The Tu-22 “Blinder” was a medium bomber that entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1962. The prototype, the 105A, had performed its first flight in 1959. The Soviet firm Tupolev produced only 311 Blinders. In the 1960s, several Tu-22s crashed due to technical problems, with fuselage overheating at supersonic speed being the main problem to solve. In the 1970s, Lybia and Iraq acquired this Soviet bomber, which first saw combat action in 1979, in the war between Lybia and Tanzania.
The Blinder, as it was called by NATO, was the first supersonic bomber deployed by the Soviet Union. It had swept wings mounted low on the fuselage and a conical nose that lodged a Rubin-1A navigation/attack radar. The Tu-22R version was powered by two Dobrynin RD-7M-2 turbojet engines that generated a dry thrust of 24,300 lbf. These jet engines were mounted on the aircraft’s tail above the fuselage.
One radar-controlled 23mm R-23 gun in tail turret; one Kh-22 “Kitchen” air-to-surface missile. Bombload: 9,000 kg.
Type: supersonic medium bomber
Wingspan: 23.17 m
Length: 41.6 m
Height: 10.13 m
Wing area: 162 m2
Rate of Climb: 80 m/s
Maximum speed: Mach 1.42 (1,510 km/h)
Range: 4,900 km