Tupolev Tu-22m: Soviet/Russian Swing-Wing Heavy Bomber (Hardcover)
In the late 1960s, the patriarch of Soviet aircraft design, Andrey Tupolev, offered the Soviet air force a supersonic bomber to replace the 1950s-vintage Tu-22 Blinder with a less capable--but cheaper--alternative to the Sukhoi design bureau's proposed T-4 strategic bomber. Tupolev did not offer it as an "all-new" aircraft but, instead, passed it off as a "massive upgrade" of the Blinder. Thus was born the Tu-22M, Tupolev's first aircraft with variable swept wings and the ability to carry both bombs and supersonic cruise missiles. In the West, the new bomber became known as the Backfire.
- First flown in 1969, the aircraft entered production in 1972.
- The most widespread version was the Tu-22M3, which soldiers on today with the Russian air force.
- The Backfire has had an active career both in Cold War operations and in "hot" wars, from Afghanistan to Syria, where it has participated in the global war on terrorism.
- This book describes the Tu-22M's development, including the latest upgrades, and its Soviet and post-Soviet operations.
- Fleet lists are included, as is a detailed design description, and a wealth of color profiles and line drawings.
Yefim Gordon is an aviation journalist and photographer who has been researching Soviet/Russian aviation history for more than 40 years and has authored and coauthored more than 130 books on the subject. Dmitriy Komissarov has translated or authored/coauthored more than 80 books on Soviet/Russian aircraft and written numerous features for Russian and foreign aviation magazines.