The Soviet Union started in 1967 a competition for a new supersonic, strategical sweep wing bomber. The Tu-160 was from the design similar to the Tupolev Tu-144 and it competed with the Myasishchev M-18 and the Sukhoi T-4. While the Myasishchev aircraft had the best performance, Tupolev's bomber was announced as the winner because of Tupolev's better industrial performance. However some basic designs were taken by the superior Myasishchev design.
The Tu-160 was designed to be the Russian counterpart to the American Rockwell B-1 Lancer, but it is larger and more useable for strategic roles.
The Tu-160 is a stock aircraft in the Flight Simulation program YS Flight,