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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Of the Tupolev nuclear plane projects, something can be said about Tu-120, the atomic version of the supersonic Tu-22 bomber. It was assumed that an 85-ton aircraft 30.7 m long and with a wingspan of 24.4 m (wing area 170 m2) will accelerate to 1,350-1450 km / h at an altitude of 8 km. The machine represented a high-level plan of the classical scheme, the engines and the reactor were located in the tail section.

Almost simultaneously with the beginning of the work on the aircraft "119" in the design office of A. Tupolev, scientific research began on the possibility of creating a long-range supersonic bomber with a nuclear power plant [YASU / ISS]. The program of works covered a large range of research in the field of creating turbojet engines, searching for the optimal layout of the ISS on an aircraft of this class, taking into account the necessary degree of radiation protection for the crew and equipment.

The plans of the design bureau provided that, during the normal course of operations, it would be possible to transfer a full-fledged supersonic combat aircraft with ISS to flight tests in the second half of the 1970s. The program covered the development of a whole series of combat supersonic heavy aircraft with IAS: a long-range bomber, a low-altitude bomber and a strategic intercontinental aircraft.

The first in this series was to become a long-range bomber, which got the designation "120" (Tu-120) by design bureau, which was close to a long-range Tu-22 bomber.

The aircraft was supposed to be equipped with two turbojet engines designed by ND Kuznetsov. Engines and a reactor with protection were installed in the tail and rear parts of the fuselage, at the maximum distance from the cockpit. In the forward part of the fuselage was a hermetic cabin crew, designed for two people (pilot and navigator). The cabin was equipped with a powerful radiation combination protection. The aircraft was carried out in accordance with the normal scheme and was a high-wing with a 45-degree swept wing and tail, with engines located in the tail of the fuselage and a bicycle chassis.

The second aircraft in this series was a project of a low-altitude shock vehicle, similar in designation to the project of the "132" aircraft.

The aircraft was designed for two turbojet engines. The reactor was mounted in front of the engine package at the rear of the fuselage. The engines were designed both from the reactor and on kerosene, this regime was envisaged for takeoff and landing. To supply the turbojet with kerosene in the rear of the fuselage, a fuel tank was installed in front of the reactor, which served simultaneously as an element of radiation protection. In the front of the fuselage was a pressurized cabin for two people with combined protection. The plane was carried out according to the usual low-plan scheme. The wing is triangular with variable sweep along the leading edge and with a small influx in its root part. The tail empenage are arrow-shaped, the stabilizer was located on the top of the keel.

The presented projects of heavy supersonic aircraft with ISS give an overall picture of the directions of work of the KB on this subject. There were several other projects of such aircraft: for example, during the design of the supersonic strategic carrier aircraft " 135 ", it was considered a version of the IAS.

The third supersonic vehicle with ISS was the project of a long-range strategic aircraft-bomber, close in design to the projects "108" and "135".

The long-range supersonic bomber with the ISS was designed for six turbojet engines, 2 of which were equipped with heat exchangers and could operate from the reactor (engines of the KB Kuznetsov Design Bureau). The overall layout of the machine was close to the layout of the US medium-range supersonic B-58 bomber. The aircraft was carried out according to the "tailless" scheme with the application of the "area rule". The triangular wing had a sweep at the leading edge of 52.5 and a relative thickness of 4.5%. Four turbojets without heat exchangers were placed under the wing on the pylons, two engines with heat exchangers in the tail section of the fuselage. Reactor, hermetic cabin crew were placed similarly to the above projects.

As in the case of the "119" project, all work on supersonic vehicles was discontinued in the first half of the 1960s. The main reasons for the curtailment of this large-scale scientific and technical program in the field of domestic aviation armaments were: economic constraints associated with the deployment at that time of strategic missile systems and nuclear submarine fleet, as well as possible environmental problems for the environment, which could hamper during the operation of aircraft with a uclear power plant [YASU / ISS].

Designer OKB A. Tupolev
symbol "120"
type supersonic bomber with Nuclear power plant [YASU / ISS]
Project long-range low-altitude strategic
fuselage length, M 30.7 37 40.5
wingspan, M 24.4 19 30.6
height of aircraft, m   8.25  
area of Wing, M 2 170 172 320
air mass, kg   80000-ha 102,000 153000
power plant
Number of engines 2 2 4 + 2
engine turbojet N.D. Kuznetsova turbojet turbojet n.d. Kuznetsova
flight data (calculated)
maximum flight speed, km/h 1350-1450   1250-1400  
altitude in the execution of the combat mission, M.   150-500  
bomb load, kg     5000

Tu-120 Tu-120 Tu-120 Tu-120

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 12:14:00 ZULU