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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


The Il-28 was the first jet bomber to enter service with the Soviet air force and it was also supplied to the newly created air fleets of the Warsaw Pact countries. Designed in the late 1940s, the Il-28 was powered by Rolls-Royce turbojets supplied by Britain just before relations with the Soviet Union broke down completely.

The draft design Il-28 Il'ushin started 12 January 1948, and soon work was completed on a preliminary design of the IL-28 aircraft, the calculated flight and technical characteristics of which significantly exceeded the values obtained on bombers previously created at the Design Bureau. The design of the aircraft embodied all technological solutions that worked well during the construction and testing of the IL-22. However, the outline design aimed at approval at the Air Force Research Institute did not find support from the Customer.

According to military experts, the Il-28 bomber did not have significant advantages over A.N. Tupolev Tu-12 and Tu-14, the construction and testing of which have already been carried out on government orders. In this situation, S.V. Ilyushin, confident in the much higher combat effectiveness of his aicraft, decided to proactively continue its detailed design and even construction. The adoption of such a decision at that time could threaten serious troubles, but the persistence of the Chief Designer and his firm confidence in the correctness of his position managed to overcome the existing misunderstanding. In June, an almost fully built aircraft and its forthcoming tests were included in the previously approved pilot aircraft construction plan for 1948.

What allowed the Chief Designer to take the risk and confidently defend his view of the appearance and design of the proposed front-line bomber designed to strike in the enemy’s operational defense line? The results of the completed tests of the IL-22 made it possible to conduct a comprehensive assessment of its structural, operational, flight and combat capabilities, which showed that when developing a new machine, the data obtained can be significantly adjusted towards improvement. This conclusion was the basis for the design of a new machine, which, with the selected reduced geometrical dimensions and maintaining the same values of the bomb load mass (1000 kg in the normal version and 3000 kg in reload), had a lower take-off weight.

The same result was obtained when using instead of four, only two, but more reliable engines, and while reducing the crew from five to three people. The increase in speed made it possible to replace the oval fuselage with a large area of the washed surface with a shorter and cylindrical one, which has less aerodynamic drag. The refusal to place engines on pylons made it possible to reduce the likelihood of foreign objects getting into them when operating the aircraft from field airfields and made it possible to place the main landing gear legs and ensure their cleaning in engine nacelles. Evaluation of the work of the IL-22 defensive weapons showed the possibility of increasing its effectiveness by creating a new Il-Kb feed defense system with two NR-23 guns while reducing the mass of weapons mounted on the IL-28 due to the abandonment of the upper cannon mount.

On 8 July 1948 the test-pilot V.K. Kokkinaki rose in the 1st flight IL-28 with 2 TRD «Rolls Royce Nene». On 30 December 1948 began the factory tests of Il-28 with the more powerful serial domestic engines RD-45F the licensing variant if English engine. But the decision the fortune of the aircraft dragged out to 14 May 1949, when the decision about the speed step-up of the flight of IL-28 to 900 km/h of the Council Ministers was accepted at the placing much more powerful engine BK-1 with the takeoff thrust 2700kg/s. 3 months later at 8, August 1949 rose in the air Il-28 at the 1st time with the engines BK-1.

In February 1949, the state tests started and the results were reported to Stalin in May, 1949, the same time when the Tu-14 front-line bomber test results were reported. After the thorough consideration, the S.V. Ilyushin's aircraft was preferred. The IL-28 production started in 1953 in Irkutsk. The aircraft required modification and a Design Bureau team headed by a long time Irkutsk engineer S.V. Ilyushin. Mocking-up was used for the first time as a principle of subassembly, new techniques for avionics and ejection seats optimization were used and others. For the 6 years routing fabrication in USSR (1949-1955) was built 6316 Il-28 of various modifications on the three large factories: #30 in Moscow (heading), #64 in Voronezh and #166 in Omsk.

At the same time with Il-28 passed the tasting experimental front bombers «73» and «78». They say, when Tupolev saw IL-28 in the parking at the 1st time he asked the workers: «whose is illegitimate child?» Then careful inspected it, familiarize with its facts and after that he told his workers off for a long time. Really aspiration of the creators of «73» and «78» to save the scheme of defensive arming of piston Tu-2 brought to the unreasonable increase number of movable weapon emplacements and to the increase of the crew, the size of the aircraft, to growth its weight, to complication engine installation. Then these machines were modified to the «81» with one cannon installation and the main crew of three men.

