Interrupted Flight «Bekfayra»

Interrupted Flight
Tu-22M3 is aging rapidly, but Tupolev failed to adapt it to new tasks
Alexei Ramm
Distant Aviation Air Force RF expects development since early 90s Tupolev design bureau upgraded model of supersonic bomber Tu-22M3, which is able to use the new X-32 rocket. But is unlikely to get it in today’s year. In arbitration courts of different instances last trial with claims in the hundreds of millions of rubles between the customer (MoD), the developer (Tupolev) and manufacturer (Engineering Design Bureau «Rainbow»). While the Tribunal da deal available bombers Tu-22M3 (NATO systematization — Backfire) retires at the sight.

Distant supersonic bombers with variable geometry wing Tu-22M were made in the late 70s and armed with cruise missiles X-22. Aircraft were armed not only the Air Force, and naval missile-carrying aircraft (MPA) of the Navy. The main objective of the MPA posed fighting aircraft carrier strike groups (CSGs), airborne compounds, groups of surface ships. Modification M3 — is the future development of the Tu-22M.

«The killer of aircraft carriers» in Afghanistan

As told the newspaper «Military-Industrial Courier» military historian, creator of books on the history of the Navy Maxim Tokarev, carrying Marine aircraft and Tu-22M3 were the principal component protivoavianosnoy doctrine of the USSR.
«Under the doctrine of one detected AUG envisaged sortie one division (mrad), in other words up to 80 strike aircraft Tu-16 and Tu-22M. In the Pacific and Northern fleets had two divisions, and in the event of war intensified their one division of distant aviation «- told Tokarev.

According to him, the Tu-22M3 is often called «the killer of aircraft carriers», but this is the wrong adjective. Rather well call the whole division, and the single «Bekfayr» against aircraft carrier group is useless.

«We X-22 were two advantages. 1st — missile during flight information exchanged with their run was pretty specifying a small set of performance objectives. Second — the highest survivability before air defenses. It is estimated that one X-22 with inherent protection withstand all 20 mm anti-aircraft artillery complex «Vulcan Phalanx» hit one type missiles AIM-7 «Sparrow» or 2-3 type AIM-9 «Sidewinder», — explained the source Publishing.

Did not participate in the winding up of aircraft carriers, «Bekfayry» took an active role in the war in Afghanistan. Sverhtehnologichny sighting system Tu-22M3-based radar, sharpened for the detection of huge targets like the ship could not detect small targets machine type and even whole villages. Because missile thrashed through the squares, filled up with tons of bombs svobodnopadayuschih.

By the end of the war in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense of the USSR realized that the Tu-22M3 — single-purpose aircraft capable of relatively well destroy enemy aircraft carriers, but does not apply to other tasks. In addition, at the end of the 80s repeatedly increased defense ability of the U.S. Navy, received cruisers URO type «Ticonderoga» with integrated air defense system «Aegis». Needed because modern missile defense for a breakthrough order and guaranteed destruction of a large surface ship.

According to the new requirements of the military in 1989 modernized Tu-22M3 should amaze even small ground targets using svobodnopadayuschih bombs from a height of more than eight thousand meters. He needs to carry cruise missiles upgraded air-based, which, unlike their predecessors X-22 are able to break through the defense at a range of up to thousands of kilometers. Subject to the substitution board shot and navigation complex weapons system, also planned to install new, more massive engine NK-32.

Starting in 1990, work on the modernization betrothed «Adaptation», prevented the collapse of the USSR. Only brought to production Tu-22M4 modification with new navigation equipment and NK-32 engines. Equip bomber planned supersonic cruise missile X-32. It was created on the basis of X-22 and tested at the end of the 80s in the 929-m Municipal flight test center (glycyl). Hitherto, there is no reliable information about the serial production of the latest model and the number of the BBC machines. The project «Adaptation» lasted for 20 years and with excessive hitherto not been completed.

The claim of 100 million rubles

On the question of modernization and upgrading Tu-22M3 Air Force and Naval Aviation Navy returned first-2000s, when the majority of the Kh-22 proceeded term storage and use. To re-park «Bekfayrov» on the latest X-32 was necessary to upgrade the sighting system and weapon system. But the work was delayed. In 2008, the war in the Caucasus Tu-22M3 attacked the Georgian airfields svobodnopadayuschie ordinary bombs and not cruise missiles. As a result, the Air Force lost one bomber from the 52th Guards Bomber Regiment languid. «Bekfayru» had to be reduced from 12 to four thousand meters and he was in the zone of destruction of enemy air defenses. Aircraft Commander Lt. Col. Alexander Koventsov missing, the second pilot, Major Vyacheslav Malkov ejected and was taken prisoner.
Anton Lavrov, one of the creators of the book «Tanks of August», dedicated to the Russian-Georgian conflict, told the newspaper «MIC», which then Tu-22M3 used for massed bombing of stationary objects: «Bekfayr» carries bombs in a couple of times more than frontline bomber Su-24 or Su-25. Bombers required to decrease with height nonhazardous 10-12 thousand to 4 thousand meters, otherwise due to scattering svobodnopadayuschih bombs they can not get to the target area. Yes, and decreasing unsafe height aircraft could not perform tasks assigned to them. For example, at the airport runway Kopitnari damaged in 3 places that would not prevent the Georgian Su-25 in case of need to sit down and soar. «

By the end of the 2008 war work on modernization of the fleet of Tu-22M3 resumed. Funding was not bad Tupolev planned a gradual modernization. In the first step (by the end of 2011) to develop the «Bekfayr» to implement a modernized missile X-32, take it to the municipal tests. Using the results acquired in the second step to make deeply modernized under the symbol bomber Tu-22M3M and put in the Air Force until 2020, 30 new vehicles of this type.

