shiv wrote:Was doodling distances on Googe Earth and it seems to me that there is very little of practical value that a 2500 km radius Tu 22 can do which cannot be achieved by a 1500 km radius MKI. Just my inference that whether you draw 2500 km (Tu 22) long lines or 1500 km long (MKI) lines they both either end in mid-ocean, in mid China or both sets of lines can reach Persian gulf entrance or Malacca straits from either mainland India or from Andamans.
Utility wise I am unable to see the difference. Unfortunately I need to find a tool that draws 2500/1500 km radius circles on a world map centered at various places like South India, North East India, Gujarat and Andamans to illustrate what I mean. My phree Googal earth does not do that
The range figures you have are probably lower estimates. The tu-22m3 likely has more than twice the range of the mki. Combat radius will be 3500-4000 without IFR not 2500. When I checked, this allows the backfire to cover an arc from sw Australia to Madagascar.
The range figures most sources tend to present are those of the older tu22 blinder or the m2s. The m3s actual range was never published by the Soviets who stuck to 2400km radius of the m2. But cryptically they did refer to an up to 45% increase in performance with the m3. All that is really known is that there was a newer engine with greater thrust and better sfc along with weight reduction and aerodynamic refinements allowing fit an increase in the top speed from 1800kmph for the m2 too 2300kmph for the m3. The ASRs required the bird to carry 3 kh22s or 24tons for 7000km and operate from runways no more than 1600m. I think the m3 came very close to achieving said figures, at least from known public records.
Do note that the backfire (tu22m)was derived from the tu145 model, totally different from the blinder. It was an out and out fast bomber at high altitude...2000 kmph, and was expected to provide a supersonic cruise range of 4000km and sub sonic, 8000km.
There was a lot of fud by the Soviets regarding the backfires range. As in the quote in my previous post....4000km combat radius..
I'd be surprised if the radius was only 1000km more than mki. Consider that it carries about 50tons of fuel internally and weighs just about as much empty. That is a very high fuel fraction. The mki otoh, carries about 55% of its empty weight in fuel.
Most of the above info is taken from yefim Gordon's work on the tu22 and tu22m