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OKB Tupolev, does anyone here own it?


ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Aug 2, 2006
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It's the book by Yefim Gordon. I was just wondering if it had alot of info in it on the Tu-28/128, since I can't seem to find much on the history of that aircraft.

overscan (PaulMM)

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Dec 27, 2005
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From Usenet:

To whom it may concern.

The article is scheduled to appear in the October issue of the Air Fleet
The translation is still pretty rough, it shall be refined in due time.

Ivan the Bear
=Nothing per-r-rsonal, just business=


Air power's fast progress in the Second World War and the first post-war
decade, including the fielding with the world's leading nations of atomic
and nuclear weapons, strategic intercontinental and long-range bombers
capable of delivering those lethal weapons anywhere across the globe in just
a few hours, introduction of aircraft jet engines enhancing combat
capabilities of a wide spectrum of combat aircraft, prospects of further
advances in air power efficiency via developing unmanned ground and
air-launched long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as
their supersonic carrier aircraft - all that made the politico-military
leaders of the confronting alliances on both sides of the Iron Curtain pay
very close attention to developing air defence systems.
One of the efforts to enhance the air defences' efficiency in intercepting
the enemy's sophisticated combat aerial systems and minimising the damage
they inflict was the development of subsonic, and then supersonic,
long-range patrol interceptors fitted with onboard acquisition and sighting
radars coupled with lethal cannon and air-to-air unguided rockets and guided
missiles. Incorporated into the integrated national air defence
organisation, such systems were supposed to intercept enemy strategic
nuclear bombers far away from the key installations, thus acting as the
nation's first line of defence. Considerable endurance of long-range
interceptors enabled them to fly long combat air patrol missions
individually or en masse on the jeopardised approaches during the pre-war
period, thus reducing the reaction time of one of the air defence components
to the air attack.
Deployment of such interceptors would allow for cost-effective coverage of
large uninhabited expanses of the country, which was rather relevant for
such countries as Canada, whose air defences were part of the North-American
Air Defense system, and the Soviet Union that could find the deployment of
a full-scale air defence system to cover vast expanses of its scarcely
inhabited territories to be a toll order.
Besides, it is noteworthy that both the US Strategic Air Command and Soviet
Long-range Aviation had been successful in establishing cross-polar routes
for their strategic nuclear bombers, therefore covering the Arctic approach
became very pressing for both the US NORAD and Soviet air defence systems.
The Soviet Arctic area stretched from Norway to Alaska across several
thousand kilometers of mostly uninhabited tundra. So, covering this approach
by an interceptor force beefed up later with surface-to-air (SAM) missile
systems with a rather short range necessitated the development in the back
of beyond of an extremely expensive defences - a sort of Maginot Line made
up of a great number of anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) firing positions,
radar sites, interceptor air bases, etc. The Soviet politico-military
leadership saw a solution to the problem in fielding the Air Defence Force
with long-range interceptor aircraft. As a result of decisions made,
building such systems became for years to come a priority in developing the
air leg of the Soviet air defence system.
The issue of a long-range patrol interceptor jet for the Air Defence Force
fleet was first raised by ADF Commander-in-Chief L.A. Govorov in 1948.
Several design bureaus were tasked with designing the subsonic patrol
interceptor outfitted with a radar and automatic cannon. The work resulted
in 1949-1952 in several subsonic twin-engined prototypes meeting the
interceptor concept to a certain degree. The Mikoyan design bureau developed
its I-320 (Aircraft R), Sukhoi design bureau built the Su-15 (Aircraft P)
while the Lavochkin design bureau rolled out its La-200 and La-200B with the
Yakovlev design bureau offering its Yak-120 known as the Yak-25 when in
production. Following a whole series of debugging measures, the latter was
put in production and entered service with the Air Defence Force's aviation
fleet in the mid-fifties.
During the early and mid-fifties, the US and Soviet air forces began
accepting their first supersonic flight jets to be followed by supersonic
long-range and strategic bombers carrying nuclear bombs and air-launched
missiles. With supersonic carrier advent looming ahead, the subsonic Yak-25
with its cannon and 15,000-m service ceiling was unable to provide effective
coverage for the national aerospace borders. In the mid-fifties, the Soviet
Union's advances in supersonic aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems
enabled the developers to begin designing long-range supersonic patrol
interceptors carrying air-to-air missiles. The interceptors were expected to
fill the upcoming gap in the Soviet air defences.
In 1953, work on a new twin-engined AAM-carrying supersonic interceptor
began in the OKB-301 design bureau under the direction of S.A. Lavochkin.
The work was aimed at developing the La-250K-15 interceptor complex
comprising the '250' (La-250) interceptor fitted with K-15 air-to-air
missiles (both the aircraft and missiles were being developed by the
OKB-301) and the K-15U control system. In designing the interceptor complex,
the OKB-301 design bureau drew heavily on the experience in building the
guided missile for the ground-based S-25 Berkut surface-to-air missile. With
two air-to-air missiles mounted, the La-250 produced a maximum speed of
1,600 km/h at an altitude of 12,000 m, with its subsonic combat air patrol
(CAP) time amounting to 2.3 hours and service ceiling totalling 17,000 m. In
the summer 1956, the first '250' prototype took to the air. From the very
outset, it hit a multitude of snags as far as the aircraft was concerned,
with those concerning the missiles, control system and integrated
interceptor complex still to come. Under the La-250K-15 programme, there
were built several prototypes which, however, had flown only a few dozen
missions prior to 1959. As a result, the programme was terminated in July
1959, leaving the nation without the new long-range interceptor.
As early back as during the La-250 flight trials (roughly in mid-1957), the
Air Defence Force aviation fleet commanders stepped up their search for a
baseline aircraft from which a long-range interceptor could be derived. Just
at the time Tupolev's first supersonic 'firstborn' - '98' frontline bomber
(Tu-98) - was undergoing its factory tests. By the time, the '98' aircraft's
prospects were rather obscure. The matter was no so much its teething
troubles dogging its flight trials, as its unclear combat value for the Air
Force in the light of the upcoming 'missile era' in the Soviet Union. The
Tu-98 caught the eye of the then ADF interceptor fleet commander, Marshal
