“Russia not selling Tu-22M Backfire bombers to China” Russia’s state arms export corporation says

It looks like the news that China had just bought the entire Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber production line was unfounded.

According to the ITAR-TASS News Agency, the Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state arms export corporation denied any negotiations with China on the Backfire bombers.

Reports about the upcoming supply to China of Tu-22 strategic bombers is pure “newspaper’s duck”, Rosoboronexport  spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko said.

Usually, the Russian state intermediary agency for military import/export doesn’t comment news other than that published on official media outlets. However, they felt the need to deny the news of the Backfire sale since the aircraft is a strategic asset that, as such, can’t be sold to foreign countries.

As written in the first article on the topic, it was the third time in recent years that Chinese websites and Russian media outlet had given the news that Russia was about to sell China what needed to build 36 long-range swing wing attack planes to counter the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea.

Once again, it was just speculation.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Navy must remain vigilant: the Chinese already have their own strategic plane, the Xian H-6K, a license-built version of the Soviet Tu-16 Badger capable to carry up to six cruise missiles.

Image credit: Alex Beltyukov

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I have no doubt in a few years time, we will hear this rubbish about China buying Tu-22, Su-35 etc recycled all over again.

  2. Exactly! China is no longer a low-tech nation. They have technology that can easily stand up to anything out there, in proper quantities of course. The US is making a big mistake here… we have all this new wonderful tech, but we’re not using it! You can’t apply century old tactics to the current battlefield, and with the US military being top heavy as well as notorious for all the old geezers in command we’re just throwing all those billions, and often lives, away.

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