Tupolev-160 White Swan (Blackjack)

gadeshi

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Obsolete today because of lack of LO features.
It doesn't need LO features while it is double supersonic and carries 5000km ranged missiles.

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pmaitra

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It doesn't need LO features while it is double supersonic and carries 5000km ranged missiles.

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Hello, how are you? You remember how some Tupolev-160s were stranded at Priluki after the collapse of the USSR? I will post later on how some Ukrainains and their Amerikanski Gasts tried to block the transfer of these stranded Tupolev-160s from Priluki to Engels.
 

pmaitra

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Transfer of Tupolev-160s from the Ukraine to the Russian Federation


Tupolev-160s stranded in Priluki

The Tupolev-160 received its first operational capability with the 184th Poltavsko-Berlinsky Red Banner GvTBAP (Guards Heavy Bomber Regiment). It was located in the city of Priluki, Chernigov Region, in the Carpathian Military District, in the Ukraine (formerly Ukrainian SSR), but reported to the 201st TBAD (Heavy Bomber Division), in the city of Engels, Saratov Region, in Russian Federation (formerly Russian SFSR).

As the USSR collapsed, new Tupolev-160s were still being produced. The first brand new Tupolev-160 produced after the collapse of the USSR was delivered to TBAP in February, 1992.

Events in the Ukraine

In the spring of 1992, the Ukrainian government began to deliver the oath of allegiance to the military units in Ukraine. This sparked off an exodus amongst the military staff from the Ukraine to the Russian Federation. A large portion of the ground staff located in Priluki transferred to Engels, so that they could serve in the Russian Armed Forces, after having refused to swear allegiance to the Ukraine.

While initially a matter of pride for the Ukraine, it soon realized that the Tupolev-160 was an expensive aircraft to maintain. Here are some reasons that provided challenges to the new Ukrainian government:
  • For example, the Tupolev-160 needed 170 tons of kerosene for a maximum-range flight, and 40 tons of kerosene for a training flight.
  • Additionally, the Ukraine did not have target ranges of its own.
  • Moreover, the Tupolev Design Bureau was located in the Russian Federation, while the aircraft factory was located in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russian Federation.
  • The landing gear was made in Yaroslavl, Russian Federation, and the NK-32 turbofans were made in Samara/Kuibyshev, Russian Federation.
  • The engine oil, IP-50, needed for the NK-32 turbofans were produced only in Azerbaijan.
  • Eventually, only a small number of pilots remained in the Ukraine capable of flying this aircraft. Moreover, fuel shortages ensured that they could fly only four or five times a year.
At this point, the Russian Federation’s 5 Tupolev-160s were more potent than the Ukraine’s fleet of 19 Tupolev-160s.

Unnecessary burden

In March 1993, a Ukrainian official located in Moscow, V. Zakharov, remarked, “the Ukrainian Armed Forces have no missions which these aircraft could fulfil.” Only few choices were left with the Ukraine: transfer these aircraft to the Russian Federation, or have them scrapped.

The Russian Federation began negotiations to retrieve these Tupolev-160s from the Ukraine, along with the Tupolev-95MS stranded in the Ukraine. Negotiations were started.

The Russian Federation offered $25 million for each Tupolev-160, but the Ukraine demanded $75 million apiece. The negotiation was unsuccessful.

Again, the Russian Federation offered tactical aircraft and spares in exchange for the Tupolev-160s. Again, the negotiation was unsuccessful.

American spanner in the wheel

The negotiations continued till 1995. The Russian Federation needed these aircraft badly. This, however, was not in the interests of the USA. The US State Department tried to exploit whatever anti-Russian sentiment existed in the Ukraine, and started pressurizing Kiev. They wanted quick implementation of the conditions of the START-II Treaty. One condition in this treaty was for the USSR to dismantle its strategic bombers by December 4, 2001.

There were tensions between Moscow and Kiev. Many people in the Russian Federation were convinced that the Ukraine was deliberately dragging their feet, and would rather let the bombers rot away than sell them to the Russian Federation.

US Senators Samuel Nunn and Richard Lugar got the US Congress to approve and fund the Nunn-Lugar Programme. This allocated funds for the destruction of the Ukrainian Tupolev-160s and Tupolev-95MSs. The total amount of funds, as reported by various sources, was either $8 million or $13 million.