Ye.Ya. Savitsky. Following a more intimate familiarisation with the
aircraft, he persuaded A.N. Tupolev to derive a long-range interceptor from
the Tu-98.
AN. Tupolev's design bureau have always been seen in the Soviet Union as the
leader in building long-range and intercontinental bombers, whose forays in
the field of fighter aircraft would routinely turn out to be mere episodes
in the history of aircraft-building. During the 1920s, Tupolev delivered to
the Air Force for fielding the I-4 (ANT-5) full-metal fighter (so-called
'one-and-a-half-plane') second to none in its class at the time. In the
early 1930s, Tupolev's team worked on the I-14 (ANT-31) full-metal
single-seat monoplane fighter - the first Soviet aircraft of the type. In
the mid-thirties, Tupolev designs a whole series of twin-engined multi-seat
heavy fighter prototypes - MI-3 (ANT-21), DIP-1 (ANT-29), DI-8 (ANT-46).
Over the Great Patriotic War, under the Tu-2 tactical bomber programme the
Tupolev design bureau developed several variants of the baseline design,
which could be used as long-range interceptors.
During 1944-1947, work was underway on twin-engined interceptors fitted with
first Soviet radars of the Gneis series. The work resulted in the Tu-1 ('63P
') and production Tu-2s retrofitted after the war into Gneis-5 radars. In
1948, early in development of the subsonic patrol interceptor jet, the
Tupolev design bureau submitted to the Air Defence Force brass the project
of upgrading the Tu-22 ('83) tactical bomber into the dedicated '83P'
interceptor to be outfitted with formidable weapons suite, long enough
combat radius and, which is more, such a navigation suite that would enable
it to operate in the Russian Far North. At the time, Tupolev's initiative
fell on deaf ears. However, general approaches provided for by the project
were put to use ten years later in developing the Tu-28-80 long-range
interceptor. Beside these, the design bureau had accumulated by the late
fifties enough experience in designing and building missile-carrying
bombers, such as the Tu-4KS, Tu-16KS, Tu-16K-10, Tu-95-K-20, Tu-22K, etc.
Hence, developing missile-carrying aircraft was by no means a dramatic new
job for the Tupolev design bureau.
As was mentioned above, when developing the new interceptor, the baseline
design was the design of the Tu-98 tactical bomber prototype - the first
supersonic Tupolev aircraft to fly. The initial work on the aircraft began
as early back as in late 1952. The preliminary R&D was held by the Project
Division of the Tupolev design bureau under the direction of the Boris
Kondorsky: the small team spent several months in cooperation with the TsAGI
selecting the optimal design for the future aircraft. In January 1953, the
Technical Project Department headed by the S.M. Jaeger joined the programme.
On 12 April 1954, the Soviet Council of Ministers issued Directive #683-301.
Under the directive, the Tupolev design bureau was ordered to design and
manufacture a high-speed tactical bomber powered by two AL-7F engines with a
maximum thrust of 6,500 kgf and 9,500 kgf with reheat. As a backup option,
Tupolev suggested the AL-7F be replaced with the AM-15 - two coupled AM-11
engines - boasting a thrust of 11,400 kgf each. The AL-7F could also be
replaced with the 12,000-kgf VK-9 engine. The AL-7F-powered Tu-98's maximum
speed was agreed at 1,300-1,400 kmh.
The full-scale designing and building of the aircraft commenced in November
1954 and was over in February 1956 following the delivery of AL-7F engine
prototypes. The full authority over the '98' programme was vested by A.N.
Tupolev in D.S. Markov.
The '98' aircraft was a full-metal mid-wing monoplane powered by two engines
with reheat mounted in the fuselage tail section. The aircraft featured a
swept wing, a high-swept empennage and a tricycle landing gear with a
nosegear wheel. The '98' aircraft boasted the following aerodynamic
configuration and design features: area-rule-blended fuselage/wing
configuration; 55-deg.-swept highly-tapered clean wing featuring pressed
wing panels; use of irreversible actuators and spring-type feel mechanisms
for controlling the aircraft; stretched air ducts for supplying air into the
engines; use of side-mounted air intakes featuring the boundary layer
bleeding capability. Unlike the previous Tupolev aircraft, the landing gear
had narrow wheel base, its main gear struts were fixed to the bombbay beams
and retracted together with the four-wheel bogies rearwards into the special
fuselage wells below the engines, with the bogies turning 90 degrees to
assume its horizontal positions in concert with the struts.
I.I. Toropov-run OKB-134 design bureau in cooperation with the Tupolev
Weaponry Division run by A.V. Nadashkevich designed a remotely-controlled
twin-AM-23 cannon mount, with the cannon being aimed from the cockpit by the
navigator via the PRS-1 Argon radar sight whose antenna system was mounted
on top of the tail. Sitting in the fore cockpit, the navigator would take
sight during the delivering of bombload through the use of the Initiativa
radar-based bombardment system.
Prior to June 1956, the '98' aircraft had been undergoing ground testing and
debugging. On 7 July 1956, its factory trials started, with the aircraft
being tested by the crew of test-pilot V.F. Kovalyov and test-navigator K.I.
Malkhasyan. 7 September 1956 witnessed the maiden flight of the plane. The
aircraft had been in testing until 1959, during which in 1957 it developed a
supersonic speed of 1,238 km/h at an latitude of 12,000 m. Under the testing
programme, an extensive research into developing heavy supersonic aircraft.
Special attention was paid to developing a new actuator-driven control
system and a new powerplant via testing them in supersonic modes. In fact,
the Tu-98 was an experimental aircraft destined to pave the way for future
Soviet heavy supersonic aircraft.
The '98' aircraft never entered official acceptance testing or series
production since in the late fifties a decision was taken to field the
tactical fleet with supersonic fighter-bombers. In addition, the tests
proved many technical solutions of the Tu-98 requiring improvements or
radical reworking. To boot, the aircraft performance failed to meet the
stringent requirements of the late fifties. Tupolev did its utmost to keep
its programme afloat via dramatically revamping its baseline aircraft,
keeping on offering the customer one Tu-98 derivative after another. A few
versions were built, such as the '98A' (Tu-24) light-weight tactical
missile-carrying bomber powered by AL-7F-1 engines and designed to produce
1,800-2,000 km/h while carrying 1-3 missiles; '98B' single-engine variant
and '122' project powered by AL-11 engines. All of them saw no future. In
February 1958, a governmental directive terminated the Tu-98 programme. All
in all, two aircraft had been built by then - one for flight trials and the
other for static tests. Later, the first aircraft was used for developing
the Tu-28-80 weapons suite.
As was mentioned above, a growing threat of a devastating nuclear air attack
against its political, military and economic infrastructure made the Soviet
Union divert enormous funds and workforce to developing advanced air
defences. Irrespective of the obvious merits of the S-25 and S-75
surface-to-air missile systems fielded with the Soviet Air Defence Force
over the fifties, their range and mobility were limited, thus making them
unable to provide AD coverage to the whole vast country. At the same time,
