Talk has been made of starting up production again at Kazan to bring the number to 30.
Yes, I have seen that. I have been told that a central beam specially made from special al alloy is structurally central to the design and that was made in the Ukraine.
30 would make a much more viable force, and the improvements applied on its upgrade make it an excellent tool for the job. 45 tons of conventional ordinance if needed after the upgrade is a lot of bombs on targets.
Ka-50 production is ended once the already signed orders are finished.
Yes, sorry I wasnt very clear about that. They are finishing incomplete aircraft to make a viable force of Ka-50s in service. Armed with Hermes missiles they should be rather nice attack helos. Their coaxial design means they are more efficient in hot and high conditions so the few units of Ka-50s will probably be based in such places to take advantage of their design.
Tu-160 was developed long before the advent of Russian RAM coatings. This is a new thing only going on the Su-35BM currently in production. Tu-160 was not incorporated stealth technology...
I didn't mean stealth, I meant LO. It has reduced RCS. I have seen pictures of Su-25s in the 1980s with a coating of materials on it to reduce radar signature, and a book about the Tu-160 that describes interviews with the makers talking about the RCS reduction techniques they applied. Including RAM coating to the front engine fan blades.
It wasn't stealth, because stealth is expensive and it was always a cruise missile carrier and was never intended to penetrate air defences and fly over the target area... it was supposed to fly to its launch point and fire its cruise missiles well away from enemy fighters and SAMs. By the time the Tu-160 got to its launch point ICBM warheads and SLBM warheads will have dealt with any defences.
Kh-101 was tested a decade ago but came to naught. Its seeker technology was incorporated into Kh-555 which is now the mainstay LACM of the VVS. Kh-55 still used for nuclear.
That doesn't make sense? The guidance was good enough for a LACM but wasn't good enough to replace the existing main weapon?
The Kh-101 was the conventional CM while the Kh-102 was supposed to replace the Kh-55. Did it actually fail while having a guidance that was good enough for the Kh-555?
Sounds to me like they just saved money by using the new guidance with old missiles for a conventional capability and just kept the Kh-55 in service rather than producing Kh-102s for the nuclear option just to save money.
The Kh-101/102 were also rather larger and heavier than the Kh-55 so for example the Tu-95MS16 can carry Kh-55s in its rotary internal bay only and must carry the Kh-101/-102s externaly with 10 under the wings. The Tu-160 can carry 12 of either missile internally.
Do you know why it was considered a failure and can you say?
Tu-95 and Tu-160 also carry bombs. The modernisation incorporates this into the mission.
I thought the modernisation was unified between all three aircraft (Tu-95, Tu-22M3, Tu-160) and was supposed to add all sorts of guided bombs including satellite guided weapons.
Tu-22M3 is getting the bombing computer added to the Su-24SM, but not smart munitions. As the Su-34 comes online they will be withdrawn from service.
I thought the Su-34 only took over some of the shorter range roles of the Tu-22M3?
They will obviously have to rather increase their order of Su-34s and start making more than 2 a year then.
The withdrawl of the Tu-22M3 seems strange with it getting upgraded along with the Bears and Blackjacks, or has that been cancelled?
Also are Naval Aviation Backfires being withdrawn for Fullbacks too?
Tu-22M3 entered service in the early eighties and production ended in 1986. Its production facilities are long gone and no one wants to restart its production. As demonstrated over Georgia, it is highly susceptible to enemy fire so no one in command wants to bring it back as a bomber. Its best role is as a naval strike, it is the fear of all planners trying to keep naval parity. Hopefully it will serve long in this role until 2030.
It is such a big aircraft with presumably lots of potential. The size and power of electronic jammers you could fit to it and the other bits it could carry. Add to that good range and a four man crew it should have lots of potential.
Regarding its age, it is just a child compared to the US's B-52s. (an old joke about them is they are very good old aircraft... they have just had 3 new wings and 2 new airframes, and the avionics is all new too...
Nothing is more beautiful to watch than the White Swan floating over Red Square.
I have only recently seen photos of it taking off in AB and always impressed with its sleek shape.