The Tupolev Tu-160 (Russian: Туполев Ту-160, NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. Although several civil and military transport aircraft are larger in overall dimensions, the Tu-160 is currently the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft, and largest variable-sweep aircraft built. Only U.S. cancelled North American XB-70 Valkyrie had larger empty weight and maximum speed, but XB-70 bomber never entered in service within U.S. Air Force. In addition, the Tu-160 has the heaviest takeoff weight of any military aircraft besides transports.
Entering service in 1987, the Tu-160 was the last strategic bomber designed for the Soviet Union. The aircraft is in service, with at least 16 aircraft currently in use with the Russian Air Force. he Rockwell (now part of Boeing) B-1 Lancer[N 1] is a four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was first envisioned in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with Mach 2 speed, and sufficient range and payload to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. It was developed into the B-1B, primarily a low-level penetrator with long range and Mach 1.25 speed capability at high altitude. The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. It is the most recent branch of the U.S. military to be formed, and is the largest and one of the world's most technologically advanced air forces. The USAF articulates its core functions as Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command and Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personnel Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support. The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, tr. Voyenno-vozdushnye sily Rossii) is the aerial warfare service branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. It is currently under the command of Colonel General Aleksandr Zelin. The Russian Navy has its own air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno Morskogo Flota ("Naval Aviation"), or AV-MF).
The Air Force was formed from parts of the former Soviet Air Forces after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991--92. Boris Yeltsin's creation of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation on 7 May 1992, can be taken as a convenient formation date for the new Air Force. Since that time, the Air Force has suffered severe setbacks due to lack of resources, and has constantly shrunk in size. Since Vladimir Putin became President of the Russian Federation however, much more money has been allocated to the Armed Forces as a whole.