the advances in Soviet warplane and missile technologies ensured the
development of sophisticated missile-carrying interceptors capable of
engaging the enemy far away from vital installations. It was such an
aircraft that the Tu-28-80 was to become. Work on the interceptor commenced
in the Tupolev design bureau in 1957: in June 1957 S.M. Jaeger headed the
research and development programme dubbed 'Aircraft 128' (Tu-28).
For a year, the Tupolev design bureau had run the programme on its own hook
until 4 July 1958 saw the Soviet Council of Ministers issuing Resolution
#608-293 authorising the Tupolev design bureau to develop the tu-28-80
interceptor aircraft complex comprising the Tu-28 long-range interceptor
powered by two AL-7F-1 engines, K-80 air-to-air missile system and Vozdukh-1
interceptor guidance system. The carrier aircraft was to be capable of a
speed of 1,700-1,800 km/h in afterburner, a subsonic endurance of 3.5 hours
and intercepting both subsonic and supersonic targets at altitudes of up to
21,000 m. The interceptor complex was slated for the factory tests in the
first quarter of 1960, with the official acceptance trials being scheduled
for the fourth quarter of the same year. The programme was joined by the
OKB-165 design bureau run by Arkhip Lyulka (AL-7F-1 engines and its
derivative AL-7F-2), OKB-36 design bureau run by V.A. Dobrynin (VD-19 engine
that was more powerful than Lyulka's AL-7F-1 and AL-7F-2 and was intended
for the Tu-28 version to be able to exceed 2,000 km/h), OKB-4 design bureau
run by M.R. Bisnovat (K-80 radar and infrared homing air-to-air missiles),
OKB-339 design bureau run by F.F. Volkov (RP-S Smerch on-board radar) and
some other subcontractors of the Soviet military industrial complex. The
problem Tupolev faced under the programme did not boil down to developing ju
st a carrier aircraft (the Tu-89 prototype could already fly at the very
least). Mostly, the snag was to establish effective cooperation among
numerous factories and organisations participating in designing the
interceptor complex. At first, A.N. Tupolev vested responsibility for the
programme in D.S. Markov. However, some time later, Markov's having his
hands full with the Tu-16, Tu-22 and Tu-104 programmes made him change the
head of the Tu-28-80 programme by appointing I.F. Nezvalya chief designer of
the interceptor.
Designing the Tu-28 aircraft as well as the Tu-28-80 missile-carrying
interceptor complex as a whole featured a number of peculiarities that
influenced development of similar Soviet aircraft complexes later. The
carrier was derived from the heavy and not too agile 'Bomber 98'. Therefore,
development of the complex's major components rested on the presumption that
in countering the aggressor the carrier did not have to get at the altitude
the enemy flew at, which was the fact with most other interceptors. The K-80
AAM's long range and ability to deal with targets travelling at high
elevation enabled the interceptor to fly far below the target. This ensured
that most of manoeuvring were to be done by the missiles rather than the
carrier aircraft, thus enabling the developer to design the aircraft and
missile to be able to withstand a flight manoeuvring load acceleration of
2.5 g and 15 g respectively.
While intercepting the target, the carrier aircraft was supposed to exercise
the zoom (up to 20 deg.), which was expected to reduce the radar's scanning
in elevation from 112 deg. to 70 deg. The 112-deg. scanning would have
required increasing the interceptor's nose section in size by far. To
enhance the interceptor's efficiency in combat, two of the four K-80
air-to-air missiles were supposed to be fitted with semiactive radar homers
for head-on engagement while the other two were to feature heatseekers to
attack the enemy in the tail-chase position or in case the target deployed
electronic countermeasures (ECM). According to the developer, the
single-target hit probability for the B-47 or B-52 bomber engaged by two
air-to-air missiles totalled 0.76-0.77.
The long estimated range of the carrier aircraft coupled with a capability
of extended barraging (about 3-3.5 hours) in the combat air patrol (CAP)
zone and on possible enemy air approaches were supposed to set the target
interception range at 1,500 km. The long detection and tracking range of the
Smerch radar and long range of K-80 missiles were to ensure all-aspect
target engagement and did not require the aircraft to be cued in on the
target by ground-based guidance assets. The interceptor was designed to be
guided by ground controllers by the quite simple Vozdukh-1 system. However,
the interceptor was supposed to have a capability of operating
semi-autonomously within the coverage field of the Lena or Liana acquisition
radars (the latter was to be mounted on the Tu-126 aircraft and the
prospective airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft) as well as
autonomously when feeding the interceptor with digital data on the target
location. All these ensured successful deployment of the Tu-28-80 in the
areas lacking automated guidance systems since their deployment would
require major investments (Siberia, the Far East, subpolar and arctic
Though the carrier aircraft was derived from the Tu-98, which had made
flights, the Tupolev design bureau made considerable efforts to improve the
aerodynamics and design of the prototype to enhance by far its combat
performance and operational due to the new purpose of the aircraft. As a
result, as compared with the Tu-98, the Tu-28 was redesigned with the use of
the area rule that ensured the highest lift-to-drag ratio at high subsonic
cruising speeds. To optimise the operation of the air intakes and engines in
various flight modes, variable two-shock air intakes with moving
semicone-shaped central bodies were introduced. In improving the
take-off/landing performance, effective slotted flaps were designed along
with spoilers, the design and type of the undercarriage were changed (unlike
the '98' aircraft, it featured four-wheeled main gear retracted into the
underwing pods), a drag parachute was introduced. These measures ensured the
combination of superior Tu-28 flight characteristics both at supersonic and
subsonic cruising speeds with fairly good take-off/landing performance.
The aircraft was to obtain navigation and communications equipment similar
in its functional composition to that mounted on the Tu-16 long-range
bomber. It enabled the aircraft to fly and navigate in the Arctic regions
and Far East. A crew of two was set effective for the aircraft. It comprised
a pilot (aircraft commander) and a navigator. The navigator took over a
considerable part of preliminary and auxiliary interception operations and
all navigation operations thus relieving the strain on the pilot, which was
extremely important in long missions, especially in the northern and eastern
areas of the country lacking reference points.
The first 'Aircraft 128' prototype was built at the 156th experimental
plant, while the Voronezh-based 64th plant started series production of the
aircraft. At the same time, the debugging of the newly-designed on-board
radar and missiles was underway at the developers' testbeds and in flight
with the use of the Tu-98LL flying testbed and the Tu-104 aircraft. The
latter was built specifically for this purpose. Such an approach ensured a
considerable cut in the time for tests, debugging, productionising and
