Tupolev Tu-22M3 Strategic Bomber: specs, price, range, &cockpit. Tupolev Tu-22M3 (NATO reporting name: Backfire-C) is a long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by Tupolev for the Russian Air Force. The aircraft is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and Russian Navy Aviation. This aircraft is mainly used to perform nuclear attacks and conventional attack operations. This can also be used in anti-ship missions and maritime surveillance.
The earliest pre-production aircraft produced was the Tu-22M0. Its production is limited to a small amount due to inadequate performance. Followed by the Tu-22M1 pilot production aircraft for the Russian Naval Aviation. Production in the first major production version, the Tu-22M2 began in 1972. It was outfitted with extended wings and a redesigned fuselage, twin engines and new undercarriage.
The Tu-22M3 is based upon the Tu-22M aircraft design. The first Tu-22M0 prototype completed its maiden flight in August 1969. The Tu-22M1 first flew in July 1971 and the Tu-22M headed used in combat missions in Afghanistan between 1987 and 1989. The Tu-22M3 was used by Russia for combat operations in Chechnya in 1995.
The Tu-22M3 is introduced with enhanced features to overcome the disadvantages of its predecessor. This aircraft completed its first flight in June 1977 and was installed in inventory in 1983. Some Tu-22Ms were also modified to Tu-22MR and Tu-22ME standards. The Russian Ministry of Defense intends to increase up to 30 aircraft from around 60 Tu-22M3 which are currently operational to the advanced Tu-22M3M variant. The first modernized aircraft was launched during the launch ceremony at the Kazan Aviation Plant. It made its maiden flight on December 28, 2018.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Engine
The Tu-22M3 is powered by two Kuznetsov NK-25 turbofan engines mounted on the body with large air intakes and dual exhausts. Each engine produces a maximum thrust of 25,000 kg and results in better fuel savings.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 has a cruise speed of 900 km/ h and a maximum speed of 2,300 km/ h. This aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of 14,000 m and the level of climbing aircraft is 15 m/ s. The operational range of the aircraft is 7,000 km. This aircraft can be geared up with refueling probes to enable refueling in flight for longer distances.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Cockpit and Avionics
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 semi-glass cockpit can accommodate four crew members on an ejection seat that leads upwards. This is outfitted with a special panel for pilots, navigator-operators and commanders, with entrances provided through individual doors. The pressurized cockpit is geared up with a climate management system.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Specs
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 incorporates a variable wing length design. This aircraft has a stepped cockpit and variable-geometry outer wing panels. The tail fin is swept back and tapered with a square tip. Flats mounted in the center of the body are shown with a blunt end and each wing includes a middle and two outer panels. The outer wing affixes to the center through a hinged joint.
Overall, the Tu-22M3 has a length of 42.4 m, a maximum wing span of 34.2 m, and a height of 11.05 m. The maximum empty weight and takeoff weight of the aircraft are 53,500 kg and 126,400 kg, respectively.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 is geared up with a tricycle landing gear to support operations on unprepared runways. The nose includes twin wheels that are drawn back. Each main landing unit consists of six wheels in a 2 × 3 bogie arrangement. These are pulled directly into the fuselage.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Sensor and Radar
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 aircraft is geared up with a PN-A/ PN-AD blasting-navigation radar system, an Argon-2 radar fire management system and a TV-based bomb backup optical sight. Countermeasures are provided by updated radar warning receivers, superhigh frequency jammers, and defensive countermeasures.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Weapons
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 aircraft has a variety of hard points that can be armed with Kh-32 missiles which are sophisticated derivatives of Raduga Kh-22 or US-4 Kitchen Cold War era, Kh-15 or Kh-15P anti-radar missiles, and bombs dropped free FAB-250 or FAB-1500. Wingparts and fuselage and internal weapons chambers are provided with the capacity to carry 24,000 kg of cargo. The aircraft is also armed with a GSH-23 double barrel (23 mm) pistol in the tail tower that is controlled remotely.
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Price
The price of the latest Tupolev Tu-22M3 Dive bomber is around US $ 40 Million.