The advanced engineer for the testing Il-28 was V.N. Bugajskij and then he became the design manager of aviation rocket arming. G.V. Novozhilov (now he is chief designer of AK by S.V. Il'ushin) took part in development of production drawing of the aircraft and since that time began his carrier. For the creation of Il-28 S.V. Il'ushinu and a group of designers OKB was awarded Stalin's prize.

The problem of the technologically ineffective fuselage was solved in a radical way: it was cut into large-size panels, which enabled the technologists to use press riveting up to 75% on the IL-28, which cut labour intensity in the fuselage manufacture by one half. The future Deputy Chief Engineers V.M. Bogdanov and Yu.P. Faberovsky played a leading role in these developments. The production aircraft were flight tested by test pilots S, I. Petrov, V.V. Yeliferov, I.V. Kuznetsov, P.I. Uvarov. V.I. Sementchenko, G.I. Starostenko, A.M. Yaroshevitch and V.P. Naurov.

The IL-28 production ceased in 1956, and over six years, the Irkutsk Factory produced 459 IL-28s out of the total number of 6316 manufactured in the USSR. The IL-28 were in service with the Air Forces of 20 countries in the world. IL-28 found the wide application outside the USSR. They consisted in or consists at present at arming Algeria, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, GDR, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Yemen, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Rumania, Syria, Somalia, Finland, Czechoslovakia. The aircraft was built serially in PRC and Czechoslovakia (under the symbol B-228). In the 50th considerably quantity of IL-28 was placed to China including the torpedo bombers which armed with torpedo PAT-52. After the deterioration relations between USSR and PRC on the factory in Harbin was organized the repair IL-28 and making the repair parts for them. From 1964 there began the conversion of the routine fabrication of the bomber which was marked in China as a H-5 (Habrin-5).

The 1st Chinese production machine rose in the air in April 1967. In September 1967 was made the variant H-5 - the carrier of tactical nuclear weapons. 27 of December 1968 was mastered a routine fabrication also an educational and photoreconnaissance (HZ-5) modifications H-5. China was the 2nd after USSR the state outnumber the parks of IL-28. All the variants of the aircraft have been adopted in PRC and nowadays. China actively exported H-5 in the other countries.

The IL-28 bombers were widely operated in many local conflicts. At the final stage of the War in Korea (1951 through 1953) about 70 IL-28s were based in the Chinese airfields. During the Caribbean crisis in 1962, 42 aircraft were sent to Cuba with the Soviet crews and six tactical nuclear bombs were also delivered to solve the problem in a "radical way". Fortunately, the "Cuban crisis" was resolved in a peaceful way.

The IL-28 bombers took part practically in all Middle East conflicts in 1956, 1967 and 1973, and in combats in Yemen in 1962. They were used in wars in Vietnam, Nigeria and in Afghanistan and their losses were minimal. The fire from the tail gun mount while breaking away gave the enemy no chance for gun fire burst or launching the "Stinger" to the unprotected tail, like in cases with the MiG or the Su aircraft.

The Il-28 was retired from the Soviet Air Force and Navy in the 1980s, serving as target tugs and ECM platforms. It also served with a large number of export customers, and was exported to over 20 countries]. Beagles served with most of the major Arab air forces. The arrival of 50 Il-28s in Egypt in 1956 was alarming to the Israelis, and a significant factor in the origins of the 1956 Suez War, in which all the Il-28s sent to Nasser were destroyed on the ground. Again in 1967 and yet again in 1973, the Il-28 featured as a significant ground target for the Israeli Air Force. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Soviet Premier Khrushchev agreed to remove the offensive missiles as well as the medium range twin-jet Il-28 "Beagle" bombers being assembled in Cuba. Il-28s also saw service with the Nigerians during the Biafra War. East Germany and Finland flew only the target-towing version, without armament.

Over 1000 were produced and eventually exported to Soviet allies in the Arab world like Syria and Yemen. Nigeria used Il-28s in the Biafran War. China manufactured its own Il-28s as the B-5 bomber and continued using the planes long after the Soviet and Warsaw Pact versions had been retired.

The Il-28 tactical day bomber was Russia's equivalent to the British Canberra. First flown in August 1948, the Il-28 entered service with bomber squadrons in 1950 and remained in production for many years. This jet-powered medium bomber was built in enormous numbers [over 6000 were built by the Soviet Union and China, according to some estimates] and adapted to fulfill a variety of roles. By the early 1990s more than 300 Beagles remained in service with a number of ex-Soviet allies.

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Page last modified: 31-10-2019 16:54:15 ZULU