fielding with the Armed Forces of such a sophisticated system as the
Tu-28-80. While designing and building first planes, it was decided to bank
on more powerful AL-7F-2 engines. The first 'Aircraft 128' prototype was
completed in the summer of 1960. All preparations finished, it was began its
factory tests. On 18 March 1961, the crew comprising test-pilot M.V. Kozlov
and test-navigator K.I. Malkhasyan took it off for its maiden flight. On 13
May of the same year, the first production Tu-28 aircraft completed its
maiden flight in Voronezh flown by test-pilot A.I. Voblikov and
test-navigator N.I. Irkutsky. On 9 July 1961, both aircraft took part in the
Tushino air parade.
The factory tests conducted by the prototype and first production aircraft
lasted till late 1961. On 20 March 1962, the joint official tests started,
in which five aircraft took part (one prototype and four production planes).
In July 1964, the tests were completed successfully. Within their framework,
in the autumn of 1962 first positive experience in intercepting and engaging
target-simulators was gained.
In December 1963, the complex gained its new official designation -
Tu-128C-4, with the carrier aircraft designated as Tu-128, radar homing
missiles - R-4R, IR homing missiles - R-4T respectively. On 30 April 1965,
the complex officially entered the inventory of the Soviet Air Defence Force
For operative management of the series production and in case certain
changes were necessary, A.N. Tupolev ordered on 1 March, 1961, a branch of
the design bureau to be established at plant No.64 under the supervision of
A.I. Putilov. The measures taken by the design bureau, Ministry and other
institutions allowed, taking into consideration the complexity of the new
system, the Tu-128 aircraft and the Tu-128C-4 complex as a whole to be
produced fast and in full scale. Plant No.64 produced twelve aircraft by
1965 that virtually became a development batch which underwent permanent
perfection. Theses aircraft were used in different test programmes as well
as for flight and technical personnel training at the Air Defence Aviation
(ADA) Combat Training Centre, and further in first regiments which started
to acquire Tu-128s.
Full scale series production of the Tu-128 aircraft and the Tu-128C-4
complex was in 1966, with the plant building 42 aircraft during the year and
37 of them being handed over to the customer. From 1962 till 1970, the
Voronezh-based plant built 187 Tu-128 fighter-interceptors all told, and
1971 saw ten Tu-128UT trainers constructed. The number of the aircraft
built, including the experimental one, totals 198.
During series production, the Tu-128C-4 complex elements constantly changed
based on the operation experience. Due to quite a few perfections and
modernization, the complex obtained new tactical capabilities of
intercepting airborne targets, including those flying at high altitudes. The
Tu-128C-4 complex was series-produced comprising the Tu-128 aircraft (item
I) with the AL-7F-2 engine, the RP-S Smerch radar and the R-4R and R-4T
missiles. In the late 1960s, taking into account the changes in the attack
aviation deployment, the ADA leadership demanded the design bureau to expand
the capabilities of the complex to intercept low-altitude targets. It was
done, and in 1970 first two Tu-128M upgraded series aircraft (item IM) with
the RP-SM Smerch modernized radar and the R-4RM and R-4TM missiles (the
Tu-128C-4M complex) were put to tests. The tests and upgrades of the complex
took very much time. The main problems occurred due to the operation of the
missiles system and radar at low altitudes. As a result, the complex entered
the inventory only in 1979. The elements of the Tu-128C-4 complex were
upgraded for the Tu-128C-4M complex at the Air Force maintenance
installations, and most aircraft organic with the ADA underwent necessary
perfection by the early 1980s.
During the operation, the customer raised the question of designing a
training version based on the main series aircraft. The design bureau branch
in Voronezh took over the design work. First Tu-128UT aircraft (item I-UT)
were built from series Tu-128s. The first rebuilt aircraft conducted its
maiden flight in the autumn of 1968. the number of the rebuilt series
fighters totals five aircraft. Unlike the Tu-128, the Tu-128UT carried an
instructor's cabin specially mounted in the nose part of the fuselage
instead of the Smerch radar. Due to the new purpose, a number of systems
were redesigned. After the perfection, the aircraft were handed over to the
units, with ten series Tu-128UT built subsequently.
First Tu-128 appeared at the ADA's Central Command Post and Radar Detection
Post in Savasleyka in 1964. in October 1966, Tu-128s started to enter the
inventories of the combat aviation regiments. ADA's fighter aviation
regiment 518 in Talagy was the first to receive them and in 1967 conducted
the Tu-128C-4 complex field tests. When the complex was designed, it was
supposed to be deployed in border areas in the Northern, Eastern and
North-Eastern directions. It was planned to deploy 25 aviation regiments
equipped with Tu-128s. In reality, only six ADA regiments were deployed by
1970. The Tu-128C-4 and Tu-128C-4M complexes proved in the field to be quite
reliable to intercept airborne targets, which they had been designed to
combat, and were successfully operated in ADA till the late 1980s when they
were finally replaced with a complex based on the MiG-21 heavy interceptor.
In the 1990s, Tu-128 aircraft were removed from the operation and the
greater part of them was salvaged. The first Tu-128 experimental aircraft is
currently displayed at the Air Force Museum in Monino. Some other Tu-128Ms
and Tu-128Uts are now at the storage installation in Rzhev.
Beside the above mentioned Tu-128 interceptor's series modifications, the
Tupolev design bureau conducted project and design work to develop the
elements of the complex as well as to create complexes which boasted better
flight characteristics on its base. During the work, experimental aircraft
with AL-7F4 and AL-7F-4G engines underwent tests together with the Tu-128LL
flying laboratory with the boundary layer bleeding/blowing-off/ system, and
the Tu-128 experimental aircraft with new VD-19 engines. It was discussed to
replace the Tu-128's power plant with the RD-19R2, R15B-300 and RD36-41
engines. There were projects of new Tu-28A-80 and Tu-28A-100 complexes (the
Tu-28 aircraft with the VD-19 engines, the RP-SA Smerch radar and the K-80M
missiles or the Groza-100 radar and the K-100 missiles respectively). The
work was under way to design new Tu-138 and Tu-148 carriers and to create
the Tu-138-60, Tu-138-100, Tu-148-100 and Tu-148-33 complexes on their basis
taking into account new composition and design solutions for the aircraft,
new engines, on-board radars and missiles. All these were to ensure a great
step forward in similar aircraft and complexes development. Besides the
efforts to develop the basic aircraft as an interceptor, there were attempts
to expand the range of its engagement. It was discussed to use the Tu-128
aircraft as a versatile tactical aircraft equipped with rockets and
missiles, bombs and guns in external containers or reconnaissance hardware.
The further development in this sphere was the project of the Tu-128B
frontline bomber with missile and bomb weaponry. For more information about
these developments of the Tupolev design bureau see the next issue of our

