SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Last year I opined on why India should work on the development of a Medium-Range Stealth Bomber (Can India work on Kaveri Powered Medium-Range Stealth Bomber?). recent reports hint at the possibility of India leasing the Tu-160 strategic bomber, dubbed the White Swan (“Belyj Lebe”) from Russia to be used by India’s SFC command that is in charge of nuclear delivery mechanisms ranging from ballistic missiles to fighter jets.
Tu-160 remains by far the largest and fastest supersonic bomber in service and leasing this behemoth bomber will play a crucial role in not only understanding the concept of operating long-range bombers but also allow India to develop next-generation hypersonic and air-launched ballistic missiles that can deliver nukes to its intended targets.
Tu-160 could carry enough fuel to fly 12070km with a 50% missile payload, and its retractable refueling probe enabled even greater ranges if desired will give India enough muscle if it ever wants to flex it but this should be seen as an interim solution because Tu-160 can fly at Mach 2 but still has huge radar cross section that is will make it nearly impossible to penetrate contested airspace but the ability to launch long-range ALBM into enemy airspace while staying deep inside on air space is a privilege that knows one will let go once you have tasted it and it should be taken to build a case for the development of stealth Medium-Range Stealth Bomber of Indian origin.
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