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    Tu-22M3: News

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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:11 am

    GarryB wrote:My understanding was that the new engines were supposed to be the NK-32s that are upgraded for the Tu-160, so these upgraded Tu-22M3Ms will have the same avionics and engines as the Tu-160... if that is the cheap option it is also the clever option.

    Having a different NK-25 engine with similar thrust and fuel consumption for Backfires to the engine used in the Tu-160 made no sense at all... I mean it is not even as if one is a Tupolev and one is a Sukhoi or MiG... normally the Soviets were smarter and more practical than this.

    It was originally proposed to add NK-32 but the cost was prohibitive so they went with the cheaper option of cannibalising engines. At this rate they will be gone by 2030.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  GarryB on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:26 am

    It is crazy... they are basically the same thing but slightly different.

    They were talking about making the Tu-22M3M into a two seater with a slightly longer weapon bay to allow Kh-50 and other similar mid sized cruise missiles compatible... the really sad thing is that if they were in external pods by the vertical tail fin it like the totally different Tu-22 it would be easier and cheaper to change them.

    I assume they worked out the cost of having to use a much bigger four engined strategic bomber for jobs like bombing in Syria...

    Ahh well, so their future plans are for PAK DA and Tu-160M2.

    So I would guess they would restore bombing capability to the Tu-160 and expand its weapons options perhaps?

    Do they have so much $ for at least 60 engines+20-30 spares for 30 Tu-22M3Ms? I doubt their performance will be so good over the current 1s to justify it.

    Well the NK-32s are getting money spent on upgrading them for the Tu-160M2, but they are not even producing more NK-25s so there is that...

    If they do build 50 Tu-160s that is 200 engines plus spares, so building 120 more for the 60 or so Backfires they will likely still have is not such a big deal...

    I mean they are testing the Tu-22M3M to carry Kinzhals, and of course the new Kh-32s are not really compatible with any other Russian aircraft at the moment either... so these are both pretty much dead ends that make engine upgrades pretty useful, but if they have already decided it is not cost effective... who am I to argue.

    Of course most of the Tu-22M3s will be VVS, while the Kinzhal armed models will be VKS and I suspect their budget would be rather bigger...

    If the US invades Iran and Oil goes to $200 per barrel then who knows what they will be able to afford....
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    Tsavo Lion

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Tsavo Lion on Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:09 am

    Only 30 Backfires will be modernized to M3s; the TU-160 is "Blackjack". https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/bear-blackjack-and-backfire-a-look-at-the-russian-bombers-alarming-europe-45444

    All r in VKS, formerly VVS and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces (PVO); the Frontal Aviation now has only Army ground attack planes & helos, & perhaps special mission aircraft.
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    Hole

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Hole on Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:25 am

    There is no Frontal Aviation anymore.
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    Stealthflanker

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Stealthflanker on Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:31 am

    Future looking good for Tu-22M3's. It would likely be workhorse of heavy bomber, saving hours for Tu-160 and 95's.

    Im curious tho if they ever really consider integrating the KAB-500-S-E or other precision bombs. Or maybe Kh-59MK2.
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    Isos

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Isos on Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:15 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    GarryB wrote:My understanding was that the new engines were supposed to be the NK-32s that are upgraded for the Tu-160, so these upgraded Tu-22M3Ms will have the same avionics and engines as the Tu-160... if that is the cheap option it is also the clever option.

    Having a different NK-25 engine with similar thrust and fuel consumption for Backfires to the engine used in the Tu-160 made no sense at all... I mean it is not even as if one is a Tupolev and one is a Sukhoi or MiG... normally the Soviets were smarter and more practical than this.

    It was originally proposed to add NK-32 but the cost was prohibitive so they went with the cheaper option of cannibalising engines.  At this rate they will be gone by 2030.

    You can't upgrade for ever. They need a new design to replace them. If pak da is suppose to be a new tu-160 then it is too much to replace also tu-22 with it. Tu-160 was already expensive. Pak da will be more.

    They need a new tu-22 replacement.
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    LMFS

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  LMFS on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:10 pm

    There is always the option of changing engines at a later phase when the current ones are done, who knows what they are planning? Modernization works never stop in Russia
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    Tsavo Lion

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Tsavo Lion on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:43 pm

    The old & continuously upgraded USAF B-52Hs will be re engined:
    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2018-04-13/usaf-fly-b-52-2050s-new-engines-radars

    TU-16/95/142/160s were flown & upgraded for decades:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-16#Variants

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xian_H-6#Developed_versions

    http://www.airvectors.net/avbear.html

    https://fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/russia_nukescurrent/tu95.html

    http://www.airforceworld.com/bomber/eng/tu95.htm

    https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2017/8/4/9412/

    The TU-22Ms have big upgrading potential for decades to come.
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:42 am

    Isos wrote:
    You can't upgrade for ever. They need a new design to replace them.