To whom it may concern.

The article is slated for the Zhuhai issue of the Air Fleet magazine.

Ivan the Bear
=Nothing per-r-rsonal, just business=

Part II

By Vladimir Rigmant

Upgrading the Tu-28 aircraft and Tu-28-80 complex was raised by the Tupolev
design bureau as early back as at the first prototype's development stage.
18 July 1959 witnessed Resolution 735-338 by the Soviet Council of
Ministers, tasking the Tu-28-80 complex developer with its further
sophistication. Tupolev was to enable the interceptor to engaged hostile
targets travelling at an altitude of 20,000-25,000 m and at 1,800-2,000
km/hr and push its missiles and radar's range at 60-70 km and 120-160 km
respectively. With the above extra specifications in mind, Tupolev in 1959
engaged in upgrading the complex through installation, inter alia, the
Smerch-A radar, K-80M air-to-air missiles and VD-19 engines. In addition to
the new requirements posed by the customer, the design bureau faced an
urgent need of reducing the empty weight of the aircraft. Upon completion of
the upgrading programme, the aircraft was designated as Tu-28A while the
complex as a whole was dubbed Tu-28A-80.
In June 1960, S.M. Jaeger submitted a report to A.N. Tupolev on the
'Aircraft 128' prototype's being too heavy, stressing in particular: 'When
designing the 'Aircraft 128' prototype, the designers made provision for
certain units and assemblies to be too heavy, which led to the empty weight
amounting to 23,800 kg, i.e. 2,400 kg more than the weight limit and 3,500
kg more than the weight approved at the conceptual design stage. The maximum
weight of the aircraft turned out to be 37,000 kg (with a fuel load of
11,000 kg). Resulting from the excessive weight, the 128's performance
underwent the following changes (the bracketed data indicate estimated and
actual weight of the aircraft in tonnes):
Conceptual design Actual weight
Liftoff speed, km/hr 303 (33.5) 337 (37.0)
Takeoff run, m 960 (33.5) 1,370 (37.0)
10,000 m climb time, min. 2.15 2.5
Service ceiling, m 17,000 (27.0) 16,400 (30.5)
Service range at M=0.9, km 3,130 2,760
Combat air patrol endurance (CAP), hr 3.35 2.27
Landing speed, km/hr 238 (24.0) 255 (27.5)
Landing roll, m 940 (24.0) 1,210 (27.5)
'Thus, the aircraft's range and CAP endurance turned out to be less than
estimated, with its takeoff/landing performance exceeding the limitations
set for Class II airfields. Reducing the weight of the aircraft seems to be
quite feasible. Basic steps to be made could be as follows:
- reducing estimated g-loading from n=3.5 to n=3.1;
- altering the fuel consumption method to enable the fuel to be used first
from fuselage fuel cells while transferring to wing fuel cells late in
- increasing Cy/a at least up to the values specified in initial
- increasing landing gear shock absorber travel to reduce design g-loads in
all situations during the landing.'
'The aircraft weight can be cut down at least in half by setting the takeoff
weight, finally, at 35 tonnes: It seems to be expedient for us to have a
lighter prototype by the conclusion of the trials, i.e. by late 1961. To
achieve this, right after completing the work on the first prototype and the
static test prototype, we will have to have our factory begin building the
reduced-weight Tu-28A, which could be motivated by the need to build a
prototype powered by VD-19 engines. The roll-out of the improved prototype
is to be scheduled at the third quarter of 1961. According to the draft
resolution 'On developing the Tu-28-80 complex', the 64th plant is slated to
manufacture in the third quarter three improved Tu-28 aircraft to be
outfitted with VD-19 engines. It is essential that these improvements
feature the lighter design:'
The Rybinsk-based OKB-36 design bureau launched its work on the VD-19 engine
as early back as in the autumn 1958 under the supervision of chief designer
V.A. Dobrynin. In late 1960, the engine saw the beginning of its bench
tests. It had a takeoff thrust of 13,000 kgf in afterburner, with its
maximum thrust with reheat totalling 8,400 kgf at an altitude of 14,000 m
and a speed of 2,230 km/h as well as 2,350 kgf at 20,000 m and 1,600 km/h.
When in the subsonic cruising non-afterburner mode, the engine featured a
specific fuel consumption of 0.97 kg/kgf*h. Such specifications were
promising enough for the designers to expect the aircraft to surpass the
2,000-km/h speed as well as to hope for a sizable rise in the aircraft
performance due to introduction of a new radar and air-to-air missiles. The
aircraft was to retain its general configuration though the introduction of
larger engines led to an increase in the tail section of the fuselage while
the new radar resulted in extending the nose section. Ventral fins were
retained in the manner of the first prototype.
By the early sixties, the OKB-36 designer bureau produced two Tu-28A
projects - one featuring the Smerch-A radar and K-80M air-to-air missile
(Tu-28A-80 complex) and the other providing for introduction of the
Grpza-100 radar and K-100 AAMs (Tu-28-100 complex). In addition, in 1962,
the OKB-36 was told to redesign the air intakes to make them compliant with
the new, more powerful engines. This resulted in the '128A' project making
provision for flat, slanted air intakes featuring a horizontal ramp. Fitting
the Tu-28A with the mid-air refuelling system was given thought as well. In
1963, the VD-19 engine completed its bench tests, with the flying testbed
trials having been finished by 1964. Two engines were delivered to the
Tupolev design bureau to be mounted on the Tu-28A's prototype - the
VD-19-powered Tu-128LL flying testbed.
Powered by new engines, the Tu-128LL took off in 1965. Its trials showed the
new engines produced an increase in maximal speed of mere 110-120 km/h. Even
2,000 km/h were not achieved while under the technical requirements and
preliminary estimates maximal speed was to enhance up to 2,100-2,400 km/h.
The cavalry-charge approach was, obviously, no solution to the problem. The
plane's aerodynamic configuration had to be revamped. This was done under
the '138' programme, with the '128A' programme being gradually scaled down
to be terminated in 1968. The aircraft complexes derived from the Tu-28A
were supposed to have the following specifications:

