Tu-22M3M BACKFIRE (TUPOLEV)
The first flight of the newest bomber-missile Tu-22M3M lasted 37 minutes. This was reported on 28 Decembner 2018 in the press service of PJSC Tupolev. “On December 28, 2018, the first flight of a deeply modernized Tu-22M3M missile carrier bomber took place at the KAZ airfield named after S. P. Gorbunov, a branch of PJSC Tupolev,” the press service confirmed. They specified that “the aircraft was piloted by the crew under the direction of the test pilot of Zhukovskaya flight test and development base Oleg Petunin ... The flight took place at an altitude of 1500 meters and lasted 37 minutes".
The first flight of a modernized missile carrier took place as part of the commencement of factory flight tests. There were no weapons on board the aircraft, the flight was short. During the flight, updated aircraft systems and equipment were checked. According to the crew, the company notes that the flight took place in the normal mode, the systems and equipment have worked without comment. Rolling out the first prototype of the Tu-22M3M from the gates of the Kazan Aviation Plant. S.P. Gorbunova was held on August 16th, after which the plane was undergoing ground tests.
As specified in the "Tupolev", on the Tu-22M3M was installed a new set of digital avionics equipment on the domestic element base. In particular, the aircraft received new sighting equipment, engine control, electronic warfare systems. "Replacing 80% of the avionics made it possible to improve the navigation accuracy and the level of automation of aircraft control, simplify its maintenance and pre-flight training," the company said.
The Tu-22M3M differs from its predecessors in improved on-board avionics, communication equipment and an air-to-surface precision (X-32) type missile system and the use of the satellite guidance system (GLOSNAS). In the cockpit there are new displays in place of the navigator. Up to 2020, it is planned to modernize about 30 long-range Tu-22M3 long-range bombers to the "M3M" version. The aircraft is equipped with a digital specialized computing subsystem SVP-24-22 developed and manufactured by JSC "Gefest and T".
The new air strike complex, the modernized long-range Tu-22M3M bomber with the new supersonic cruise missile Kh-32, will be deployed to the long-range aviation of the Russian Air Force in October 2018. On 15 May 2018, reported TASS source in the defense-industrial complex. Earlier, the general director of PJSC "Tupolev" Alexander Konyukhov said that the first modernized Tu-22M3M will rise in the air in August 2018.
The Tu-22M3 was taken from long-range aircraft for modernization to a new level, so it will not require long-term tests. "Only a few flights will be conducted to confirm the declared technical characteristics," he said. The source specified that the aircraft in the course of modernization received new avionics, a sighting and navigation complex and other on-board radio electronic equipment. "The aircraft is re-engineered - the NK-25 engines are installed with a full resource," the agency interlocutor added.
At the present time, the cost of aircraft and airborne weapons is growing at an avalanche rate, which lead progress of military aircraft almost to a standstill. At the same rate, the prices of aviation weapons, especially high-precision weapons, are also growing at a fast pace. So now in the West the emphasis is on the use of guided weapons. The solution was found in reducing the cost of aviation equipment, as well as on-board systems, together with the revision of the very concept of the use of aviation weapons.
The updated Tu-22 will receive new, more economical and durable engines, as well as on-board electronics, unified with the "older brother", the strategic missile carrier Tu-160. In particular, the aircraft will have a system of space communications and the ability to receive in-flight target designation - including from mobile sea and land terminals. Given that the main task of the Tu-22 is still hunting for aircraft carriers, the ability to take on-the-fly operational information about their whereabouts will not be superfluous. Another innovation will be the bar for refueling the aircraft in the air - this option will increase the already considerable combat radius of the missile carrier - with new engines the flight range of the Tu-22M3M will be almost 10 thousand kilometers.
The installation of the SVP-24-22 systems is envisaged by a separate program and will be implemented independently of plans for deep modernization, which are subject to 30 Tu-22M3 missile carriers. The new SVP-24-22 complex allows to solve combat and navigational problems with greater efficiency, as well as to improve the accuracy characteristics of aviation defensive systems. In addition, the complex ensures accurate arrival of the combat aircraft for landing in difficult weather conditions and without ground-based cruise systems. The system of avionics SVP-24 is universal and can be installed on many types of aircraft and helicopters of the Russian Air Force, including Tu-22M3, Su-24M bombers or Ka-52 attack helicopters. Another of its undeniable advantages is the fact that, that the given system allows to reduce time of ground preparation and the control of the plane in 4-5 times. For Tu-22M3, one flight hour of which requires 51 man-hours of engineering and technical support, this is quite important.
In February 2012, official information appeared that the Russian Ministry of Defense had signed a contract for the modernization of about 30 Tu-22M3 bombers to the Tu-22M3M version. In this version, the bomber should receive absolutely new radio electronic equipment and the possibility of using modern high-precision air-to-surface weapons, for example, new cruise missiles X-32. In total in Russia at the moment from the Tu-22M3, about 40 vehicles are fully operational. Upgrading of 30 bombers is planned until 2020. In 2012, 1 aircraft of this type was converted, which is currently undergoing a test complex.
In 2012, the Center for Combat Application and Retraining of the Flight Composition of the Russian Long-Range Aviation, located in the city of Ryazan, began classes on training courses for young pilots graduating in 2011. In these courses they could master not only theoretical questions, but also practice in practice the skills of piloting on simulators, as well as make real flights on Tu-95MS and Tu-22M3M bombers. Here in the Ryazan aviation center the flight crew is engaged in training the piloting and operation of the new modernized Tu-22M3M bomber. This machine differs from the Tu-22M3 with the expanded nomenclature of the used weapons of the enemy. This aircraft uses modern equipment built on a new element base, while improving the ergonomic parameters of the cockpit.
Development of design documentation for a modified version of the Tu-22M3 bomber was completed in November 2017. According to data from open sources, it is planned to modernize from 20 to 30 long-range long-range Tu-22M3 aircraft. The updated bombers use a completely domestic element base, expand the range of weapons to defeat the aircraft. This modernization involves a complete replacement of the navigation system, arms control and communications, and will cost from 30% to 50% of the cost of the aircraft.
In parallel with the modernization of the aircraft, a new weapon is being developed for him. The upgraded electronics will allow the aircraft to use the Kh-32, Kh-55, Kh-555, Kh-101/102 missiles, and prospective Kh-50, GZUR and Dagger. The cruise missile X-32, developed by the ICB "Raduga", is designed to destroy both ground targets and destroy marine targets and radar stations. According to unconfirmed reports, the missile has a range of up to 1 thousand km, the speed is five times higher than the speed of sound. Tests of the X-32 were carried out earlier with the modified Tu-22M3.
The modernization of 30 aircraft to the Tu-22M3M version will improve the combat capabilities of the Tu-22M3 fleet by 20%. The modernization of only 30 aircraft will be enough to disable 1 American aircraft carrier, sinking a number of escort ships. While the modernization of the entire fleet of Tu-22M3 missile carriers would allow them to increase their efficiency by 100-120% for offshore facilities and 2-3 times for ground targets.
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