Thursday, September 29, 2011


The BACKFIRE is a long-range aircraft capable of performing nuclear strike, conventional attack, antiship, and reconnaissance missions. Its low-level penetration features make it a much more survivable system than its predecessors. Carrying either bombs or AS-4/KITCHEN air-to-surface missiles, it is a versatile strike aircraft, believed to be intended for theater attack in Europe and Asia but also potentially capable of intercontinental missions against the United States. The BACKFIRE can be equipped with probes to permit inflight refueling, which would further increase its range and flexibility.
After designing the TU-22, the Tupolev design bureau started working on a new bomber that was based on the TU-22. Initially Tupolev considered modifying the TU-22 by changing the angle of the swept wings and equipping it with more powerful engines. However after developing the design "106" and various analysis, the design did not meet the flight characteristic requirements. Tupolev also developed the design "125". The aircraft was supposed have two VK-6 engines, a range of 4500-4800 km and an operating speed of up to 2500 km/h. The design provided for the use of titanium alloys and advanced electronic systems.
In 1962, the "125" design was examined by the Government but rejected, as the T-4 aircraft designed by KB Sukhoi was accepted. As an alternative to the T-4 aircraft, KB Tupolev developed the "145" airplane which was a modification of the TU-22. This airplane represented a multi-mode supersonic bomber which was capable of flying at subsonic speed at small altitudes and at supersonic speed to overcome air defenses. The range at subsonic speed was supposed to be 6000-7000 km. The wings are swept-back and had a variable geometry to meet the speed and range requirements. The aircraft should carry Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles which had already been deployed on other aircraft. After activities on the T-4 bombers were halted, KB Tupolev was officially charged with building the "145" aircraft in 1967. The new bomber was intended to have a maximum speed of 2300 km/h and a range of 7000 km without refueling. It received the designation TU-22M. The Tu-22M designation was used by the Soviets during SALT-2 arms control negotiations, creating the impression that the Backfire-A aircraft was a modification of the Tu-22 Blinder. This designation was adopted by the US State and Defense Departments, although some contended that the designation was deliberately deceptive, and intended to hide the performace of the Backfire. Other sources suggest the "deception" was internal, because this made it easier to get budgets approved. According to some sources, the Backfire-B/C production variants were believed to be designated Tu-26 by Russia, although this is disputed by many sources. At Tupolev the aircraft was designated the AM.

0 σχόλια:

Post a Comment