George1 wrote:What about standoff missiles like new Kh-59MK2?
George for what reason at world Russian Air Force should procure for itself the downgraded export version of its missile -the Kh-59MK2 with range limited within the limits of MTCR - when it has the domestical ,vastly superior, version of this same missile ?
George ,if you allow me to provide a little piece of advice, when you see the letter "K" in a russian weapon denomination don't put never this same weapon in any discussions about Russian Armed Forces,
The primary function of the Tu-22M3 was to carry large and heavy missiles (Kh-22M) for use against strategic radar and major SAM sites on land and at sea similar missiles for an anti ship mission.
Yes GarryB, but SEAD/DEAD missions ,for the land attack version of Kh-22 (in particular since beginnig of '80 years) was a very secondary role, like you well know the ,by far, most numerous land attack version of Kh-22 was the Kh-22MPSI with a 350 Kt warhead and a purpopsely designed dead reckoning system and preselected range detonator for optimise nuclear airbust detonation at several hundreds meters of altitude; this devastating weaopon with a range in excess of 550 Km when delivered by TU-22M at supersonic speed, was conceived ,clearly, for employment against large area fixed land targets full of "soft" targets (in particular Nato's C4, logistic resupply line and main airfields).
Soviets had always stimed NATO air defence network very,very,very poor and among the less dangerous menaces for theirs large scale offensive operation in Europe ; on the other hand, them had foreseen (at rerason...) that NATO ,being completely unable to manage the crushing conventional superiority of Soviet Forces in the continental theatre would have resorted to the employment of tactical nuclear weapons , theirs primary objective was therefore to quickly and efficiently neutralize all the "allowing" segments of NATO's strategic asset (like C4 , radar stations and ,above all, airfields ) positioned far from the closing menace of the advancing Soviet ground Forces ,employing extensively both balistic missiles,such as the RSD-10 Pioneer, and air delivered wide stand-off cruise missiles , such as Kh-22MPSI.