Gruel and White Swan

 When at least one of these planes up in the air, air defense, NATO stops at the radar screens at an alarming attention … 

August 29, 1949 at the Semipalatinsk test site underwent successful testing of the first Soviet atomic bomb RDS-1. U.S. nuclear monopoly was abolished, and the two most powerful military power in the world entered a substantive stage of the "cold war." However, to have a nuclear weapon was not enough: he still had to deliver to the target. Since intercontinental missiles still existed only in the dreams of Sergei Korolev (1907-1966) and Werner von Braun (Wernher von Braun, 1912-1977), the only weapon of the "long arm" were bombers. But their flight range (5-6 thousand kilometers) is not enough to proceed in a future nuclear war. Therefore, the two nations began to create a new, ultra-long "bombers", capable of carrying multi-ton deadly cargo and overcome more than 10,000 kilometers and a speed greater than the old piston-engined airplanes. Strategic veteran 

In the search for the ideal of the United States have developed interesting projects such as the "flying wing» B-49, in an unusual-36J «Peacemaker» with six screws and pushing four additional turbojet engines, and then embarked on a new project — the future of the B-52. It should be noted that in the creation of strategic bombers American aircraft in the 40’s far ahead of the Soviets. The last had always "catch up with America," and sometimes just borrow ideas from overseas colleagues. Perhaps the reason for the consequences of the war, during which all the engineering resources of the USSR were thrown to the creation of tactical aircraft, while those who fought in the Pacific theater and the Americans were interested succeeded in creating a long-range heavy machinery. KB Myasishcheva engaged in the project bomber DVB-102, but in 1946 a few years was disbanded for "low-impact".

The existing TU-4 could only fly to America, then it is low on fuel. Well, do not do the same from Soviet kamikaze pilots? The new task set by Stalin himself, saying with his usual humor nomenclature: that is it possible to make such an aircraft to our drivers not only bombed, but were able to go back and personally report on the implementation of the party combat mission? Father did not argue with people, and went into the development of the piston screw Tu-85.

But as soon as it became known in Moscow that Americans are nearing completion of the project on the B-52, it was decided to discontinue work on the Tu-85, and take up a new aircraft with turbojet engines, which have developed a high speed. After considering several different projects KB, with the heads of which Stalin met in person, July 11, 1951 came the Council of Ministers № 2396-1137, which work on the aircraft permanently assigned to Andrei Nikolaevich Tupolev (1888-1972). Already 12 November 1952 test pilot Alex D. Flight (1914-1953) raised the prototype into the air. So there was a Tu-95, nicknamed the Americans «Bear» («The Bear"), which for several years, until the advent of intercontinental missiles, was the only "weapon of retaliation" of the Soviet Union.

By the time he hit the sizes: Wingspan — fifty meters, the length of the fuselage — forty six keel surged to a height of four houses. Instead of the original plan to put on it turbojet engines (which are on the B-52), set on four turboprop aircraft (NC-12 12 000 hp power and then NK-12M capacity of up to 15,000 hp) each with Two counter-rotating screws. They reported the aircraft a maximum speed of 882-920 km / h (his rival turbojet-52 develops 957 km / h).

Of the 172 tons of take-off weight of 83 tons fell on the plane itself, 12 tons for the combat load and another 80-90 tons of kerosene, which mercilessly devoured engines. Therefore the range of serial Tu-95 was "only" 12,100 km — while the aircraft with piston engines of the fuel supply would be enough for a long flight. Or, alternatively, you could take less fuel — but most of the combat load. For example, the B-36 took on board almost 40 tons of bombs. But the era of piston "snail" has ended.

However, one of the Tu-95 (it was designated the Tu-95B) has been specially converted for the transfer of the particularly difficult and very important cargo that with great difficulty was somehow able to put in the bomb bay, a pre-cut piece of the fuselage. This load was the famous pyatidesyatimegatonnaya thermonuclear "Tsar Bomb", nicknamed Ivan — the same "gruel", which promised to show Richard Nixon Nikita Khrushchev. Few knew that with such a massive load of a converted "Bear" just flew up to America. But his power was enough to deliver "Ivan" to the New Earth, where the bomb was tested, and Oct. 30, 1961. Fortunately, the more it did not have to carry anywhere.

Model TU-95A was armed with more modest atomic bombs RDS-3, RDS and RDS-4-6C, and to protect the crew from the effects of the explosion aircraft had a special black-out curtains and paint finish.

The aircraft climbed to a height of 11,900 feet to avoid "close contact" with the enemy air defenses. For the defense of the fighter he was armed with six twin 23-mm guns: in the rear, the lower and upper units. But soon the emergence of effective anti-aircraft missiles made it absolutely defenseless. The car could easily bring down long before the call to the target. The solution was found in the use of new weapons — cruise missiles, which have served as "air torpedoes": aircraft produced by their targets from a safe distance, turned around and left. Shoot down the same speed cruise missile was much more difficult. And now, January 1, 1956 up to the first test flight of the Soviet strategic missile air Tu-95K. For it was developed cruise missile Kh-20 (starting weight of 11 600-11 800 kg, flight speed 1,850 km / h, a thermonuclear charge up to three megatons), which was suspended under the fuselage.

Most of further modifications of the Tu-95 is designed as a missile. In the early 60s up to the sky Tu-95KD, who had in-flight refueling system, allowing its flight range increased to 15,700 kilometers. Subsequently, they were modernized, receiving the name of Tu-95km and new weapons as cruise missiles X-22 (3000 km / h in X-22M to 4000 km / h, range up to 400 km). She could carry both nuclear regular charge — the latter was intended to destroy large enemy ships. So got a new bomber combat mission — in the event of war hunt for American aircraft carriers.