On November 16, 1998, the first Tupolev-160, 24 Red, was ceremoniously broken up in the presence of Senators Richard Lugar and Charles Levin, which only had 466 hours total time since new (TTSN). In other words, the US wanted to destroy the newest Tupoelv-160s first. The second Tupolev-160 to be destroyed was the 14 Red. This has less than 100 TTSN. The US aerospace company Raytheon supervised this carnage.

The initial plan was amended and the new plan was to destroy 16 Ukrainian Tupolev-160s while sparing 3 Tupolev-160s, and that the latter would be modified for suborbital launch systems. The US Company Platforms International Corp, was to convert these bombers for the Pegasus SLV placing satellites into Low Earth Orbit. The price of these three Tupolev-160s was just $20 million. This is in contrast with the $25 million apiece that the Russian Federation had offered the Ukraine earlier in the negotiations.

The Russians blow the whistle

The Russian Federation alarmed at the possibility of any one of the Tupolev-160s falling in the hands of the US. Moreover, such a transfer would violate the START-II Treaty. This found support in Washington. In any event, the US tried all it could to prevent the transfer of the remaining Tupolev-160s to the Russian Federation. These attempts ultimately failed and in August 1999, the Ukraine and the Russian Federation drafted an agreement for the transfer of 8 fully serviceable Tupolev-160s to the Russian Federation.

The Russians begin to take charge

On September 6, 1999, the then Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir V. Putin signed the directive and approved the draft. An interdepartmental group was formed headed by Aleksey L. Koodrin, the first deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian side was headed by Vice-Minister of Economics, V. S. Choomakov.

On October 8, the Ukrainian and Russian sides signed a formal agreement for the transfer of the Tupolev-160s, Tupolev-95MSs, cruise missiles, and support equipment. The Ukraine had an outstanding debt of $275 million to the Russian Federation for gas deliveries, which the Ukraine did not have. Therefore, they had to agree to this deal. The total value of the aircraft and equipment was $285 million.

On October 20, 1999, 65 men led by Maj. Gen. Pyotr D. Kazazayev, flew to the Ukraine in an Ilyushin-78 (tanker version of the Ilyushin-76) to take charge of the newly acquired aircraft and equipment.

The transfer

Tupolev-160, 10 Red, was the first aircraft to be transferred from Priluki, the Ukraine, to the Russian Federation. Most of the aircraft had not flows for three or four years. Yet, it was noted that they were in largely good condition. These aircraft had 90% of their designated life remaining. All the aircraft were fully equipped and came with their own user manual and other papers.

The transfer was further hindered by various factors. For example, the first Tupolev-160, which was meant to be transferred on October 28, 1999, was to be towed to the runway by a KrAZ-255B1, but the tires of the KrAZ-255B1 were totally worn out and offered no traction. They eventually put the KrAZ-255B1 and an UralAZ-375D together to perform the task. Moreover, the Ukrainian authorities did not give permission for take-off until after a diverted Ukrainian Ilyushin-78 had landed at Priluki.

On this day, one Tupolev-160 and one Tupolev-95MS was ready for take-off to the Russian Federation. At this point, the Ukrainians, regretting the deal, denied permission to fly for three days on trumped up excuses. Luckily, the Ukrainian Air Force Commander-in-Chief Col. Gen. Viktor I. Strelnikov intervened and resolved the problems.

upload_2017-10-28_23-34-42.png

Maj. Gen. Pyotr D. Kazazayev

Clearance was finally given on November 4, 1999. The Ukrainian Border Guards arrived, but the customs officials did not. The crew were sitting in the aircraft for an hour. Soon, one of the aircrafts APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) cranked up followed by the engines. Immediately, a car with the customs officials arrived. They were confronted by another car, driven by Maj. Gen. Kazazayev. Kazazayev and the customs officials stopped their cars and got out. The customs officials demanded why the aircraft was starting up without customs inspection. In no mood to entertain their arrogance, Kazazayev replied “What took you so long? You might as well have come at midnight.” At this point, the customs officials cancelled the take-off and took off. However, the next day, around 10 am, a ‘big brass’ of the Ukrainian Air Force command arrived and gave a thorough dressing down of the customs officials. Soon, the aircraft was able to take off and head towards the Russian Federation.

A lot of repair and replacement of parts of these Tupolev-160s were carried out by Russian servicemen and engineers, with supplies of spare parts delivered by an Ilyushin-78 from the Russian Federation.

All 11 Tupolev-160s covered by the agreement had flows to the Russian Federation by the end of January, 2000.

