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Tu-22M Backfire

PG_69

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The Tu-22M2 were originally fitted with a refueling probe. It was later removed to comply with arms controls treaties.

The Tu-22M3 prototype had a refueling probe, but the production run deleted these.

Some rumours mention a black program to re-equip the Backfire with refuelling probe in the advent of war.

Can anyone confirm these rumours?

Anyone have photos of Backfires being refueled?
 

Just call me Ray

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PG_69 said:
Some rumours mention a black program to re-equip the Backfire with refuelling probe in the advent of war.

PG_69 said:
Can anyone confirm these rumours?

I hate to be glib, but if anyone were able to confirm the rumors, chances are it wouldn't be a black program, and vice versa.
 

PG_69

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Fair enough. Poor wording on my part.

This is the reference I'm talking about:
"According to press reports in the late 1980s, a defector stated that the Backfire regularly conducted exercises at intercontinental range, that this intercontinental range was greater than the Bison's, that the Backfire had a screw-in type refueling probe, that this screw-in refueling probe was stockpiled for every Backfire at all bomber bases, and that the Soviets had an active program of camouflage, concealment, and deception to mislead the West about the intercontinental range capability of the Backfire."
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/tu-22m-start.htm

Tu-22M3 prototype fitted with: http://www1.airliners.net/photo/Russia---Air/Tupolev-Tu-22M-3/1328470&tbl=photo_info&photo_nr=13&prev_id=1330600&next_id=1322233
http://www1.airliners.net/photo/Russia---Air/Tupolev-Tu-22M-3/1070475&tbl=photo_info&photo_nr=55&prev_id=1082836&next_id=1069705

The Tu-22M3 retains the refueling lights and they seem to have a patch were the probe was/can be fitted:
http://www1.airliners.net/photo/Ukraine---Air/Tupolev-Tu-22M-3/1149750&tbl=photo_info&photo_nr=42&prev_id=1162541&next_id=1145159
 
A

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take a look at these pics from wikipedia.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tupolev_Tu-22M1_refuelling_probe.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tu-22Mprobe.JPG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tu-22M3_Monino.jpg
 

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overscan said:
The probe could perhaps be refitted. Tu-22M was never a strategic bomber though.

The "strategic role" concept has changed if not outright obsolete though, considering how tactical aircraft can destroy strategic targets with precision weapons (something proved with great effect during Desert Storm) and can even wipe out entire cities with tac nukes. If anything, the only truly relevant defining characteristic of a "strategic" bomber is its range and bomb load (which would more accurately be termed a "heavy bomber" anyway) and the Tu-22M3 certainly meets these benchmarks.
 

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Everything Old is New Again* (Steeljaw Scribe)

There was a point, a decade or so ago (OK, maybe two decades back), when I thought some of my bete noirs, like medium- and intermediate range ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missile-armed supersonic bombers were going to go skulking off into that not-so-gentle night. Alas, it appears not so:

A move by Russia to sell its production line of Tu-22M3 long-range bombers to China for US$1.5 billion to China was confirmed by the US-based US-China Economic and Security Review Commission two years ago and the bomber’s name will be changed to the Hong-10, reports the state-run China News Service … The Hong-10, whose components will all be produced in China with the exception of the engine, is expected to fly in the second half of next year, and the country will produce 36 aircraft in the first batch to be delivered to the air force. One of world’s fastest long-range bombers which can also carry atomic weapons, the plane can cover the South China Sea, East China Sea and even the western Pacific. Sources here and here.


So now, along with pondering MRBMs that may be the Pershing II re-incarnated, alongside bulked up Badgers, we have the prospect of the Backfire being introduced into the increasingly volatile mix that constitutes the Far East Theater. Mah-velous. Previously rebuffed in the late 80′s/early 90′s by the Russians who didn’t want to upset the balance of forces in theater, the Chinese evidently closed the deal in 2010 to domestically produce up to 36 Tu-22M3 Backfires (Domestic designation: H-10) with the engines to be supplied by Russia – an agreement all the more curious because of the very real anger the Russians have (had?) over the Chinese knock-off production of the Su-27SK that formed the basis of the J-11 family and the navalized J-15 without paying the attending license-fees.
 

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I'll believe it when I see the photos! If true, I take my hat off to whoever brokered the sale - selling a 30+yr old design is quite an accomplishment, especially to China which doesn't exactly appear devoid of its own capabilities to develop new aircraft these days.
 

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A fighter is one thing, a Tu-22 class supersonic bomber is quite another level IMO. Compare with UK and Britain: both had supersonic fighters in service, but the road to Concorde was no picnic.
 

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Do you want to do a new development for a small number of aircraft?

The sources seem iffy, and exactly how you sell a long-closed production line, I don't know. But if my adversary's current and planned naval fighters were all puffing and grunting to get to M=1.6, it would sure be fun to have a bomber doing 1.88.
 

SOC

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J-20s kill Hawkeyes while zooming past Hornets, BACKFIREs kill AEGIS, AShBM kills CVN.
 

sferrin

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SOC said:
J-20s kill Hawkeyes while zooming past Hornets, BACKFIREs kill AEGIS, AShBM kills CVN.

Aegis has improved a bit since the Cold War.
 

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LowObservable said:
Do you want to do a new development for a small number of aircraft?

The sources seem iffy, and exactly how you sell a long-closed production line, I don't know. But if my adversary's current and planned naval fighters were all puffing and grunting to get to M=1.6, it would sure be fun to have a bomber doing 1.88.

Missiles have no problem going faster than Mach 1.88. (See SM-6 with CEC cued by E-2Ds)
 

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sferrin said:
LowObservable said:
Do you want to do a new development for a small number of aircraft?

The sources seem iffy, and exactly how you sell a long-closed production line, I don't know. But if my adversary's current and planned naval fighters were all puffing and grunting to get to M=1.6, it would sure be fun to have a bomber doing 1.88.

Missiles have no problem going faster than Mach 1.88. (See SM-6 with CEC cued by E-2Ds)

However, a target capable of maneuver that can sustain M1.5 + for a significant amount of time is a very difficult target to intercept, even if we could keep E-2Ds up 24x7. The time and space for the engagement window isn't that large and we aren't going to have that many ships.

Not impossible by any means, just quite difficult.
 

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F-14D said:
sferrin said:
LowObservable said:
Do you want to do a new development for a small number of aircraft?

The sources seem iffy, and exactly how you sell a long-closed production line, I don't know. But if my adversary's current and planned naval fighters were all puffing and grunting to get to M=1.6, it would sure be fun to have a bomber doing 1.88.

Missiles have no problem going faster than Mach 1.88. (See SM-6 with CEC cued by E-2Ds)

However, a target capable of maneuver that can sustain M1.5 + for a significant amount of time is a very difficult target to intercept, even if we could keep E-2Ds up 24x7. The time and space for the engagement window isn't that large and we aren't going to have that many ships.

Not impossible by any means, just quite difficult.

We have a whole lot more Aegis ships now than during the Cold War. (Granted, we'd definitely miss the Tomcats.)
 

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