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    Tu-160 "White Swan" #2

    GarryB
    GarryB

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    Post  GarryB Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:26 am

    I believe those are the original Kh-55's. The Kh-555's only entered service in 2004 and I think I scanned those pictures from the late 90's magazines. Any Kh-55SM's without saddle tanks would instantly be just a Kh-55.

    That is the thing... the saddle tanks actually look like they are attached... ie bolted on... they don't form one piece with the rest of the missile they actually look like a conformal added fuel tank to essentially make the shape of the missile triangular.

    I would assume the Kh-555 could be fitted with saddle tanks or not fitted with saddle tanks depending on the range to the target in question.

    I don't even know if the saddle tanks on all the missiles that carry them can be jettisonned when empty to reduce drag and RCS...


    The NK-32-02 engine is a modernized version of the standard NK-32 engine for the Tu-160, and is developed and manufactured by the Samara PJSC Kuznetsov (part of the PJSC United Engine Corporation of the State Corporation Rostec). The NK-32-02 is supposed to replace the NK-32 engines on the Tu-160 combat bombers upgraded to the Tu-160M ​​version (a total of 15 aircraft are supposed to be upgraded), and should also be installed on the new Tu-160M2 bombers (a total of 10 aircraft have been contracted) ...

    I find it crazy that the TU-22M3 uses a different engine that is a similar size and similar thrust with similar fuel consumption but it is different... and both aircraft are Tupolevs so it is not like it is a rival company using an engine from a different engine maker.

    They were planning to upgrade the Tu-22M3M to use the NK-32 engine but I think Vlad said they changed their minds... but I can't remember if that was for the prototype M3M or for all of them.

    Modification would mean an extra 120 engines could be used on the 60 upgraded planes... and the older NK-25 engines could be gradually retired.
    Mir
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    Post  Mir Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:45 am

    That is the thing... the saddle tanks actually look like they are attached... ie bolted on... they don't form one piece with the rest of the missile they actually look like a conformal added fuel tank to essentially make the shape of the missile triangular.

    I would assume the Kh-555 could be fitted with saddle tanks or not fitted with saddle tanks depending on the range to the target in question.

    I don't even know if the saddle tanks on all the missiles that carry them can be jettisonned when empty to reduce drag and RCS...

    They are indeed conformal tanks and aerodynamically shaped so that would likely help to keep the RCS relatively small. I have no idea if they are being able to jettison in flight but I doubt it. I would think that they use the internal fuel first and the switch to external but it could be the other way around? The Kh-555 is basically the Kh-55SM with a conventional warhead and has the same conformal fuel tanks fitted. The Kh-555 with the tanks and the Kh-101 with an even longer stand off range was used in Syria.
    Dorfmeister
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    Post  Dorfmeister Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:35 pm

    GarryB wrote:I find it crazy that the TU-22M3 uses a different engine that is a similar size and similar thrust with similar fuel consumption but it is different... and both aircraft are Tupolevs so it is not like it is a rival company using an engine from a different engine maker.

    They were planning to upgrade the Tu-22M3M to use the NK-32 engine but I think Vlad said they changed their minds... but I can't remember if that was for the prototype M3M or for all of them.

    Modification would mean an extra 120 engines could be used on the 60 upgraded planes... and the older NK-25 engines could be gradually retired.

    Except that you forget the main problem about the NK-32 on the Tu-22M3: this aircraft has NOT been designed to carry it. As much as it is easy to say "yeah let's put this engine on this aircraft" it is not that easy to actually do it.

    The main difference between the NK-25 and NK-32 is how they're fixed to the aircraft fuselage: if you want to put the NK-32 on the Tu-22M3 you need to fully redesign a big part of the fuselage just to be able to carry the new engines. Basically, it means creating a new aircraft with a helluva lot of money. And this is of no use for the Tu-22M3, russians have picked up the "middle" way (and IMHO, the "smart" one): they're reengineering the NK-25 by adding the NK-32's FADEC on it. Wink

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:29 am

    They were not going to install NK-32s on every Tu-22M3, they were seriously modifying the Tu-22M3M.... changes include new radar and engines as well as extended bomb bay and even some talk of a reduction to two crew with automated systems and improved avionics.

    They also reinstalled the IFR probe and a few other changes too.

    Having to upgrade and modify two different engines is probably not that much cheaper than just modifying one to keep it up to date and not worrying about the other...

    They have had several decades to sort this out of course...

    They don't need to redesign the entire aircraft... it is just remodelling the engine bays... they are already making other serious modifications to the Tu-22M3M upgrade anyway.
    d_taddei2
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    Post  d_taddei2 Thu Oct 07, 2021 8:48 pm

    Not sure how true
    The story of when the US tried to buy three Tu-160 strategic bombers for use as launch platforms for Pegasus Space Launch Vehicle
    https://theaviationgeekclub.com/the-story-of-when-the-us-tried-to-buy-three-tu-160-strategic-bombers-for-use-as-launch-platforms-for-pegasus-space-launch-vehicle/
    Mir
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    Post  Mir Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:26 pm

    There was a time when everything was for sale in Ukraine and its probably still true today. Fortunately Russia managed to salvage eight of the Tu-160's that were still in very good condition, but the 11 remaining bombers were unceremoniously scrapped with some eager US assistance. The real irony was that they were never meant to be stationed at Pryluky airbase in the first place. It was only a temporary measure due to construction work at Engles!  

    Pictured being stored at Pryluky.
    Tu-160 "White Swan" #2 - Page 2 Sbtu1611

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