Reception

At Engels, there was a grand reception, when these Tupolev-160s arrived. The last of the aircraft to land at Engels were Tupolev-160s 11 Red and 18 Red. Some of these aircraft had the Soviet red start painted over by either the Ukrainian coat of arms or a poorly done grey pentagon.

While the aircraft were in fairly good condition, all of them were given an overhaul at its birthplace in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russian Federation.

upload_2017-10-28_23-35-59.png

Raising the Russian flag on arrival at Engels, Saratov, Russian Federation.

upload_2017-10-28_23-36-51.png

Airmen of the Russian Air Force and their wives greet the Tupolev-160s arriving from Priluki, the Ukraine, at Engels, Saratov, Russian Federation.

Source:
Book entitled “Tupolev Tu-160” by Yefim Gordon, and Dmitriy Komissarov.
 

Akim

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@gadeshi and @Akim, please share your thoughts on this. Personally, I wish all of these beautiful birds survived. I am glad, many of them were spared the carnage.

More accounts to follow.
I do not know much about aviation, so I did not follow their history. Russia bought from Ukraine how much she needed Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-142. It was a decision between the US and Russia about how much each side can have a number of strategic bombers. The remaining aircraft were disposed of or handed over to museums.
 

pmaitra

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“Blackjack” vs “Bone”

The Tupolev-160 sans suffixe was nicknamed the “White Swan,” however, it was also nicknamed the “Blackjack,” by the west. On the other hand, Rockwell B-1 sans suffixe was called “B-One,” which morphed into the nickname “Bone,” although it did have a nickname, the “Lancer.” Both aircraft have a striking similarity in shape, and therefore, it is an interesting subject to compare and contrast these two beautiful masterpieces of aviation.

Rockwell B-1A

The Unites States of America wanted a long range supersonic bomber aircraft that would be capable of penetrating Soviet or Warsaw Pact airspace and deliver nuclear warheads. This gave birth to the Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft (AMCA) programme. Rockwell and Boeing competed for this programme, and Rockwell was chosen as the winner on December 8, 1969. On December 23, 1974, B-1A number one had its first flight.

Rockwell began building the experimental airframes at Palmdale, California, USA. Several experimental models were built. This programme faced several challenges.
  • The programme costs mounted.
  • The B-1A was considered vulnerable to the MiG-31 interceptor.
  • Ballistic missiles were seen as a more reliable way of delivering nuclear warheads.

On June 30, 1977, President Jimmy Carter cancelled the B-1A programme. A cheaper option was selected, i.e., the B-52 fleet was chosen for an upgrade, because it would then be capable of delivering hundreds of Boeing ALGM-86B (ALCM) cruise missiles. Five B-1As were planned to be built, but only four experimental aircraft were built. These were B-1A: 1-74-0158, 1-74-0159, 1-74-0160, 1-76-0174; while the fifth, was cancelled, and parts that were built were used in the first B-1B aircraft. Thus, Rockwell B-1A remained an experimental aircraft.

Rockwell B-1B

In December, 1979, the Soviet-Mujahideen War started in Afghanistan. The United States became aware of USSR’s strategic bomber programme. It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Aircraft Industry (MAP) of the USSR has already asked the Myasishchev Design Bureau to start work on a strategic bomber in 1968. The US Department of Defence decided to revive the B-1 programme.

The new aircraft was the Rockwell B-1B. This was a diluted and less lethal version of the Rockwell B-1A. However, the Rockwell B-1B was not entirely inferior to the Rockwell B-1A. Transforming the B-1A to B-1B, the engineers worked to reduce the RCS of the aircraft. The B-1B got more efficient engines, the General Electric F101-GE-100 (alternative source: YF101-GE-100; later tweaked to F101-GE-102) afterburning turbofans. The B-1B was able to use less Titanium than the B-1A, and as a consequence, the take-off weight of the B-1B was 217,000 kg compared to the B-1A’s 180,000 kg. The B-1B also had fixed air intakes, thus restricting its top speed to Mach 1.25 compared the B-1A’s Mach 2.2. Moreover, when President Ronald Reagan assumed office, he reduced the total order to 100 units, less than half of the originally intended 244 units.

Tupolev-160 and Rockwell B-1B together

For the first time in history, the two aircraft, the Tupolev-160 and the Rockwell B-1B, were seen side by side. This happened on September 23-25, 1994, at Poltava Air Base, the Ukraine.

upload_2017-11-5_21-19-57.png

A schematic comparison of the size of the Tupolev-160 and the size of Rockwell B-1 sans suffixe.

