A Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber flies during the Victory Day parade above Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015.
A Tu-160 heavy strategic bomber flies during the Victory Day parade above Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2015.Reuters File

Even as president Vladimir Putin vowed revenge against the Islamic State (Isis) for its role in bringing down the Russian passenger plane in Egypt's Sinai region, Moscow has announced the deployment of Tu-160, a Soviet-era bomber known as the "Blackjack."

Hailed as the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep aircraft - the Tu-160, is the Soviet version of the American B-1 bomber for delivering nuclear weapons at long distances.

The Russian defence ministry on Tuesday announced that it has deployed - strategic bombers Tu-160, Tu-95MC and Tu-22 against Isis in Syria, Sputnik reported. Russia also said on Tuesday that in the last 48 hours its air force has carried out around 2,300 sorties in Syria, according to Interfax.

A source told The Aviationist that Russia used several of its strategic bombers on Tuesday morning (17 November) against Isis.  The report noted that as many as 6 Tu-22M Backfire strategic bombers besides Tu-160s took off from the Mozdok airbase, in Ossetia to carry out attacks in Syria.

Earlier in the day, after Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov confirmed that a homemade explosive, equivalent of up to one kg of TNT was placed on the Russian passenger plane, which exploded mid-air on 31 October.

Following this, President Vladimir Putin vowed to hunt down and punish the guilty. A total of  224 passengers, mostly Russians were killed in the terrorist act on 31 October.

Watch video of Tu-160 Blackjack in action

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