Thursday, September 29, 2011


The Tu-160 is a multi-mission strategic bomber designed for operations ranging from subsonic speeds and low altitudes to speeds over Mach 1 at high altitudes. The two weapons bays can accommodate different mission-specific loads, including strategic cruise missiles, short-range guided missiles, nuclear and conventional bombs, and mines. Its basic armament of short-range guided missiles and strategic cruise missiles enables it to deliver nuclear strikes to targets with preassigned coordinates.In the future, after the aircraft is equipped with high-precision conventional weapons it may also be used against mobile or tactical targets.
The Tu-160 was the outcome of a multi-mission bomber competition, which included a Tupolev proposal for an aircraft design using elements of the Tu-144, the Myasishchev M- 18, and the Sukhoi a design based on the T-4 aircraft. The project of Myasishchev was considered to be the most successful, although the Tupolev organization was regarded as having the greatest potential for completing this complex project. Consequently, Tupolev was assigned to develop an aircraft using elements of the Myasishchev M-18 bomber design. The project was supervised by V.N. Binznyuk. Trial operations in the Air Forces began in 1987 with serial production being conducted at the Kazan Aviation Association.
The Tu-160 is characterized by low-mounted, swept-back, and tapered, variable geometry wings with large fixed-center section. The variable geometry wings (from 20 degrees up to 65 degrees) allows flight at supersonic and and subsonic speeds. Four NK-32 TRDDF [turbojet bypass engines with afterburners] of 25,000 kilograms-force power the T-160. The four turbofans, developed by OKB Kuznetsov in 1977, are mounted in pairs under the fixed-center section with square intakes and exhausts extending behind the wings trailing edges. The fuselage's slim structure is marked by a long, pointed, slightly upturned nose section and a stepped canopy. Tail flats are swept-back, tapered, and mid-mounted on the fin. The tail fin is back-tapered with a square tip and a fairing in the leading edge. The tail cone is located past the tail section. During the design of the aircraft, special attention was paid to reducing its signature. Measures were applied to reduce the signature of the engines to infra-red and radar detectors. Tests of these survivability measures were first tested on a TU-95 aircraft in 1980.
As the most powerful combat aircraft of the Soviet Air Forces, the T-160 flies at 2,000 km/hr and can exceed the 2,000 mark with a mission-specific load. The T-160 can climb 60-70 meters per second and reach heights of up 15,000 meters. The bomber can be refueled during flight by IL-78 and ZMS-2 tanker aircraft. The air refueling system consists of a probe and drogue airborne refueling system.
The TU-160 can carry up to 12 Kh-55 long range missiles and Kh-15 short range missiles. The weapons bays can accommodate different loads: carries various bombs: From fee falling nuclear and regular up to 1500 kg bombs. The bomber is not equipped with artillery armament.
The Tu-160 is equipped with a combined navigation-and-weapon aiming system, RID; [radar] for detecting targets on the ground and sea at long distances, an optical-electronic bombsight, an automatic terrain-following system, and active and passive radio-electronic warfare systems, as well as a probe-and-drogue airborne refueling system. It is equipped with K-36DM ejection seats. The cockpit instruments are the traditional electromechanical type. The aircraft is controlled with the aid of a central control column. The engine control throttles are located between the pilots' seats. There is a rest area, a toilet, and a cupboard for warming up food.

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