Complex Tu-28A-80 Tu-28-100
Weapons suite Smerch-A Groza-100
1st 2nd
Acquisition range, km 90-100 100-110 200-250
Lock-on range, km 60-70 70-80 150-170
Missile range, km 32 70 90-100
Elevation, km 8 10 10
Carrier maximum speed, km/h 2,100-2,400
Carrier service ceiling, m 17,000-18,000
Intercept range at 950-1,000 km/h 2,000
Intercept range in combined mode
(at 950 km/h, with part of range
covered at 1,500 km/h) 1,300
Intercept range in supersonic mode
(1,500 km/h) 900
CAP time, h 4
Takeoff run, m 1,000-1,200
Target's ceiling, m 25,000-26,000 28,000-30,000
Target speed during head-on attack, km/h 2,500-3,000 2,700-3,000
Target speed during tail-chase attack, km/h 1,800-2,000

Tupolev launched its '138' programme in 1962 as a continuation of the '128A'
programme. The choice of a new aerodynamic configuration hinged on three
variants: firstly, minimal modifications of the initial Tu-128
configuration; secondly, a new wing but the same airframe; and, thirdly,
some utterly new configurations. The second option was researched best of
all. Under it, the Tu-138 carrier aircraft would retain the general
aerodynamic configuration of the Tu-128, its powerplant would be built
around the VD-19 engines, its aerodynamics would be enhanced via a new,
clean wing with a lesser airfoil thickness ratio and a new planform. Unlike
the Tu-128, the '138' aircraft had its main landing gear retracting into the
wing leading edge extensions and partially into the fuselage.
The carrier aircraft was to be used as part of both Tu-138-60 and Tu-138-100
complexes. In the case of the former its was supposed to be equipped with
the Smerch-A radar and K-60 AAMs, while in the latter case the aircraft was
to carry the Groza-100 radar and K-100 air-to-air missiles, with provision
made for introducing the Tu-28-80's organic K-80 (R-4) missiles. The
upgraded carrier aircraft, new missiles and radars were expected to
considerable enhance the complex's interception capability against
high-speed intruders. For instance, the maximum speed with missiles onboard
would increase by 800 km/h, the time on station would increase, takeoff and
landing performance would enhance, as would the target acquisition, lock-on
and launch ranges.
At the '138' designing stage, mockups were used for aerodynamic research
that proved the impossibility of the required lift-to-drag ratio at subsonic
cruising speed owing to a sizable increase in the airframe's midsection
caused by the large diameter of the VD-19 engines and new radars. This
called into question the plane's desired range and endurance that were key
characteristics of the interceptor in development. The new thin wing would
have made the takeoff and landing performance far from perfect.
To tackle the above problems, solutions were suggested in abundance,
providing for introduction of the Konus in-flight refuelling system and
boundary layer blowing system for flaps and slats as well as enhancement the
wing lift-to-drag ratio though boundary layer suction. However, these steps
resulted either in a weight increase or a substantial reduction in the
powerplant's efficiency owing to diverting some air to blow the boundary
layer away. By the mid-1960s, the Tupolev design bureau banked on
modernising long-range interceptors through the use of variable-geometry
aircraft, which was came true under the '148' project. This programme
launched, the '138' project was terminated.
Beside several variants of the '138' project featuring aerodynamic
configuration that mostly echoed the initial Tu-128, Tupolev in 1963
pondered another several configurations for the '138' aircraft featuring
irregular layouts, such as tailless delta-wing and canard ones. Along with
the VD-19 engine, its later afterburning derivative RD-36-41 was considered
to power the '138' aircraft. The '138' aircraft and the complexes built
around it featured the following design specifications:

Tu-138-60 Tu-138-100
Length, m 31.73
Wing span, m 17.53
Height, m 7.78
Takeoff weight, kg 45,000-47,000
Max speed with AAMs mounted, km/h 2,100-2,400
Intercept range, km:
- supersonic mode 1,000
- combined mode 1,600-1,800
- subsonic mode 2,000-2,100
CAP time, h 4.0-4.5
Acquisition range, km 90-100 130-200
Lock-on range, km 60-65 90-150
Missile range, km 32 60-70
Target elevation, km 8 10

