|Thrust (each, kg)||20.000||22.000|
|Wing sweep angle||20°, 30°, 50°, 60°|
|Weights (kg) and loads|
|Wing Load (kg/m2)|
|Max. (at altitude)||1530||1660|
|Ferry Range (km)||4140||5000|
|Missiles||up to 3 supersonic "Kitchen" cruise missiles|
Serious revision of unsatisfactory Tu-22 bomber, but practically an all-new aircraft. Early production Tu-22M0 was first flown on October 30, 1969 and was built in 1969- 1971. Nine built. It differed from later variants by ECM/parachute fairing replacing the rear gun turret. Later, when requirement of grass field operation capacity was dropped, parachute was deleted.
In-air refueling capable Tu-22M1 batch also included 9 aircraft. It had an in-air refueling probe and could perform much longer missions with higher payload - if air tanker is available.
Both types serve with naval aviation.
During arms reduction talks, the US claimed that the Tu-26 was an all-new aircraft and a strategic bomber; the USSR said that the 'Backfire' was a development of the 'Blinder' and had no strategic capability. As a compromise, the refueling equipment was removed - but still supplied with the aircraft 'spares kit' and could be installed within few hours on any later model. Same treaty limited production of Tu-22M by 30 airframes/year.
It is a big 'swing-wing' bomber, used as cruise missile carrier and naval patrol aircraft. Despite its size, Backfire has D-shaped or rectangular (C version) wing root intakes, just like a fighter.
It is almost certain that 'Backfire' is an entirely new design, but still lacks the range for a strategic role - A.N.Tupolev now claims a radius of action of only 2200km. Its strike capability imposes quite a serious threat for naval targets... here comes a reason of US over-reaction. Well, keep you fleet where it belongs - there will be no threat from a 'Backfire'!
The USSR designated it Tu-22M, allegedly for budgetary reasons.
|Created January 25, 1996
Modified December 21, 1999