    No, they don't.  Airframes can be refurbished and upgraded as long as the basic airframe isn't suffering from structural integrity issues such as corrosion or metal fatigue.  Barring those, the only limit is cost effectiveness, ie how much combat capability is gained for how long and for how much.  

    The Tu-22M is a large potent aircraft with decades of upgrade potential. The only thing the retirement of the Tu-22M fleet would accomplish would be to please the USN...
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    Tsavo Lion

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:31 am

    Augmented by MiG-31s, it can also do CAPs armed with long range AAMs & act as an interceptor of tankers, AEWACes, MPA, transports, UAVs, & bombers, as what TU-128s did for the Soviet PVO, only better thanks to higher speed & ~3x more range & payload:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-28#Operational_history

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M#Specifications_(Tu-22M3)
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    GarryB

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:46 am

    Only 30 Backfires will be modernized to M3s; the TU-160 is "Blackjack"

    The Backfire, or Tu-22M3, has two 25 ton thrust jet engines called NK-25s.

    It is very similar to the 25 ton thrust NK-32s that the Blackjack has four of... similar size, similar weight, similar power, similar fuel consumption.

    The upgrade proposed over a decade ago was to upgrade all the Tupolev bomber/cruise missile carriers with the same avionics, the same radar and in the case of the Backfire and Blackjack jets the same engines. The Bear also has a jet engine in the form of a turboprop, but there were no plans to change that.

    The fact that they are going to upgrade 30 Backfires to Tu-22M3M level does not mean they will get rid of the other Tu-22M3s.

    The MiG-31K is not the latest upgraded version because all it will do is launch Kinzhal for the VKS.

    They are testing the Tu-22M3 with the Kinzhal too, and one suspects if that is successful there would be no need for this Tu-22M3M upgrade for any aircraft the VKS might use.

    If pak da is suppose to be a new tu-160 then it is too much to replace also tu-22 with it. Tu-160 was already expensive. Pak da will be more.

    They need a new tu-22 replacement.

    The PAK DA will replace the Tu-95 and the Tu-22M3.

    To replace the Bear you need a modest payload (9-12 tons of cruise missiles) over a very large range (12K kms or so).

    So lots of extra fuel plus some cruise missiles.

    For shorter range missions the same aircraft can reduce the amount of fuel it carries and carry more weapons, so it would replace the Backfire by having a larger payload of weapons over a shorter range... though the latter is not so important as it will have inflight refuelling anyway.

    The TU-22Ms have big upgrading potential for decades to come.

    Avionics that allow precision bombing with dumb bombs means it is a cheap effective system for the COIN wars most large countries and superpowers seem to get involved in.

    The only thing the retirement of the Tu-22M fleet would accomplish would be to please the USN...

    Exactly... its lower flight speed and ceiling compared with the MiG-31K reduce the performance of the Kinzhal, but being able to fly 2,000km and to operate there for a few hours before launching an attack and returning home adds a new dimension to its capability... and having to send 4 Tu-22M3s with 16 Kinzhals instead of 16 MiG-31s makes a serious difference in costs and capabilities... of course if you want the extra performance you could always send some MiG-31s to lead an attack with high performance kinzhals and some Backfires to clean up what is left...

    The potential is enormous with the Backfire... you could use it as a high speed inflight refuelling aircraft for Su-34s... put an enormous AESA radar in its nose with dozens of heavy long range air to air missiles from R-37M to S-400 and S-500 based missiles...
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    Tsavo Lion

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:40 am

    The Backfire, or Tu-22M3, has two 25 ton thrust jet engines called NK-25s. It is very similar to the 25 ton thrust NK-32s that the Blackjack has four of... similar size, similar weight, similar power, similar fuel consumption.
    Then why re engine TU-22Ms now, if those engines have similar specs & r still good? No word of it!
    The Bear also has a jet engine in the form of a turboprop,..
    It has pure turboprops; the high speeds & fuel economy r achieved by huge contra rotating variable pitch props. Tupolev chose it as there was no jet engine then for intercontinental
    range a strategic bomber required. The M-4 bomber had 4 jet engines but didn't have the range to come back w/o refueling. Later some were modified as tankers & VM-T transports.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myasishchev_M-4#Specifications_(M-4)
    https://fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/bomber/m-4.htm
    http://www.airvectors.net/avbison.html#m4
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myasishchev_VM-T

    hoom

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  hoom on Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:59 am

    Only 30 Backfires will be modernized to M3s; the TU-160 is "Blackjack". https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/bear-blackjack-and-backfire-a-look-at-the-russian-bombers-alarming-europe-45444
    This link says nothing about the number of Tu-22M upgrades.
    I believe the 30 number has been quoted elsewhere recently, not as a total though: an initial order for 30 doesn't preclude further orders.

