In 1972, the Design Bureau for Aviation of the Navy prepared a technical proposal for a radical modernization of the supersonic Tu-22 bomber ("product 45", Backfire), series M. The project received the designation "45M". Detailed information on the project, except for the mention that such a project was and photographs of the layout, is not available in open sources.
From the classic Tu-22M3, the “45M” project aircraft was distinguished by its original aerodynamic layout. The aircraft is made according to the integrated circuit with a wing with a constant / variable sweep angle, smoothly interfacing with the fuselage and two-keel vertical plumage on wing nacelles. On the outside of the engine nacelles wing variable geometry. The toe of the wing goes into the influx on the sides of the fuselage. Bursts serve to reduce balancing resistance and improve aircraft stability across all three control channels; in cruising flight mode, thanks to the influx, the bending moment acting on the nose of the fuselage is halved. The maximum effect of the influx is manifested when flying at supersonic speeds. It was decided to make the horizontal plumage all-turning with the inverse transverse V, which made it possible to avoid shadowing at large angles of attack.
According to the project, the “45M” was to be equipped with two NK-25 engines (maximum afterburning mode: 2 × 14500 gks, afterburner: 2 × 25000 kgf), according to other sources, the new more economical twin-circuit turbojet forced engine (turbofan) HK-32 (installed on the Tu-160), which could give the project "45M" intercontinental range.
The aircraft was planned to be equipped with two hypersonic (flight speed 5-7,000 km / h) air-to-surface missiles X-45 “Lightning” with a nuclear or cumulatively high-explosive warhead, with a range of 1000-1500 km (version with GISU). Defensive weapons similar to the Tu-22M3 - 23 mm stern gun. Management of artillery fire - remote, on television and radar channels.
The supersonic projectile bomber of the “45M” project was larger than the Tu-22M3. Probably, the range of his flight, without additional adjustments in flight, was supposed to be 6-7,000 km. Thus, in the case of the adoption of the project “45M”, the Navy and the USSR Air Force could get a new effective “carrier killer”, but ... ...
They didn’t go beyond the technical offer of work on “45M”, since it was no longer a modernization, but the creation of a new aircraft, against which the management of the serial plant categorically objected. This project was not accepted for further implementation because of the difficulties with a radical restructuring of serial production and a corresponding loss in the rate of production and re-equipment with new aircraft, which the USSR could not afford at that time.
In 1972, the USSR Ministry of Aviation Industry announced a competition to create a new strategic air-based system and all the design bureau forces were thrown to work on the project “160”, the future Tu-160.
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