Photo: RIA Novosti
Russian (Soviet) supersonic missile-bomber with variable sweep wing Tu-22M3 is actually a medium aircraft, not long range, writes The National Interest.
The American magazine noted that the machine can accommodate a maximum of 50 tons of fuel, allowing it to be removed from the airfield for a distance of not more than three thousand miles (there and back), which is far below the capabilities of the American B-1 Lancer, able without refueling to overcome 4.7 thousand kilometers (both ways).
The newspaper is skeptical about the possibility of using air tankers to refuel bombers. “The us military is developing more than 500 air tankers. The Russian military owns a total of 18 air tankers Il-78. One big RAID Tu-22M3 long distances can easily require the whole tanker fleet of the Kremlin,” writes The National Interest.
The publication concludes that at the present time, and also after upgrading Tu-22M3 “cannot and probably never will be able to reliably hit a target in the middle of the Atlantic.”
Over the past four years there have been four major accidents Tu-22M3. Victims of the latest incident in January of this year, were three of the four crew members.
In December 2018 at the airfield of Kazan aviation plant completed its first flight of the Russian submarine bomber Tu-22M3M.
Tu-22M3M created in the framework of the program of Tu-22M3. The defense Ministry will decide on the launch of a massive programme of updates of aircraft state testing results. In the case of successful tests to the level of Tu-22M3M modernize 30 Tu-22M3.
Video, photo All from Russia.