The Tu-22 (Aircraft 105) was developed in 1955. Initially it was intended as a long range strategic bomber but later it was modified to reconnaissance plane (Tu-22R, Tu-22RM), missile carrier (Tu-22K), electronic countermeasures plane (Tu-22P in several variants). In service it was designated with single Cyrillic letter Ju with appropriate index (JuR equaled to Tu-22R). Tu-22 remained in service with Russian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian Air Forces at least till the second half of 1994. It also served with Soviet (later Russian) Navy.
Tu-22R is a long range supersonic reconnaissance plane intended for tactical reconnaissance. The entire mission including take-off and landing could be carried in adversary weather conditions day and night.
The crew comprised three airmen: pilot, navigator and operator.
Recon equipment allowed carrying out the mission on day or night, in any weather, at high or low altitude.
There were four sets or photo equipment, each dedicated to special missions:
1st for taking pictures from middle and high altitudes in daytime;
2nd for taking pictures from high altitude in daytime;
3rd for taking topographic pictures;
4th for taking pictures at night and fall.
Tu-22R could be modified to bomber role in field. As bomber it could carry bombs from 250 to 9000 kg and nuclear weapon (so-called special items).
It was a Tu-22R version with modified photo equipment, radio, electronics and ECM equipment. Externally the antennas, tail section and main landing legs gondolas changed. DK-20 tail turret and PRS-3 radar sight system were replaced by ECM station SPS-151MD, and three sets of flare dispensers were fitted to main landing gear fairing. Flight characteristics remained as on Tu-22R.
Tu-22R was a base for Tu-22U, Tu-22P, and Tu-22K.
Notes about the Tu-22
At the end of the fifties the Soviet Union Air Force decided to replace the old TU-16 with a new supersonic high-speed bomber. It was in this way that the TU-22 "BLINDER" made its first appearance at Aviation Day 1961, in Moscow.
Having an efficient wing closely related to that of the TU-28P, this supersonic bomber is a large aircraft with a bigger body and higher gross weight than the USAF B-58 "Hustler". Typical crew appears to be a pilot, upward-ejecting, and two more member in tandem at a lower level who eject downwards.
"BLINDER A" was a reconnaissance bomber, seen in small numbers. "B" carried the stand-off missile, had a larger nose radar and semi-flush FR probel. "C", which this model seems to portray, is the main variant, used by Naval Aviation for over-sea ECM/ESM surveillance, multi-sensor reconnaissance and with limited weapon capability. "D" is a dual trainer with stepped cockpits (let's go all of you guys on the conversion band wagon!!). Recent versions seem to have later enginers (probably turbofans) with greater airflow. There have been persistent reports of an interceptor version, but this seems unlikely. The abiding shortcoming of the TU-22 has been limited range, only partially alleviated by flight refuelling.
Wingspan: 23,646 m
Length: 41,60 m
Height: 10,04 m
Take off distance: 2830 m
Landing distance: 1300 m
Maximum speed: 1640 km/h
Cruising speed: 1200-1300 km/h
Range: 7150 km