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Tu-22: 3 Versions?  
User currently offlineAviastar From Belarus, joined Nov 2000, 280 posts, RR: 4
Posted (13 years 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2985 times:


Have a look at these 3 shots (3 Tu-22):

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Photo © Dmitry Avdeev
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Photo © Dmitry Avdeev

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Photo © Paul Chandler

They have not the same landing gear, the engines are mounted differently, the 2 first aircrafts seem not to have wings which can "move" (what is the exact term in English?). Were these 3 aircrafts designed for different missions or are these differences due to various improvements in comparison with the first model?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

The first pic is a Tu-22 "Blinder". The third one is the Tu-22M "Backfire" Tupolev chose a different design for their new Tu-22 version. Why they did is beyond me, but the Tu-22M is definately their best!  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2938 times:

There are essentially two Tu-22's; the Tu-22 and Tu-22M (Top right and bottom pics in your post). As you can see, they are nothing alike, although both are bombers. At the time, the Soviet leadership believed blindly in ICBM's as a long range strategic weapon, practically freezing the creation of new bombers. The Soviet AF (VVS) knew better, so they, in conjunction with the Tupolev DB fooled the bureaucrats into believing that their new bomber is just a modification of a proven design. Sort of like the "Super" Hornet today.  Big grin Big grin


Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

Correct. The 2nd one is a preproduction model of the Tu-22M (a.k.a. Tu-26).
The 2D fixed inlet design was found to be non-optimal for a supersonic bomber and was changed into the 3D moving design seen in the production aircraft.

Also note the refueling nozzle in the nose of the preproduction version which was later removed under a treaty with the US on strategic arms limitations (I think it was a provision of SALT II).

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineAviastar From Belarus, joined Nov 2000, 280 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2862 times:

Thanks!  Big grin
How many were built? Are Russia and Ukraine the only countries operating this plane?

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2850 times:

Don't know how many were built (the USSR didn't exactly publish their production figures).

Lybia and Iran also operate them (Tu-22s, not 22Ms). There are reports of China (communist) and possibly Iraq having aqcuired some 22Ms.
Iraq was very interested around 1995, but I think Russia refused to sell them under international pressure to honour the embargo.

AFAIK no other countries have them, and the Lybian and Iranian aircraft may be non-operational.
Maybe some other Soviet republics have small fleets. Kazakhstan comes to mind. But most if not all of those have probably been returned to Russia or Ukraine under the nuclear-disarmement program initiated by the CIS in the 1990s.

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13457 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

I've heard a story that said the TU-22 designation was repeated for the Backfire from the Blinder to try to fool NATO, especially during the SALT talks.
It was known that the Blinder had only theatre range, and could not threaten the US, unlike the Backfire which could just about with in-flight refuelling and better stand-off weapons.
Of course, getting it past the Soviet beancounters was also likely a factor.

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