Preparations of the Tu-22M3M prototype are nearing completion for its maiden flight, in the third quarter of 2018, which could take place in August, a Russian aerospace industry source has told Jane’s .
“Assembly of the aircraft is being completed,” the source reported.
The upgraded bomber will receive modern digital avionics and a new information management system. “Under this deep upgrade, the aircraft will be fitted with digital radio-navigation equipment, a new communications suite, and an updated weapon control system,” the source said. A significant proportion of the Tu-22M3M’s avionics suite will be common with that of the upgraded Tu-160M strategic bomber.