In the late sixties, the Tu-128S-4 operational data, '128' and '138'
programmes' results and new, more stringent requirements to prospective
interceptors led to the emergence of a programme aimed at upgrading and
further development of such interceptors. The programme stipulated three
phases. Phase One was supposed to reduce the complex's combat altitude from
8,000-10,000 m down to 500-1,500 m while enhancing its elements' jamming
resistance. Phase One was realised via the Tu-128S-4M programme.
Phase Two was supposed to increase altitudes and speeds at which
collision-course targets could be downed, e.g. an increase in altitude from
21,000 m to 23,000-25,000 m and in speed from 2,000 km/h to 3,000 km/h. In
addition, the minimal altitude for the interceptor to launch its ordnance
was expected to be reduced to 50-1,000 m, with the launch elevation rising
up to 60 degrees and enhanced ECM resistance introduced. At that stage the
interceptor's self-contained and semi-self-contained operation capabilities
were scheduled to be enhanced. Its target acquisition range was to rise from
50 km to 90-100 km, its missile effective range was expected to total 65-70
km compared with the earlier 35-50 km, while the target elevation was
supposed to account for 9-10 km as opposed to the previous 7-8 km. That
phase's technical solutions were based on the backlog gained under the '128A
' and '138' programmes.
Phase Three was slated to step up the carrier aircraft's flight performance
through installation of new engines and introduction of advanced design and
configuration solutions. Phase Three was based in part on the '128A' and
'138' programmes and provided for further work on future interceptor
complexes and carrier aircraft. Under Phase Three, the late 1960s saw
Tupolev running a programme designated as '148' (Tu-148).
Having faced the need for the top-to-bottom upgrade of the Tu-128 long-range
interceptor and the deadlock in designing the carrier aircraft for the
Tu-138 complex, Tupolev had to seek for unconventional ways to further the
development of its long-range interceptors. In particular, in parallel with
designing the '145' swing-wing long-range bomber, Tupolev launched a design
effort aimed at building a long-range interceptor complex built around a
heavy swing-wing interceptor aircraft.
In 1965, Tupolev began designing the new complex factory-designated as '148'
(Tu-148. In the autumn 1965, the Tupolev design bureau selected its basic
characteristics, purpose and ability to be the base for deriving new
variants given the new aerodynamic configuration of the carrier aircraft.
Its variable-geometry wing, coupled with a pair of VD-19R2 engines - a
14,200-kgf derivative of the VD-19 afterburning turbojet, ensured the
solution to many problems of the earlier single-mode designs and raise the
aircraft's combat capability by far.
The high sweep angle configuration was expected to ensure a maximum speed of
1,400 km/h at 50-100 m while flying at a speed of 2,500 km/h at
16,000-18,000 m. Service range was to total 2,500 km when flying at max
speed and high altitude, or 570 km when travelling at an altitude of 50-500
m and a speed of 1,400 km/h, or 1,850 at a speed of 1,000 km/h. At the sweep
angle relevant to the flight speed, the 4,800-km range could be achieved at
subsonic speed. Depending on the flight mode, the aircraft could have its
range increase by 30-40 per cent via mid-air refuelling. Even if the Tu-148'
s takeoff weight rose up to 55-60 tonnes as compared with the Tu-128's 43
tonnes, the former's takeoff and landing performance was better than that of
the latter: it had the 800-m run and could be flown off Class III and turf
airfields while the Tu-128 could operate from Class II airfields and had a
run of 1,350 m.
In addition to its interceptor role, the Tu-148 - when properly converted -
could be used for disrupting air traffic in the enemy rear area; providing
air defence coverage to surface vessels deployed far away from their home
bases; carrying various air-to-ground weapons including passive homers for
killing ground-based radars and airborne warning and control aircraft
(AWACS). The aircraft could also operate as an electronic intelligence
(ELINT) gathering platform, a low- and high-altitude photo-reconnaissance
aircraft, a nuclear-capable and conventional tactical bomber as well as an
attack aircraft carrying unguided rockets and cannon.
The tactical bomber version was quite rational since the aircraft was
planned to feature a spacious bomb-bay, good lifting capacity, low-level and
nap-of-the-earth (NOE) capability. In time, such an aircraft was able to
offer stiff competition to the T-6 tactical strike aircraft in development
then at the Sukhoi design bureau, that was destined to come to existence as
the Su-24 tactical bomber. Moreover, if further developed, the programme
might have resulted a strategic strike aircraft to deliver pinpoint nuclear
strikes on well-defended key enemy installations (an aircraft similar in its
performance to the US-made FB-111A). In fact, the programme could lead to
developing a multirole aircraft with great potential for future
In addition to the swing wing that determined the Tu-148's outline and
heavily influenced its basic aerodynamic configuration, the salt of the
project was the use of a new combined radar/infrared (IR) fire control
system designated as Smerch-100. The Smerch-100 FCS comprised a
quasi-continuous-wave phased array radar (PAR) with a 2-m antenna dish, an
infrared target acquisition and tracking system mated with the radar, a
digital computer and side-view radar antennae. The Smerch-100 developer
promised to provide the system with the 3,000-3,500-km head-on acquisition
range for aerial targets similar to the Tu-16, 600-km lateral scanning
acquisition range as well as 100-km infrared acquisition range for targets
travelling on parallel routes. The Smerch-100 system was supposed to ensure
launching and guiding the air-to-air missiles at a range of 250 km in the
search mode when attacking the targets head on.
At the time, such characteristics bordered were almost unreal and could
solve the issue of long-range interceptors for years to come if the
programme bore fruit. Such a radar would enable a single interceptor to keep
tabs on a vast sector of the aerospace and be to some extent used as a
AWACS aircraft in support of the local air defence zone and other
interceptors. Group employment of Tu-128 interceptors was repeatedly
practiced in exercises and proved to be very efficient. The use of the new
long-range radar could prompt its further development.
Plans for the first stage of development provided for outfitting the
interceptor with combined infrared/radar homing missiles featuring various
warheads and an effective range of 80 km. In the future, there could be
transition to longer-range air-to-air missiles since the Smerch-100 was
capable of handling them. The Smerch-100 fire control system ensured the
destruction of targets travelling at a speed of 500-4,500 km/h and at
altitudes between 50 m and 35,000 m. The interceptor's avionics suite
comprised most advanced systems including a flight director system, a
flight/navigation suite providing autonomous navigation, a joint automatic
data exchange system for receiving data on various targets and commands from
command posts and transferring it to other aircraft, as well as a low-level
flight control system, etc.
All the versions of the aircraft were supposed to carry all weapons and
dedicated equipment inside the fuselage bomb-bay. Being a multirole
aircraft, the Tu-148 was expected to be able to quickly switch from one
version from another in operational conditions. The modular bomb-bay was
designed to carry the following four variants of load:
- 4 K-100 air-to-air missiles, a single Kh-22, or 2 Kh-28, or 4 K-100P
- Bulat, Sablya or Virage ELINT packages;
- Almaz, PAFA and AFA-42/20 cameras and an extra fuel tank, or AFA-42/20, 2
AFA-54 and AFA-45 cameras;
- 2 tactical nuclear bombs or rocket pods, or automatic cannon pods.