    Though they might do something like with the Mig-31s where a bunch of older version are 'upgraded' for Kinzhal service mainly by ripping out obsolete gear.


    I'm still having issues coming to grips with the idea of Tu-22M carrying mach 4.5+ missiles since the '70s.
    Its kinda broken my idea of the balance of power over decades Shocked

    I remember reading stuff talking up the scariness of Backfires as a kid back in the late Cold war/early post but I'd assumed the missiles were only mach 2-2.5 like other Soviet era supersonics so while its a cool plane I've presumed they could only beat '80s Aegis with a big saturation strike.

    From recollection its actually only post 2000, maybe even post 2010 that Aegis has successfully demonstrated interception of Mach 3/3.5 missiles (drones based off Soviet missiles) so even though Russian sources quote a lower Mach 3.5 cruise & only hits Mach 4.6 in the terminal dive that still means Tu-22M/Kh-22 combo would have low probability of interception for at least 25yrs & is probably still pretty marginal affraid
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    Rodion_Romanovic

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Rodion_Romanovic on Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:09 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:
    The Backfire, or Tu-22M3, has two 25 ton thrust jet engines called NK-25s. It is very similar to the 25 ton thrust NK-32s that the Blackjack has four of... similar size, similar weight, similar power, similar fuel consumption.
    Then why re engine TU-22Ms now, if those engines have similar specs & r still good? No word of it!


    I agree, until there are serviceable engines with similar specs, it does not make sense, but it could be worth to consider when they will neee new engines or if they restart production. Anyway, the earlier versions of the Tu-22M had a different engine (I believe the NK-22), and the NK-25 was introduced for the Tu-22M3.

    By the way, where was the Tu-22M produced?

    Kazan?

    Do you believe they could restart production?

    P.S.
    If I think how many Tu-22M and Tu-160 has Ukraine scrapped in exchange for pocket money from US.....
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    franco

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  franco on Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:29 pm

    hoom wrote:
    Only 30 Backfires will be modernized to M3s; the TU-160 is "Blackjack". https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/bear-blackjack-and-backfire-a-look-at-the-russian-bombers-alarming-europe-45444

    All operational Tu-22M's are the M3 version. The planned upgrade of 30 aircraft is to Tu-22M3M version.
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:01 pm

    LMFS wrote:There is always the option of changing engines at a later phase when the current ones are done, who knows what they are planning? Modernization works never stop in Russia

    The modernisation work stops when they see the bill and revised downwards. At some point they will have to stop rejuvenating and start building new ones.
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Big_Gazza on Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:26 pm

    Tsavo Lion wrote:Only 30 Backfires will be modernized to M3s; the TU-160 is "Blackjack". https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/bear-blackjack-and-backfire-a-look-at-the-russian-bombers-alarming-europe-45444

    Re the Tu-160:
    According to Douglas Barrie, an analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, "less than half are likely operationally available at any one time."

    Err..  sorry but we're talking about the Tu-160, not the B-2.    tongue

    Re the Tu-95:
    The plane's old school design is a holdover from the its legacy as an upscaled knockoff of the U.S. B-29 Superfortress bomber

    Oh dear...  a swept-wing turbo-prop intercontinental bomber with a >900 km/hr max speed and 15,000 km range (first flown in 1952) is somehow a "knock-off" of a 9000 km range bomber first flown in 1943 that can't exceed 600 km/hr and only weights 1/3 as much...   Suspect

    Something tells me that the Moscow Times "experts" are confused with the Tu-4?   Very Happy

    Meh, do we expect better from the Moscow Times?  It's nothing but a foreign-owned fake-news online tabloid that caters exclusively for english-speaking expats and 5th columnist Russian liberals.
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    LMFS

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  LMFS on Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:47 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    LMFS wrote:There is always the option of changing engines at a later phase when the current ones are done, who knows what they are planning? Modernization works never stop in Russia

    The modernisation work stops when they see the bill and revised downwards.  At some point they will have to stop rejuvenating and start building new ones.  

