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Tu-22 Tupolev
ASCC codename: Blinder
Intercontinental Strategic Bomber

The Tu-22 was designed as a supersonic bomber capable of high-speed dashes. The design featured an all-swept wing with large pods underneath containing the main landing gear, two engine pods mounted above the fuselage, and a crew of three seated in tandem. In a unique twist, the pilot position was fitted with an upward-ejecting seat while those of the other crewmen eject from the bottom of the aircraft.

The original Tu-22 demonstrated poor flight characteristics and disappointing range performance that did not live up to expectations. Inadequate range was partially rectified by development of the Tu-22K armed with cruise missiles. The basic design was later radically altered resulting in the much improved Tu-22M.

The Tu-22 saw action in a number of conflicts, including Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. A total of about 300 were built between 1960 and 1969, but few are believed to remain in service.

Data below for Tu-22
Last modified 28 February 2011

First Flight 7 September 1959
Service Entry



three: pilot, co-pilot, bombardier



Wing Root TsAGI SR-5S
Wing Tip TsAGI SR-5S

Length 139.75 ft (42.60 m)
Wingspan 77.10 ft (23.50 m)
Height 32.77 ft (23.50 m)
Wing Area 1,740 ft (162.0 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 88,183 lb (40,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 202,820 lb (94,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

22,050 lb (10,000 kg)

Powerplant two RKBM VD-7M afterburning turbojets
Thrust 70,550 lb (313.8 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 920 mph (1,480 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,200 m), Mach 1.4
at sea level: 555 mph (890 km/h)
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 43,635 ft (13,300 m) [supersonic]
60,040 ft (18,300 m) [subsonic]
Range 3,050 nm (5,650 km) with max fuel
2,650 nm (4,900 km) with max payload
g-Limits unknown

Gun one NR-23 23-mm cannon in tail turret (remotely controlled)
Stations one internal weapons bay
Air-to-Surface Missile (Tu-22K) Kh-22/AS-4 ASM
Bomb (Tu-22) up to 24 FAB-500 or one FAB-9000
Other unknown

Tu-22 'Blinder-A' First production bomber and reconnaissance model armed with free-fall bombs
Tu-22K 'Blinder-B' Missile-carrying version armed with Kh-22 air-to-surface missiles and equipped with a large guidance radar mounted under the nose
Tu-22R 'Blinder-C' Daylight reconnaissance model with six windows in the bomb bay for three pairs of long-range cameras, some airframes also had the 23-mm tail gun removed in favor of ECM gear or flares and IR sensors
Tu-22U 'Blinder-D' Trainer with the instructor seated in separate raised cockpit
Tu-22P 'Blinder-E'

Electronic countermeasures model based on the Tu-22R and equipped with many electronic intelligence antennae and electronic warfare pods


Uganda-Tanzania War (Libya, 1978-1979)
Kurdish uprisings (Iraq, 198?)
Chadian-Libyan War (Libya, 1986)
Afghanistan War (Soviet Union, 1979-1989)
Iran-Iraq War (Iraq, 1980-1988)


Belarus, Voyenno Vozdushnyye Sily (Belarus Air Force)
Iraq, Al Quwwat Al Jawwiya al Iraqiya (Iraqi Air Force)
Libya, Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Jamahiriya al Arabia al Libyya (Libyan Air Force)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Russia, Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskoyo Flota Sily Rossii (Russian Naval Aviation)
Ukraine, Viys'kovo-Povitriani Syly Ukrayiny (Ukraine Military Air Forces)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskoyo Flota (Soviet Naval Aviation)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 268.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 883.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 234-235.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Winchester, Jim. Military Aircraft of the Cold War. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2006, p. 232-233, Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder'.

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