DEADLY FAST !!! Russian Air Force Tu 22M bomber aircraft




The Tupolev Tu-22M (Russian: Туполев Ту-22М; NATO reporting name: Backfire) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau. Significant numbers remain in service with the Russian Air Force, and as of 2014 more than 100 Tu-22Ms are in use.[2]

Development[edit]
As in the case of its contemporaries, the MiG-23 and Su-17 projects, the advantages of variable-sweep wing (or "swing wing") seemed attractive, allowing a combination of short take-off performance, efficient cruising, and good high-speed, low-level flight. The result was a new swing wing aircraft named Samolyot 145 (Aeroplane 145), derived from the Tupolev Tu-22, with some features borrowed from the abortive Tu-98. The Tu-22M was based on the Tu-22's weapon system and used its Kh-22 missile. The Tu-22M designation was used to help get approval for the bomber within the Soviet military and government system.[3]

The Tu-22M designation was used by the Soviet Union during the SALT II arms control negotiations, creating the impression that it was a modification of the Tu-22. Some suggested that the designation was deliberately deceptive, and intended to hide the Tu-22M's performance. Other sources suggest the "deception" was internal to make it easier to get budgets approved. According to some sources, the Backfire-B/C production variants were believed to be designated Tu-26 by Russia, although this is disputed by many others. The US State and Defense Departments have used the Tu-22M designation for the Backfire.[4]

Production of all Tu-22M variants totalled 497 including pre-production aircraft.[5]

Operational history[edit]
During the Cold War, the Tu-22M was operated by the VVS (Soviet Air Force) in a strategic bombing role, and by the AVMF (Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskogo Flota, Soviet Naval Aviation) in a long-range maritime anti-shipping role.[5] During the 1970s, Tu-22M made a few simulated attack runs against U.S. Navy carrier battle groups. The bomber also made attempts to test Japan's air defense boundary on several occasions.

The Tu-22M was first used in combat in Afghanistan, from 1987 to 1989. It is capable of dropping large tonnages of conventional ordnance. The Russian Federation used the Tu-22M3 in combat in Chechnya during 1995, performing strikes near Grozny.[5]

At the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, 370 remained in Commonwealth of Independent States service. Production ended in 1993. The fleet strength was about 84 aircraft in 2008.[6]

In August 2007, the Tu-22M and the Tu-95 resumed long-range patrol for the first time since the break-up of the Soviet Union.[7]

Tu-22M3 in 2004 at Monino near Moscow
The Russian military acknowledged the loss of a Tu-22MR recon aircraft to Georgian air defences early in the 2008 South Ossetia war.[8][9] One of its crew members was captured (Major Vyacheslav Malkov), two others were killed and the crew commander, Lt. Col. Aleksandr Koventsov, was missing in action[10] as late as November 2011.[11]

On Good Friday night, 29 March 2013, two Tu-22M3 bombers were flying in international airspace in a simulated attack on Sweden. The Swedish air defense failed to respond.[12][13] Two Tu-22Ms flew supersonic over the Baltic Sea on 24 March 2015.[14] Two Tu-22Ms approached Öland in international airspace on 21 May 2015. The Swedish Air Force sent two Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighters to mark their presence.[15] On 4 July 2015, two Tu-22Ms approached the Swedish island of Gotland, followed by Swedish and other fighter aircraft. The Russian bombers did not enter Swedish territory.[16][importance?]

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