Tupolev "121", "123", "139", "141" UAVs


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5 May 2007
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Another "birds" of Tupolev's
In change from "Voron"-"Crow" of analogue D-21 other "birdies" were really designed OKB Tupolev's and differed the overland start.
"121" (Tu-121, plane "S")
Length: 24,77m
Wing Span: 8,4m
Height: 4,614m
Launch weight: 35000kg
Speed: 2775km/h
Range: 3880km
Altitude: 19900-24100m
"123" (Tu-123, DBR-1,"Yastreb"-"Hawk"
Length: 27,825m
Wing Span: 8,414m
Height: 4,781m
Launch weight with solid propellant motor: 35610kg
Speed: 2700km/h
Range: 3,680km
Altitude: 19000-22800m
"139" (Tu-139, DBR-2, "Yastreb-2")

"141" (Tu-141, VR-2,"Strizh"-"Swift"
Length: 14,33m
Wing Span: 3,875m
Height: 2,435m
Wing area:10 sq m
Launch weight: 5370kg
Speed: 1100km/h
Range: 1000km
Altitude: 50-6000m


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Found an ejection seat K26, developed by aircraft development plant №981 (now NPP Zvezda) for manned version of Tupolev '123' - 'Aircraft 141' aka '123P' aka Yasterb-P (pilotiruemy = manned)



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What is this? Manned Tu-123?
What is Tu-130?

"Based on the plane "Tupolev Tu-123" has prepared several interesting projects. Among them is a drone target camolet TU-123 m ("Hawk"), completely gross aircraft TU-139 ("Hawk" 2), project aircraft Tupolev Tu-123 "with nuclear power plant, a project plane" Tupolev Tu-123 "with thermally reactive air engines, designed for speed in 3 or 4 Mach. Been and manned version of the razvedchika return TU-123P "(" product of 141 "," Hawk-p "). However, for us, is the most interesting project using aircraft TU-123 "as the last stage of the missile system planning shock" tr-130."



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Tu-123 pictures.


"The new aircraft was designated I123K (TU-123) or the DBR-1 (remote unmanned Scout). Factory tests were completed in September 1961 a year, and Government — in December 1963 onwards. By the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers N 444-178 from long-range unmanned System May 23, 1964 photo and ELINT DBR-1 Hawk was adopted by the AIR FORCE. Series production was carried out at the plant in Voronezh, no. 64, from 1964 to 1972, a total of 52 products were manufactured.
The system was in service with the AIR FORCE reconnaissance units stationed in western border military districts, until the year 1979. Theoretically, intelligence officers can perform tasks across Central and Western Europe, although real flying DRONES over the territory has not been fulfilled. However, launches these UAVS during the exercises have repeatedly confirmed high reliability and the claimed performance characteristics. But after adopting the MiG-25R reconnaissance complexes DBR-1 gradually began to take off."


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Yeah given the NATO assets deployed and high alert it does seem damning that this thing bumbled about European airspace until it ran out of fuel and no-one noticed. Thankfully it didn't cause more damage or cause a mid-air collision with civilian traffic.
Some RCS modelling. This is in S-band (3 GHz). same band as E-3 AEW's.

It's not full hemispherical as RCS at extreme top angle of the aircraft (e.g 70-90 degrees) May not necessarily be exploitable. The aircraft is modeled as PEC Which should be close as metalic airframe used by the drone. The inlet is considered a perfect absorber as it's relatively small and by default "S" which may not necessarily be "accessible" from radar.

The raw RCS Data is averaged and medianized. To give a value which "convenient" for radar range calculation. Swerling case 1 PDF (Probability Density Function) equation is used. Which resulted with RCS value of 0.38 sqm with 90% probability of encounter. Basically it said "90% of a time you will encounter this value"

Averaging and calculating.png

Translating it to E-3 Detection range, yielded 314 km for 50% detection probability and 267 km for 90%
This presented a "corridor" within E-3 coverage from Poland and Romania
Ukraine Drone.jpg

The drone might get detected initially by the AEW but it might not be able to maintain steady track as it needs more SNR (this correspond to PD of 85 to 90%). Ground based radar however seems to get more luck as Hungary and apparently Romanian detected and apparently able to maintain track as it crosses their airspace.

It also turns out that apparently only 1 E-3 was on the air at that time.

It reinforces my belief that the drone originated not from Belarus but somewhere in western Ukraine. As if it crosses from Belarus. E-3 might pick it and establish proper track.
141 airframe has LO features like RAM structures implemented from the beginning back then, so your calculations for RCS and detection range at least very basic

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