Tu-128 FIDDLER - Development
Since the mid 1950s the Soviet air defense interceptors in need of further action that could provide a comprehensive defense of the USSR borders. With this purpose in the Bureau imeni Tupolev began to carry out work on the design of the new TU-128. Externally it had similarities with the Tu-22 bomber, could carry aboard a powerful radar and missiles "air-to-air." Interceptor was constructed on the basis of the Tu-102, which was first raised to the sky in 1959, the name of the serial Tu-102, which it received in 1963, - the Tu-28P. Next a deep modernization of the aircraft received the index Tu-128.
Almost a year of work on the topic of a long-range interceptor went on in OKB-156 almost as an initiative. The development of the preliminary design of the aircraft and the study of the combat capabilities of the complex as a whole was conducted by the leading engineer for the aircraft and complex V. Babanov together with the brigade of combat use. The general management was carried out by Yeger. Almost all units of the design bureau participated in the development of the draft design. Aerodynamics A.Gunin, N.Bykovaya and others performed great work on the choice of the optimal flight regimes for the aircraft during combat use.
The prototype for the fighter was the experienced front-line bomber "98", created by Tupolev in 1956 and used (after NS Khrushchev closed a number of topics in aviation design organizations) as a flying laboratory for studies of stability, control and strength at transonic and supersonic speeds.
June 4, 1958 issued a resolution of the CPSU Central Committee and the Council of Ministers of the USSR No. 608-293, and after him - No.1013-482 dated August 28 on the establishment of the air defense missile system Tu-28-80. In the same year, the State Committee for Aviation Equipment (No.211 of June 17 and No.382 of September 20) issued corresponding orders. According to these orders and orders, OKB-156 was supposed to create a long-range supersonic interceptor Tu-28 with two AL-7F-2 engines designed by AM Ljulka or with VD-19 design OKB-36 VA Dobrynin (if they are ready). The main designer of the new fighter was I.F. Nezval. The OKB, headed by F.Volkov, was supposed to design and build an airborne radar of the RP-S "Smerch", and OKB M.Bisnovata - air-to-air missiles K-80 with radar and thermal homing heads.
The Tu-128 derived many technical ideas of the Tu-98, in particular low-positioned wide swept wing were sold, placing the chassis rods in the wings and nacelles low-lying stabilizer. The new machine had a lot in common with the prototype - about the same dimensions, configuration and weight. The power plant was also used for "98". But two TRD AL-7F engines on the bomber were replaced by more powerful AL-7F-2 with a thrust of 10,000 kgf on afterburner. The side air intakes were slightly changed in shape and increased in cross-sectional area. The crew was reduced from three to two people - a pilot and navigator-operator.
The Tu-102 carried a huge built-in radar, but also the test equipment is in the bottom bulge. The Tu-28P made a larger nose cone to control missile weapons, involved through the radar "Smerch-100" system. It had a target detection range of 50 km, the radius of capture - within 40 km. Thanks to the good performance of detection and capture performance, the interceptor did not have contact with the ground radar, it could independently make interceptions. In the case of autonomous action required only a few data on the location of air targets. Therefore, it can be effectively used in remote areas for the ground radar. During operation, it was often used together with the aviation Tu-126 AEW. The aircraft had virtually no defensive weapons, electronic warfare systems, the system notifies of radar illumination, which were equipped with smaller interceptors of Sukhoi design.
After the customer approved the preliminary design, in August 1958 the production of working drawings began, which were transferred to a pilot plant. The prototype Tu-28 began to build in mid-December 1959, and by the summer the aircraft was ready. Work went on for another six months: they installed the missing equipment. In January 1960, the mock commission was held. It generally approved the prototype of the interceptor and the systems installed on it, but it required some modifications. The main changes concerned equipment. Aggregates of the fuselage of the prototype of the prototype launched into production had to be modified slightly. And at the end of January 1961, the interceptor was sent to factory tests. The first taxiing took place on 27 February. On March 18, the crew in the test-pilot M.V. Kozlov and navigator K.I. Malkhasyan made the first flight on the new machine. In parallel with the tests of the carrier, the missiles and the Smerch radar were modified.
In the summer of 1961, it was decided to demonstrate the newest heavy interceptor at the air show in Tushino. The plane was able to surprise not only ordinary spectators, but also foreign experts present. The large enough dimensions of the machine and two missiles (although there were mock-ups on the plane), as well as a large fairing under the fuselage, which Western experts considered a powerful radar station (under it hiding the standard test and recording equipment for testing), made it possible to correctly determine the purpose - heavy long-range interceptor. After the show in NATO it was given the name "Fiddler".
Joint tests with the customer, which began in March 1962, were already conducted on two machines and ended in July 1964. During this time, the order of the Minister of Defense gave the aircraft a new name - Tu-128.
Many problems in armament and other systems arose in the tests. In September 1962, the first air target, a radio-controlled Il-28M target aircraft, was hit by a missile from the Tu-128. It was assumed that the military tests will be 10 vehicles, but eventually the interceptor came up with "bomber" standards - limited to five aircraft.
On April 30, 1965, the long-range interception of air targets under the new designation Tu-128S-4 adopted anti-aircraft weapons, and in October of the following year the first Tu-128 arrived in the combat unit.
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