And in 1979, the test came out of Tu-95MS, which now forms the basis of an air missile shield Russia. In his arms — six cruise missiles X-55 (for modification of the Tu-95MS16 plus ten more on hangers), each of which carries a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead. Since the missiles can cover a distance of up to 3000 km (version X-555 up to 5000 km), range aircraft was reduced to 10,500 kilometers — it takes less fuel than its predecessor, but more weapons and equipment.

In addition to combat versions of Tu-95, manufactured, and quite peaceful model: a reconnaissance aircraft, the aircraft control radar and aircraft-laboratory for scientific research — among them were the experiments to establish an aircraft engine, powered by the onboard nuclear reactor. Well, except for them on
the basis of the bomber were created long passenger airliner Tu-114 and its "diplomatic" option — Tu-116.

"White Swan", armed to the teeth

Created on the basis of a civilian plane bomber was a tradition of Soviet aircraft size. But once they reach almost the opposite. In 60 years, fascinated by the development of rocket technology, the Soviet leadership began to ignore the new developments in the Strategic Air Command. But in an effort to keep up with the accelerated pace of the West was building a supersonic civilian airliner Tu-144 — the domestic counterpart "Concorde". In this case, the designers have automatically had the idea: do not do something similar, but with a bomb load?

In fact, the creation of a new aircraft moved a more compelling reason: in the U.S. began work on a new strategic bomber B-1, and it was necessary to give another answer to imperialism as terrible FICO score. In 1967 the work started Sukhoi and CB Myasishcheva, and in 1969 and Tupolev. But the requirements for new aircraft Ministry of War is clearly overstated. For example, the speed — up to 3500 km / h, range subsonic speed 16000-18000 km, the mass of the payload up to 45 tons This was obviously impossible, but KB enthusiastically engaged in projects in competition with each other. As a result, the competition won the constructors KB Myasishcheva, but their project was transferred to the finalization "Tupolev", perhaps because they had a fresh experience of creating the Tu-144 — heavy supersonic car. Sukhoi just at this time was engaged in a very interesting project — a supersonic long-range missile-carrying T-4, looks very similar to the Tu-144, but for some still not fully clear reasons, the project was eventually rolled up, and came to the fore Tupolev.

In 1980, a prototype under the name of Tu-160 was ready. Graceful aircraft with variable geometry wing because of its appearance once called "White Swan." The initial military requirements, designers, however, were not able to perform, but it still offers a very powerful machine.

The heart of the aircraft have forced four turbojet engine NK-32 of thrust as usual by 14,000 kg each, forced — 25000 kg. But its developer (KB Kuznetsova) is proud not only of their high capacity. Two secret that KB does not reveal until now, first, to a large extent make themselves inconspicuous engines for radar, and second, the least possible unmasks airplane vapor trail.

Empty weight Tu-160 is 110 m, the maximum take-off — 275 tons, of which 148 tonnes are fuel (its consumption is 55 t / h), range up to 14,000 km, ceiling — 15,600 km, maximum speed up to 2200 km / hr The designers have surpassed their overseas opponents: Tu-160 has turned out be more powerful than the B-1, which reached a speed of 1,500 km / h

For three or four hours Tu-160 can get into position to attack over the Atlantic, then either surge forward for the bombing, or use missile arsenal. In the latter case, he was carrying two drum launchers with six cruise missiles X-55M and two units with twelve short-range missiles X-15. But the car can successfully fulfill the role of the bomber: the middle and low-range it raises up to forty tons of bomb load (at the far to 22.5 m). In addition to weapons, the Tu-160 can carry the load and peace: a cruise missile "Burlak", which brings to an orbital altitude of 500-700 km small communication satellites and observation.

Board defense aircraft detects enemy radar types, determine their location and suppresses powerful active interference, or causes them decoys. In general, the Tu-160 is about one hundred processing units, and, although they are less powerful than the U.S., but it is much better protected from noise and electromagnetic pulses.

April 17, 1987 the first two production aircraft entered the 184th Guards Regiment under Priluki. And next year, the Tu-160 began regular training flights, a few hours covering a distance to the Atlantic. Their interception squadron raised — but the machines were developed and easily evaded American fighters at supersonic speed. In addition, the Tu-160 was a formidable opponent for the U.S. aircraft carrier fleets in the Mediterranean or the Persian Gulf: In just 1.5-2 hours, he could not get to their location and give a devastating missile volley. This greatly disturbed the United States. Among their demands to the authorities of the post-Soviet republics in exchange for a "confession" was the question of the "Blackjack", as the Americans call this a formidable machine.

Nineteen cars Tu-160 Priluky Regiment after the partition of the USSR automatically went to Ukraine. Together with a nuclear arsenal and a huge inventory of Carpathian and Kiev military district, they have made it one of the strongest military powers in Europe and the world. But for Ukraine such a sword was not able to do. In 1999, Russia recalled Ukraine on gas debt and offered an exchange. In early 2000, eight Tu-160 and three Tu-95, survived the destruction for the sake of international recognition of the new country, flew to the Russian air base in Engels, where, after repair and modernization joined their fellow issued in the 90s at the Kazan factory , and stood on alert. Currently, they are involved in many of the teachings of the Russian armed forces. And of course, many news pleased that in 2006 Russia began modernizing its engine Tu-160, and resumed production of these elegant and powerful aircraft.

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