During the first step, «Raduga», designed by the Kh-32 was to carry out the flight, flight-design tests and municipal own products. But only in June 2010, «Tupolev» manages to prepare documentation modernized bombers to align with the Ministry of Defense, although in the autumn of that year was upgraded plane must fly and lobbing rockets. The delay in the agreement and terms of readiness tore the Kh-32, they moved to the end of 2012. Not having the necessary documentation from Tupolev, «Rainbow» from January 1, 2011 stopped working on their product.

The project was resumed only in 2012, and X-32 successfully passed flight tests and municipalities, has been recommended for adoption as weapons modernized Tu-22M3 bombers. That’s just the medium itself has not ascended into the air. Developed paradoxical situation: the missile into service received and the aircraft under it there. Although according to the contract in 2008, tests had to go through the whole combat system as part of the modernized Tu-22M3 and X-32.

Perturbed by such a situation, the Ministry of Defense sent a claim to the Tupolev. Management Bureau in turn required penalties against «Raduga». Now all three parties are trying to seek each other’s multimillion-dollar fines for the failure of the agreement. June 13, 2013 the 9th Arbitration Court of Moscow has given the town military department in a lawsuit against the «Rainbow» at 103 million rubles.

, The fate of the new «Bekfayra» lost in the fog. As told the «MIC» an informed source in the Air Force until the end of today, the Tupolev should protect predeskizny project developed in the second step, the Tu-22M3M applets. «We are not yet satisfied with the price and terms of the proposed works, particularly in connection with neuvvyazkami the first step. So Tu-22M3M remains on paper «- he said.

No answer to the question, what avionics upgraded bomber and get anything other than X-32 will be armed. At the beginning of «adaptation» in the 90s under the Ministry of Defense sought missile X-32, which can be used svobodnopadayuschie bomb with precision. In 2008, these requirements have been adjusted, but that has changed, remains classified information.

Not so bad

After transfer to own composition naval carrying Marine regiments Air Force remained sole masters Park Tu-22M. Faced with the difficulties of modernization, the Main Command of the Air Force turned to the company «Hephaestus and T», known for successful restyling Park Su-24M.

The company is headquartered in Zhukovsky near Moscow. Back in 2008, in an active manner for the means it has developed specialized computing subsystem SVP-24-22, which provides a single autonomous aircraft guidance on target with retargeting in flight, as a group attack targets aircraft with different random directions. SVP-24-22 is compatible with automatic air control «Metronome», which is proven to exercise «Kavkaz-2012».

In 2012, the Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with the company «Hephaestus and T» retrofit combatant Tu-22M3 system SVP-24-22. In flight personnel such machines were nicknamed «Ogefeschennye.» Currently, modernization took about 10 ka machines. «SVP-24-22 allows you to hit ground targets ordinary svobodnopadayuschie bombs at a distance of 30-40 km with the highest accuracy. Get a clear target coordinates, taking into account the characteristics of complex coordinates and calculates the best line of the aircraft motion for relief, the board displays the course and drops a bomb «- told» VBC «Air Force officer Glavkomat familiar with the situation. According to him, the media disk imaging is very often confused Tu-22M3, kitted SVP-24-22 and Tu-22M3M.

«The latest model until there is only on paper, and M3 with a complex of» Hephaestus «has no relationship to work Tupolev» — said the source publication.

Already kitted SVP-24-22 «Bekfayry» will also be finalized by the introduction of the X-32, but because of the ongoing litigation delayed transfer of documentation.

Do I need a modernized Tu-22M

According to the self-contained military professional, head online information project MilitaryRussia Dmitry Kornev presently solved two problems — the modernization of the board and weapon systems. «With the right approach it will allow a budget several times to strengthen the capacity of several groups 10’s Tu-22M3. If it is resolved and a third task — arming the refreshed new aircraft missile systems and the return of in-flight refueling, we get repeated increasing fleet of strategic aviation, «- says the roots.

Maxim Tokarev with own party argues that the modernized Tu-22M3 not solve puzzles to destroy aircraft carrier groups, «or single plane squadron did not break through the defense orders AUG. The question of quantity. To perform a puzzle worth cause simultaneous blow 60-70 supersonic cruise missiles, in other words revive regiments and divisions MRA. «

Anton Lavrov said that the Tu-22M3 with the corrected air means defeat type American JDAM bombs alone would be able to kill the target type Kopitnari Georgian airfield. «American supersonic B-1B bomber, filled container sighting» Sniper «, was the» weapon of choice «for the U.S. Air Force in support of ground troops. Capable of striking even small targets with bombs and laser television guidance systems with a height of 10 thousand feet, the B-1B was used extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, «- Lavrov added.

Complexes «Sniper» and the ability to retrofit facilities make strategic B-1B and highly functional impact tool in the highest degree of combat readiness, although the formal features of it too outdated as our «Bekfayr.» Not the case funding park-1B remains at the highest level, despite numerous offers of Congress sequester costs.

So that the failure of Tupolev reserves candidacy — equipping the Tu-22M complexes SVP-24-22. If it will still be retrofitted bombers missiles Kh-32 and target designation system for sighting system seriously upgrade the engines and airframe, the «Bekfayr» martial abilities tightly closer to the South American B-1B.

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