    I meant that after this modernization round is over, they will start working on the next one. But yes, originally they were talking about the whole fleet with updated engines, probably the bill ruined the fun. The Saker has a recent article ( http://thesaker.is/making-sense-of-a-few-rumors-about-russian-weapons-systems/ ) on the self-inflicted PR damage Russian officials keep provoking by talking too lightly about certain military plans, I think he is rather right since the military plan seems logical but the way it is disclosed is rather clumsy many times, maybe I am wrong but this seems indeed a recurring issue as we are seeing with Su-57, T-14 etc etc. Anglo-Saxon world is obsessively PR-conscious, maybe Russians are simply not paying that much attention to this issue?

    Nevertheless they are restarting the Tu-160 which is more critical as strategic weapon. As a consequence of the new development you get the Tu-22M3Ms with updated avionics which is a nice add-on.

    Is there any reference to the status of the airframes in regards of operation hours left on them? I guess they have not been working too much during the 90's and early 2000's
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    PapaDragon

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  PapaDragon on Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:39 pm

    ...a recurring issue as we are seeing with Su-57, T-14 etc etc. Anglo-Saxon world is obsessively PR-conscious, maybe Russians are simply not paying that much attention to this issue? ....

    It's not about being PR conscious, it's about common sense.

    You don't hire idiots to do jobs that require basic intellect.

    And when one of them does something as stupid as Borisov did he should be instantly fired.

    People here (and beyond) get upset when MSM takes a dump on Russian military hardware. Up until now it was just journalistic nonsense.

    But from now on every time they do it it will not just be nonsense, it will be claims sourced and confirmed on record by Russian officials.

    Nonsense just became facts.
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    Hole

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Hole on Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:46 pm

    Yeah, and because all this russian officials are so dumb and incompetent they managed to equip their armed forces with 60%+ modern equipment in 6,5 years with less then a tenth of the money the western block spend in the same time for mostly obsolete weapons.
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    Tsavo Lion

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:32 pm

    Yes, the TU-4 evolved into TU-85 which influenced the TU-95/114/ 116/126 family:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-85#Specifications_(Tu-85/1)
    The US produced its B-29 derived B-36s & its B-47 derived B-52s
    which influenced the B-707,-747 & their derivatives:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convair_B-36_Peacemaker
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-52_Stratofortress#Design
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_707#Variants
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747#Variants

    The TU-16 influenced the Tu-104/124/134 family:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-16
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-104
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-124
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-134

    DC-3/LI-2 influenced the IL-12/14/18/20/22/38 family:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisunov_Li-2
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-12#Design_and_development
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IL-14
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-18
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-18#Variants

    DC-3 influenced the DC-4/6/7:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-3
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-4
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-6
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-7

    The AN-8 influenced the AN-10/12 & Y-8/9:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-8
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-10
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-12
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi_Y-8
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi_Y-9

    The Yak-25 influenced the Yak-28; Yak-38 influenced the Yak-141;
    Yak-40 influenced the Yak-42:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-25
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-28
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-141#Design_and_development
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-40
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-42

    The MiG-25 influenced the MiG-31:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan_MiG-31

    The T-4 influenced the TU-144:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_T-4
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-144

    The TU-22M is derived from the TU-22:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M#Development

    Russia plans to complete Tu-22M3s modernization program by 2019
    It was reported earlier that the Russian Defense Ministry was planning to modernize about 30 aircraft of this type by 2020.
    https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2016/1/12/4597/

    Prior to 2020 it is planned to upgrade 30 Tu-22M3 with new hardware components and adapted for the extended range weapons.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-22M

    According to the plans that have been announced, 30 TU-22M3s will have been modernized to meet the M3M standard by 2020. This aircraft is not classified as a heavy bomber and therefore is not covered by the New START treaty.
    https://southfront.org/upgraded-to-new-m3m-standard-tu-22-takes-to-sky-in-august/
    It's possible more will be upgraded later, time will tell!


    Last edited by Tsavo Lion on Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:15 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : add links, text)
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    Vladimir79

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:56 pm

    Hole wrote:Yeah, and because all this russian officials are so dumb and incompetent they managed to equip their armed forces with 60%+ modern equipment in 6,5 years with less then a tenth of the money the western block spend in the same time for mostly obsolete weapons.

    What constitutes 60% modern?
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    miketheterrible

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  miketheterrible on Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:23 pm

    Something that can compete and go toe to toe - Su-35, Su-30, Su-34, Tu-22m3m, T-90M, T-72B3M, etc etc.

