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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Tu-22M BACKFIRE Variants

  • Tu-22M -- basic modification;

  • Backfire A - TU-22MO -- The first TU-22M received the designation TU-22MO but was only produced in small quantities due to inadequate performance. In February 1973 two TY-22Mo bombers were transferred to a training center.

  • Backfire A - TU-22M -- The first prototype of the TU-22M was finished in July 1971. The test phase of the few TU-22M lasted four years, after which they were deployed with Soviet Naval Aviation.

  • Tu-22M1 ("45-01") -- modification of Tu-22M + reduced by 3 tons. Airframe mass + improved aerodynamic characteristics + redesigned air intakes + changed mechanization and geometry of the wing + remotely controlled cannon mount 9A-502 with two guns GSh- 23L and ammunition in 1200 shells + new painting with reduced visibility + automatic on-board control system ABSU-145 + X-22M missile modified according to the guidance system;

  • Backfire B - Tu-22M2 ("45-02") -- modernization of the Tu-22M1 + NK-144-22 engines of the 2 + series reduced aircraft weight by 1,500 kg. + NK-45 digital-analog navigation complex with an Orbit-10TS-45 BTsVM + ABSU-145M automatic on-board control system + PNA dual-channel panoramic and aiming radar + optical-television with 8-fold increase OPB-15T bomber sight + television TP-1KM rifle scope + Lilac station electronic warfare system + KDS-155 projectile cassette holder + anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile X-22H + areal Kh-22PSI missile. The first large-scale modification of the TU-22M was the TU-22M2, which conducted first flight tests in 1973. It was equipped with NK-22 engines, had range of 5100 km and a maximum speed of 1800 km/h. It carried up to three Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles. The aircraft did not have an automatic terrain-following system but was nevertheless capable of low-level flight to overcome air defenses. In 1976, the TU-22M2 was deployed with the air force and naval airforce. A total of 211 TU-22M2 aircraft were produced at the plant Nr.23 in Kazan between 1973 and 1983. Soon after series production of the TU-22M2 began, the aircraft received new NK-23 engines to increase speed and range. The NK-23 is a booster version of the NK-22 engine, which did not achieve the expected goals.

  • Backfire B - TU-22M2Ye -- Some aircraft were outfitted with new NK-25 engines and an sophisticated new flight-control system. They were designated as TU-22M2Ye, but did not achieve improved flight characteristics.

  • Tu-22MP -- modification of Tu-22M2 as jammer-designator and carrier of the Kh-22MP + Kurs-N radar + technical compartment with jamming equipment;

  • Tu-22MP -- modernization of the Tu-22MP in order to improve the consistency of the operation of the equipment;

  • Backfire C - TU-22M3 ("45-03") -- modifications of Tu-22M + NK-25 engines with electronic control system ESUD-25 + air intake design changed + airplane power supply system changed + electronically controlled brushless generators + constant speed drives + two alkaline nickels - 20NKBN-25U3 cadmium batteries + BKO L-229 Ural on-board defense complex + L-083 Mak heat direction finder, SPO LO06 Birch + interference stations SPS-151-153 Lilac and SPS-5M Fasol + APP-22MS passive interference reset machine (Avtomat-3) + ASO-2B-126 reflector reset machines (Avtomat-2) + one temporary carrying both missiles and bombs + the fueling rod was changed + titanium is widely used in the design + the weight of the aircraft is reduced by 2700 kg. + X-15 missiles. During subsequent upgrades the nose was lengthened, the air intakes changed and the maximum angle of the swept-variable geometry wings increased up to 65 degrees. The aircraft received the designation TU-22M3 and carried out its' first flight test on 20 June 1977. The TU-22M3 began operational evaluation in the late 1970s, and in 1983 it was introduced into the active inventory. Cleared of some of the shortcomings of its predecessor this aircraft soon proved its worth in service with long-range and naval aviation units. The range of the bomber was increased to 6800 km, the maximum speed up to 2300 kms/h and the payload was twice that of the Tu-22M2. The bomber is equipped with a maximum of three Kh-22 cruise missiles or up to ten Kh-15 (AS-16) short-range missiles. It can also carry nuclear bombs. In 1985 the TU-22M3 conducted high-peed flight tests at low altitude that demonstrated the capability of countering air defenses.

  • Tu-22LL -- modification of Tu-22M3 into a flying laboratory for full-scale flight research;

  • Tu-22M4 -- one aircraft was built;

  • Backfire - Tu-22M5 -- One aircraft was built. A modernization program for the theater-level Tu-22M3 Backfire-C bomber started in 1992, designated Tu-22M5. The upgraded aircraft are fitted with a new radar incorporating terrain avoidance capability. The upgraded Backfire carries four Kh101 subsonic cruise missiles, but its basic armament remains heavy supersonic ASMs, typically one or a maximum of three Kh-22 missiles (AS-4 Kitchen).

  • TU-22MR -- In 1985, the long-range reconnaissance aircraft TU-22MR entered service.

  • Tu-22MM ("45M") -- Deep modification for the Navy + original layout + two missiles X-45;

  • Tu-22DP -- long-range strike interceptor project;

  • TU-22ME -- Export modification. Improvement of flight and fighting characteristics continued, and in 1990 the TU-22ME was developed.

  • SPS Tu-344 -- modernization in the administrative as part of the conversion;

  • GPVRD "Rainbow-D2" -- modification of the Tu-22M3 into the aerospace system for putting small satellites weighing up to 300 kg into orbit + flying laboratory for the aerospace station;

  • Tu-22M3M ("object 45.03M -- product 9-A-2362") - modernization of Tu-22M4 + equipment for the X-32 missile (publ. 9-A-2362) + improved performance of the PNA airborne radar + new control system missile weapons + updated to the onboard power supply system + the ability to use the entire range of Tu-22M3 ammunition + sighting and computing system SVP-24-22 "Hephaestus" + identical equipment and engines Tu-160M2 + new avionics + use of long-range cruise missiles "Product 715 "(unified with Kyrgyz Caliber), X-101, X-555.

  • Tu-22M3R (products 4509) -- modification of Tu-22M3 into a long-range reconnaissance aircraft, target designator and jammer;

  • Tu-22M4 - (product 4510) -- modernization with the installation of new NK-32 engines + change of engine air intakes + PNK, Obzor radar + new electronic warfare complex + 3 UR X-32 or 10 UR X-57, or UPAB-1500 with television guidance system



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