FEARS of conflict between major world powers surged after Russia tested a newly ungraded supersonic long-range bomber, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
On Friday the Tupolev Tu-22M3M supersonic bomber flew for the first time. The aircraft can reportedly hit targets as far as 2,200km away (1,367 miles). Russia is modernising its armed forces as part of a programme overseen by President Vladimir Putin.
Quoting a defence source the Russian state-run Tass News Agency reported: “The first upgraded Tu-22M3M made the debut flight from the airfield of the Kazan-based Gorbunov Aircraft Enterprise on Friday.
The aircraft was reportedly in the air for 37 minutes reaching 4,920 feet in height.
The Tu-22M3M, the latest in a long line of TU-22 bombers, was first unveiled in August.
In 1962, the original TU-22 was launched as the Soviet Union’s first long ranged bomber.