MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- An upgraded long range Russian multimode missile carrying bomber Tu-22M3M performed its maiden flight Friday, the designer of the aircraft said.
"The flight was carried out at an altitude of 1,500 meters and lasted 37 minutes," the Russian aerospace and defense company Tupolev said in a statement, adding that the flight proceeded normally and the plane's equipment worked flawlessly.
It said a new complex of domestically produced modern digital avionics equipment was installed on the aircraft as part of modernizations.
In particular, the aircraft was fitted with new navigation, communication and sighting equipment, a control system of the engine and fuel supply, as well as electronic warfare equipment.
The replacement of 80 percent of the aircraft avionics made it possible to improve navigation accuracy and the level of automation of aircraft control, as well as to simplify its maintenance and pre-flight testing.
The onboard radio-electronic equipment was unified with the similar systems of the Tu-160M heavy strategic bomber.
As a result of this work a significant expansion of the combat potential of the Tu-22M3M aircraft was achieved, the statement said.
The Tu-22M3M bomber is the new modification of the Tu-22M3 long-range strategic strike bomber which went into service in 1989 and has been used extensively in air strikes in Syria.
During the next stage of the modernization program, which Tupolev company is currently implementing, the first batch of Tu-22M3 combat aircraft will be upgraded, the company said.