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August 29, 2015

Predictions 1, Robert Farley and Tu-160M2

In an article about the feasibility of modern battleship, Robert Farley makes the following statement:

The Russians periodically promise to build new Kirovs, a claim to take as seriously as the suggestion that Russia will build new Tu-160 strategic bombers.

As you can see, Farley wordsmithed his prediction a little bit so that he could back out of it. Still, he sends an unambiguous message that the program of building new Tu-160 is not to be taken seriously. We're going to write him down as peredicting that it will not happen.

Pulling Tu-160 into the article about battleships is a dick move, because not many readers are likely to know what he is hinting here. The story started on April 29, when Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defence, pronounced that new production is needed. "The industry" confirmed that it's possible by May 28 (insiders claim that they verified that the equipment to make titanium center-sections was conserved and may be brought back online). On July 2, Shoigu's deputy, Yuri Borisov, stated that a bureaucratic structure is stood up to oversee the program of resurrection. By now, initial contracts with "the industry" (that is, the company that oversees Kazan's plant) have been signed.

As you can see, the typical government machine has come into motion and it's going to roll forward until it runs out of Other People's Money. Farley is betting that it's going to occur before the first of new Tu-160 flies. We're going to revisit his bet in 2025.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 08:50 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 They are in the process of upgrading the 16 current Blackjacks and they finished one (which had been suspended incomplete at the end of the cold war) just a few years ago. so it doesn't strain credulity that they could start up the production line again. There are going to be problems as a lot of the little things need to be relearned, but it is doable and they seem quite motivated.
They need something to replace their TU-95s in any event, since they seem to be at the end of their lives and hard to keep in the sky.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at September 06, 2015 09:01 PM (ohzj1)

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