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Myasishchev 3MS-2 Refueling aircraft

The first serial M-4 bombers had an insufficient flight range. There were two ways to solve this problem: installing new, more efficient engines while improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft or equipping it with a refueling system in flight. The latter direction by that time had already firmly taken root in the air forces of the USA and Great Britain. In September 1953, OKB-23 was instructed to equip the aircraft with such a system. The development of the hose-cone filling system was entrusted to OKB-918 S.M. Alekseeva. To test the system, flying laboratories based on IL-28 were used and MiG-19. Then the tests were continued using the prototype "M" and 2 serial M-4. The 3ME high-altitude bomber with the VD-7P (RD-7P) engines remained in the prototype. While reducing the number of 3M strategic bombers of various modifications, some of them were converted into flying tankers for refueling in the air the remaining 3M, Tu-95 and other attack aircraft. Thus, the M-4-2 tankers were replaced by 3MS-2 and 3MN tankers -2, differing from each other mainly in engines and related communications.

In the Soviet Union, the first work in this direction began in accordance with the decree of the Council of Ministers of December 18, 1953. In the LII under the leadership of S.M. Alekseeva, V.S. Vakhmistrova, I.N. On May 26, 1954, the Decree of the Council of Ministers On the creation of means for refueling aircraft in flight was issued. The document prescribed the development of refueling systems for the MiG-19 and Tu-16 aircraft from the Tu-16 tanker, and M-4 from the M-4 tanker. The first fuel transfer in the air took place on July 11, 1955. On September 27, 1956, State tests began at the Civil Aviation Research Institute of the Air Force (for this, two more serial M-4s were converted). On February 8, 1957, a flight was operated at a distance of 14,500 km with two refueling. State tests were completed in June 1958 with a positive assessment. The tanker was adopted by the designation M-4-II (M-4-2). Since the production of a more advanced 3M bomber (M-6) had already begun at that time, it was decided to convert all those in the M-4 system into tankers.

In 1956-1957, the first ten M-4s were converted into tankers. Kerosene, intended for overfilling in the air into a refueling aircraft, was housed in 10 fuel tanks with a total volume of 50,250 liters (41,400 kg). If necessary, this fuel could be used by a refueling aircraft for its engines. In connection with the increase in fuel volume, additional fire-fighting equipment was installed on board the tanker, as well as the headlights of the integrated refueling, fuselage and wing assembly unit. Now the main task of the M-4 was to refuel in flight the 3M and Tu-95 bombers, and the flying tanker itself received the designation M-4-2.

Until the beginning of the 1980s, 3MS and 3MN bombers were converted into tankers ZMS-2 and ZMN-2. They replaced the M-4-2 in connection with international treaties to reduce the number of strategic bombers and have long been the main means of refueling in flight strategic aircraft equipped with the Cone system. The maximum amount of fuel delivered during the flight reached 40,000 kg, the capacity of the refueling unit was 2,250 l / min.

When re-equipping the M-4 bomber into a refueling tank, an additional 3600 l tank and a comprehensive refueling unit were installed in his bomb bay. Refueling could be carried out in the altitude range of 6000-9000 m and at a speed of 470-510 km / h. At a range of 4000 km, the tanker is capable of transmitting up to 40 tons of fuel. When dismantling the additional tank and KAZ, the aircraft could again be turned into a bomber. The converted 3MN and 3MS were already irreversible: they had the bomb gate flaps sewn up and only a small hatch for releasing a hose with a cone remained.

In accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers of July 31, 1958, the Myasishchev Design Bureau developed the 3MT tanker, designed for refueling in flight of the M-50 bomber. The maximum take-off weight in the case of using an additional drop-off landing gear of the landing gear could be increased from 190,000 kg to 248,200 kg. In November 1959, the Design Bureau presented the customer with a preliminary design, and in less than a month the layout, but that was all. Gradually, 3M bombers were converted into refueling aircraft, as refueling in the air made it possible to strike a likely enemy.

At the end of the 1970s, in connection with the reduction of strategic offensive weapons under international treaties, the MN and 3MC bombers began to be converted into tankers, 3MN-2 and 3MS-2, respectively. The development was carried out with the participation of specialists from SibNIA. Re-equipment was carried out at EMZ Myasishchev and at the aircraft repair plant No. 360 in Ryazan. 3MN-2 and 3MS-2 for a long time were the main means of refueling strategic aircraft (3M, Tu-22KD, Tu-22M, Tu-95, Tu-160 ) in flight, and the anti-submarine Tu-142 and Tu-126 equipped with the "Cone" system. Before the appearance of the American tanker KC-10, these were the most powerful refuellers in the world. Most of them were concentrated in 1,230 TBAP (the Engels airfield), which was later renamed into 1230 APZZ. In the early 1970s, the 1230th Tbap was called the 1230th Aviation Regiment of refueling aircraft (1230th APSZ).

When the M-4 bomber was converted into a tanker, an additional tank of 3,600 liters and an integrated fueling unit were installed in the bomb bay. Refueling could be performed in the altitude range of 6000-9000 m and at a speed of 470-510 km / h. At a range of 4000 km the tanker is able to transfer up to 40 tons of fuel. When the additional tank and KAZ were dismantled, the aircraft could again be turned into a bomber. Refurbished 3MN-2 and 3MS-2 was already irreversible: they had sutured the bomb bay doors and only a small hatch for releasing the hose with the cone remained.

In early 1975, the question was considered of converting all 3M bombers into air tankers for refueling the supersonic Tu-22M bombers. But the Il-78 refueling aircraft, created at the Design Bureau of S.V. Ilyushin , turned out to be more preferable for these purposes. The 3MN-2 and 3MS-2 refueling tanks were operated until 1994, and then were put into reserve. Gradually, they were put on conservation, and then disposed of.

But the Il-78 tanker, created at Ilyushin Design Bureau, turned out to be more preferable for these purposes. One 3MS-2 was transferred to the Air Force Museum in Monino.

Wing span, m53.14
Aircraft length, m51.70
Aircraft height, m14.10
Wing area, m2320.00
Weight kg
empty plane75740
normal takeoff192000
engine's type4 turbojet engine RD-3M-500A
Thrust, kgf4 x 10500
Maximum speed, km / h925
Cruising speed, km / h
Practical range, km12400
Range, km9400
Practical ceiling, m12150
Payload:40,000 kg of fuel
  • 3M-P - 3MD-based refueling station (project). Designed in 1960.
  • 3M-T - tanker for refueling the missile carrier M-52 (draft). Designed in 1960.
  • 3MN-2 (3MN-II) - tanker based on 3MN.
  • 3MS-2 (3MS-II) 3MS-based tanker.
  • M-4-2 (M-4-II) - tanker on the basis of M-4. Designed in 1953. Since 1958, all previously released M-4s have been refitted.
  • M-4R-2, 3MSR-2 - modified. They differed in the composition of avionics (R-802V, ARK-42, RSBN-2s, DISS-1).
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    Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:09 ZULU