revamped version of the Soviet-designed Tu-160 bomber features new engines and avionics that would significantly enhance its capability.

The Russian leader attended Thursday’s signing of a contract that will see the delivery of 10 such planes to the Russian air force.

He said the upgraded bomber is a “serious step in the development of high-tech industries and strengthening the nation’s defence capabilities”.

The four-engine supersonic bomber developed in the 1980s is the largest combat plane in the world.

During Russia’s campaign in Syria, the military used the Tu-160s to launch long-range cruise missiles at militant targets.

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