    Rather out it, Russian systems faired quite well in Syria. Now there won't be tank vs tank head ons as much anymore. It will be atgms vs tanks mostly. Or aircrafts dropping guided or unguided munitions. Jet vs jet can still happen but I doubt Russia will venture far out of it's AD systems coverages.

    Artillery forces being also very important. Not modern though besides Iskander missiles and some Tornados. Rest is not modern (Smerch, etc).
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    Isos

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  Isos on Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:41 pm

    miketheterrible wrote:Something that can compete and go toe to toe - Su-35, Su-30, Su-34, Tu-22m3m, T-90M, T-72B3M, etc etc.

    Rather out it, Russian systems faired quite well in Syria. Now there won't be tank vs tank head ons as much anymore. It will be atgms vs tanks mostly. Or aircrafts dropping guided or unguided munitions. Jet vs jet can still happen but I doubt Russia will venture far out of it's AD systems coverages.

    Artillery forces being also very important. Not modern though besides Iskander missiles and some Tornados. Rest is not modern (Smerch, etc).

    You forget cruise missile like Kalibr or more globaly UKSK launchers which is clearly a big investment from russian MoD. That's the weapon to be first used in any conflict from now. Tested it in Syria and it passed all the tests.
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    GarryB

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    Re: Tu-22M3: News

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:36 am

    Then why re engine TU-22Ms now, if those engines have similar specs & r still good? No word of it!

    Because at the moment with, say, 60 backfires and 15 Blackjacks, they need 120 NK-25s... production and maintenance, plus 60 NK-31 engines production and maintainence, that are very similar but not interchangeable.

    They are going to have to make new NK-31s for the new Tu-160M2s they are building (if they build 50 aircraft that means at least 200 new engines... upgraded engines).

    If they want to improve performance of the Backfires they will upgrade the NK-25s... but they likely wont, because why upgrade an engine when you only need probably 60 engines for the upgraded Backfires... it makes more logical sense to alter the Tu-22M3M upgraded jets to take the NK-31 engines and just upgrade one engine and make 320 new engines for the upgraded backfires, the existing 15 blackjacks and the 50 new blackjacks...

    Instead it seems, they will just canabalise the NK-25 engines from the non upgraded Backfires and when they run out of engines retire the backfires...

    It has pure turboprops; the high speeds & fuel economy r achieved by huge contra rotating variable pitch props. Tupolev chose it as there was no jet engine then for intercontinental
    range a strategic bomber required. The M-4 bomber had 4 jet engines but didn't have the range to come back w/o refueling. Later some were modified as tankers & VM-T transports.

    I know.

    The Bear is the worlds fastest propeller driven aircraft and one of the few that actually benefits from having a swept wing.

    I'm still having issues coming to grips with the idea of Tu-22M carrying mach 4.5+ missiles since the '70s.
    Its kinda broken my idea of the balance of power over decades

    They haven't.

    They were mach 3 missiles back then. It was only in the 1990s that the Russians offered a mach 4.5 testing version of the missile using new more powerful propellents.

    The old missile did fly at 40,000m altitude to fly above USN SAMs and F-14 missiles...

    From recollection its actually only post 2000, maybe even post 2010 that Aegis has successfully demonstrated interception of Mach 3/3.5 missiles (drones based off Soviet missiles) so even though Russian sources quote a lower Mach 3.5 cruise

    Phalanx totally failed, and those mach 3 missiles were MA-31s which were based on the Kh-31 anti radiation/anti ship missile... they have not tested it against Granit.

    Of interest it took two R-33 hits to bring down a Granit in Russian testing...

    The plane's old school design is a holdover from the its legacy as an upscaled knockoff of the U.S. B-29 Superfortress bomber

    The B-29 is too slow to need swept wings.

    The amusing thing is that the backward WWII looking Bear is every bit as good as the B-52 in terms of performance, and they are much newer.

    The MiG-25 influenced the MiG-31:

    And the MiG-25 influenced the F-15 and F-22...

    The TU-22M is derived from the TU-22:

    No it wasn't.

    What constitutes 60% modern?

    Hard to say exactly, but a good rule of thumb... Russian rather than Soviet...

    Artillery forces being also very important. Not modern though besides Iskander missiles and some Tornados. Rest is not modern (Smerch, etc).

    Even a 1980s period Smerch was better than anything in service in NATO, so even without upgrade it could be considered modern...

    Perhaps a definition would be something eastern european countries would buy if they weren't such suckups to the west.

    A better definition would be something the UK or US or France would put in service if they made it...

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