The Renewed Tupolev Tu 22M Backfire Bomber Threat to the U.S. Navy – The Tupolev Tu-22M (also known as Backfire) is a long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by Tupolev for the Soviet Air Force. The aircraft is currently in service with the Russian Air Force and Russian Naval Aviation.
The Tu-22M was based on the design of the Tu-22 aircraft. The aircraft is primarily used to conduct nuclear strike and conventional attack operations. It can also be deployed in anti-ship and maritime reconnaissance missions.
The aircraft is provided with hard points to carry Kh-22 stand-off missiles, Kh-15 nuclear or Kh-15P anti-radar missiles and FAB-250 or FAB-1500 free fall bombs. The wing and fuselage pylons and internal weapons bay are provided with a capacity to carry 24,000kg of weapons payload. The aircraft is also armed with a double-barrelled GSH-23 (23mm) gun in remotely controlled tail turret.
The aircraft is fitted with PN-A/PN-AD bombing-navigation radar system, Argon-2 radar fire-control system and a TV-based backup optical bomb sight. The countermeasures are provided by a radar warning receiver, radio-frequency jammers, and updated defensive countermeasures gear.
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