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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tu-133 (product SD)

Tupolev Tu-133 was a project for an intercontinental cruise missile carried out by the OKB-156 by Andrej Nikolaevic Tupolev starting from 1957 . Also known by the names of Tu-123, or D, or SD, it remained entirely on paper, due to the cancellation of the program before the start of the flight tests.

During the work on the aircraft "121" was prepared a project for its modernization with a view to significantly increasing its flight range. The project received an aircraft designation "133" ("SD") for the design bureau. The project was represented by the original unmanned aircraft "121" with an increased fuel reserve in the inner tanks and additional drop-out overhead fuel tanks. These measures allowed to increase the estimated flight range up to 5000-6000 km.

The development of the Tu-133 was initiated by the Tupolev organization in 1957, starting from Tupolev Tu-121, of which in practice it constituted the intercontinental variant. Also different components were the same as 121, starting from the warhead (a type 205 weighing 3,000 kg). OKB-156 project carried out the strategic droneless projectile-133 projectile (product SD), which became the development of the cruise missile project "121" with minimal structural improvements. The increased fuel reserve in the inland and outboard fuel tanks, according to calculations, made it possible to have an intercontinental flight range.

Its range should have been in the order of 6,000 km (although other sources indicate values between 5,000 and 9,000). This increase, in the intentions of the designers, should have been obtained thanks to the use of Kuznetsov NK-6 turbojets for the second stage cruise phase, while the first one would have always been propelled by a solid propellant rocket. Additional fuel tanks were provided, both external and internal. The estimated maximum speed was around 2 800 km/h, with a maximum operating altitude of 25 000 m. The margin of error (CEP) would have been 10 km. The intended guidance system was the same astroinerial developed by the NII-1 MAP for the Tu-121.

However, the development of this missile was interrupted in 1960, due to the preference given to intercontinental ballistic missiles, which were much less vulnerable. It is easy to understand supporters and opponents of long-range cruise missiles. Some said that Tu-121 cruise missiles are cheaper, easier to operate and more mobile than intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of 4000 km, that even the presence of several TU-121 regiments would have made possible opponents to spend several times greater funds for creating high-altitude air defense weapons. Others said that it was necessary to concentrate all means on the creation of intercontinental ballistic missiles, since those are invulnerable in flight. Both those and others are right in their own way.

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Page last modified: 28-05-2018 19:42:54 ZULU