When configured as a long-range loitering interceptor, the Tu-148-100
interceptor complex could intercept intruders at a range of 2,150 km when
going subsonic, at 1,000 km when flying at 2,500 km/h and at 1,700 km when
travelling in the combined (subsonic/supersonic) mode. The loitering time at
a range of 1,300 km totalled 2 hours, with 4 hours at a range of 500 km,
which ensured a reliable air defence coverage for northern and eastern areas
of the country by means of a relatively small number of assets. Had the
programme become a success, the Air Defence Force could have gotten an
extremely efficient system. However, it was the interceptor's being stuffed
with cutting-edge gadgetry that was its heel of Achilles, given the level of
the Soviet electronics industry during the sixties. An advent of such an
interceptor was feasible in a decade at best, which did happen: a simpler
and less advanced interceptor built around the Zaslon system was developed
during the 1970s.
The concept of a multirole aircraft dual-hatted as both interceptor and
tactical strike aircraft run counter to the development trend of the Soviet
Air Force that, unlike its US vis-a-vis, always preferred due to an array of
reasons (sometimes, subjective ones) to operate several types of specialist
warplanes. Besides, it is noteworthy that in certain circumstances that
version of the '148' programme could jeopardise the upgrading of the Tu-22
into the Tu-22M variant, which would, obviously, benefit neither the
designer, nor the customer. Development of the Tu-22M ('145') was a rather
low-risk enterprise since the aircraft was to embody quite a number of
well-proven Tu-22 solutions while the Tu-148 was to be stuffed with
high-tech gimmickry up to its neck and its development in the foreseeable
future looked none too likely. The above considerations summed up, the Air
Force showed no interest in the initial-configuration Tu-148, so the latter
was frozen.
Nonetheless, the Tu-148 programme got the second wind in the late sixties
when work on the K-33 AAM-equipped Zaslon system got underway. The Zaslon
system was to feature an acquisition range of 110-115 km and missiles'
effective range of 80-90 km. Its configuration and functionality similar to
that of the Smerch-100 system, the Zaslon had far less superior capabilities
and, thus, was more realistic. The national leadership took a decision to
scrap the plans for building a multirole aircraft for the Air Force and
concentrate on building a long-range interceptor with the best up-to-date
avionics the industry could provide. With that in mind, the Tu-148 programme
was viewed as the continuation of the Tu-128 upgrading. The interceptor's
enhancement as compared with the Tu-128-S4 were achieved through driving up
its flight and combat performance that ensured the reduction of the minimal
engagement altitude from 8,000 m down to 50 m, as well as the
look-down/shoot-down capability against low-level targets and the engagement
of small-sized targets (Hound Dog, SRAM, SCAD, SCAM air-to-ground missiles).
The speed of targets the upgraded aircraft was to be capable of intercepting
rose from 2,000 km/h to 3,500 km/h for head-on targets and from 1,250 km/h
to 2,300-2,400 km/h in the tail-chase mode. Its missiles' effective vertical
range grew from 21,000 m to 28,000 m. The interceptors also had its jamming
resistance enhanced, two-target engagement and group operation capabilities
introduced, self-contained and semi-self-contained operation capabilities
increased, range and endurance extended and takeoff/landing and acceleration
characteristics improved. There were additional features added to the
interceptor to further automatise its primary flight phases.
The aircraft was planned to be modified via the replacement of its AL-7F-2
engines with the more powerful RD-36-41 ones with the 16,000-kgf takeoff
thrust, improvement of its airframe, redesigning of its air intakes and air
ducts, installation of a new swing wing with slats and two-slot inboard
flaps, reinforcement of its landing gear, introduction of new wheels,
incorporation of an electronic interceptor control feature, a directional
stability automatic system and a flight director system. The modified
aircraft was expected to be able to fly off the same airfields the Tu-128
Tupolev submitted its renovated Tu-148 project to the Air Defence Force's
brass. The new interceptor won the backing of the ADF aviation arm's
Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Kadomtsev. Tupolev launched its designing effort. A
full-scale Tu-148 mockup was built, that was repeatedly examined by ADF and
Air Force representatives. However, one of the very first E-155P (MiG-25P)
prototypes crashes in the spring 1968 killing A. Kadomtsev in the process.
Its successor banks on upgrading the production MiG-25P interceptor to meet
the Zaslon standard, with work on the E-155MP - prototype of the future
production MiG-31 interceptor - being lunched.
For some time, the new commanders of the ADF aviation had refrained from
terminating the Tu-148 programme since they did not want to kick up a row
with the major and most respected Soviet aircraft developer and its Designer
General A.N. Tupolev whose opinion counted for something. To avoid a
scandal, the ADF brass took some other approach: extra requirements to the
aircraft were set forth, that ran counter to the basic concept of the
aircraft and the whole interceptor complex. One of the requirements was to
sharply enhance the Tu-148's low-level manoeuvrability as well as its
service ceiling and rate of climb. This would cause a complete revision of
the aircraft's configuration and concept including the abandoning its
variable-geometry wing. Owing to the RD-36-41 mediocre subsonic fuel
efficiency, the latter would have ended up in a sizable loss of range and
endurance, reduction in the interception range, etc., i.e. the interceptor's
main parameters the multi-year aircraft upgrade programme was all about.
Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev and his immediate colleagues did their utmost to
persuade the authorities to reconsider and issue an official resolution on
the Tu-148, as well as to pay up for continuation of the programme, but to
no avail. In the early 1970s, the Tupolev design bureau had to wrap up the
programme for good. Later, the Tupolev design bureau developed several
conceptual designs of dedicated long-range interceptors based on heavy
supersonic aircraft developed over the seventies. There were proposals to
derive raider-class long-range interceptors from the Tu-144D airliner and
Tu-22M long-range bomber (DP-1 and DP-2 projects, respectively) as well as
the Tu-160 strategic bomber. However, like the Tu-148 programme, those
projects remained at the initial design phase or, at best, ended up in
mockups and conceptual designs evaluated by preliminary mockup commissions
joined by Air Force representatives.

Basic design specifications of the Tu-148 powered by two RD-36-41 engines

Length, m 32.5
Wingspan, m (20-deg. sweep angle) 26.6
Wing area, m.sq. (56-deg. sweep angle) 100
Height, m 7.5
Takeoff weight, kg 60,000
Fuel weight, kg 21,800
Max speed with AAMs mounted, km/h 2,500
Service ceiling, m 17,000
Subsonic service range, km 4,600
Combined intercept range (V=1,800 km/h), km 1,650
Run, m 1,350
Roll, m 1,200
Weapons suite Zaslon FCS + 4 K-33 AAMs
Crew 2

Ivan the Bear
=Nothing per-r-rsonal, just business=

The Tu-128 Aircraft's Basic Features

Aircraft Tu-128 Tu-128C-4M
Aircraft/Missile Complex Tu-128C-4 Tu-128C-4M -
Engine 2xAL-7F-2
Thrust, kgf 2x10,100
Length of the aircraft, m 30.06 30.06
Wing span, m 17.53
Wing square, sq.m. 96.94
Height of the aircraft, m 7.15 7.07 (with R-846) 7.07
(with R-846)
Take-off weight, kg 43,000 43,260
Weight of the unloaded aircraft, kg 25,960 -
Max speed, km/h with/without missiles:
Flight range, km 2,565 2,460
Practical ceiling, m 15,600 15,600
Take-off/landing run, m 1,350/1,050 -
Radar RP-S Smerch RP-SM
M -
Target acquisition range, km 50
Target lock-on range, km 35-40
Missiles (quantity and type) 2xR-4T
2xR-4R 2xR-4TM
2xR-4RM -
Interception range, km 1,170
Barraging time, h 2.75
Engagement altitude, m 8,000-21,000
Max target elevation, m 7,000-8,000
Max launch range, km 20-25


I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Jan 24, 2006
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There's some good info in there on the Tu-128, yeah, but there's a bit more detailed stuff in Soviet Heavy Interceptors, one of the Red Star books.

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