Crew

Both aircraft have a crew of 4. The difference is that the Tupolev-160’s Navigator and Weapons System Operator (WSO) who was supposed to know about navigation as well, are replaced by the Offensive Systems Officer and the Defensive Systems Officer in the B-1B.

Stabilizers

In Tupolev-160, the horizontal stabilizers are all-movable, just like in B-1B. However, in Tupolev-160, the vertical stabilizer is also all-movable, while in B-1B, it is not; instead, it has conventional two-section inset rudder. Additionally, the B-1B’s vertical stabilizer is augmented by small all-movable canards.

Low-Altitude Flight

The aforementioned canards are not present in the Tupolev-160. The Tupolev-160 was not designed for low-altitude penetration. The B-1B, however, was, and therefore, they were equipped with these canards. These are called the Low-Altitude Ride Control (LARC) vanes, which is also called Structural Mode Control System (SMCS).

Engine Thrust

The Tupolev-160 has an aggregate thrust of 100,000 kgp (4 × Kuznetsov NK-32 with 25,000 kgp each) while the B-1B has an aggregate thrust of 42,440 kgp (4 × General Electric F101-GE-102 with 10,610 kgp each).

Speed

The Tupolev-160 was equipped with variable supersonic air intakes, while the B-1B had fixed air intakes. As a result, the Tupolev-160 can cruise at Mach 1.5 while the B-1B is limited for Mach 1.2 for reasons of structural integrity.

Aerodynamics

The Tupolev-160 is significantly larger than the B-1B, and therefore, it manages to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency compared to the B-1B. The cockpit of the Tupolev-160 blends well into the fuselage, while the cockpit of the B-1B offers a bulbous shape. Eliminating the bulbous shape would have made the cockpit of the B-1B cramped. In other words, if both the aircraft were the same size, the Tupolev-160 would have less drag than the B-1B.

Crew Comfort

As an extension of the aforementioned point, the cockpit of the Tupolev-160 offers more headroom than the cockpit of the B-1B. One reason for this is the nose wheel well of the B-1B takes up space from the cockpit. Apart from this one difference, both aircraft offer more or less the same amount of crew comfort.

Variable-Geometry Wings


Both the aircraft have variable-geometry wings, i.e., both are swing-wing aircraft. The Tupolev-160 has a minimum sweep of 20˚ and a maximum sweep of 65˚ while the B-1B has a minimum sweep of 15˚ and a maximum sweep of 67˚ 30’.

upload_2017-11-5_22-19-31.png

Pictures of in-flight Tupolev-160 (right) and Rockwell B-1A (left) , both at (near) maximum wing-sweep, highlighting the movable-wing-fixed-wing joints with the wing-fences in the former.

A notable difference between the two wings is the high-lift device built in the Tupolev-160 that the B-1B lacks. This high-lift device is the wing-fence where the movable wing meets the fixed-wing that blends into the fuselage. This is present on both the sides. As the sweep angle is increased, the wing fences rise up and force the airflow in a straighter direction.

Weapons Carriage

The Tupolev-160 has two internal weapons bays while the B-1B has three smaller internal weapons bays and six external hard-points. The weapons load of the Tupolev-160 is 40,000 kg while the B-1B has a weapons load of 34,000 kg.

Fuel and Range

The Tupolev-160 has a fuel load of 171,000 kg and a range of 12,300 km, while the B-1B has a fuel load of 88,450 kg and a range of 10,400 km.

Service Ceiling

The Tupolev-160 has a service ceiling of 15,000 m, while the B-1B has a service ceiling of 15,240 m.

Is Tupolev-160 sans suffixe a copy of Rockwell B-1 sans suffixe?

The Rockwell B-1A programme began in 1969. The Tupolev-160 programme had already begun towards the later part of the Tupolev-144 programme, however, the present shape of the Tupolev-160 was originally achieved by the Myasishchev Design Bureau, as is evidenced by the Myasischchev M-18. Myasishchev Design Bureau began work in 1968, one year before Rockwell. This, in turn, is not sufficient evidence to conclude that the Rockwell B-1 is a copy of the Myasischev M-18. Similarly, Rockwell B-1’s precedence to the Tupoelv-160 is not sufficient evidence that the Tupolev-160 is a copy of the Rockwell B-1.

Patriotic, and oftentimes emotionally illogical claims from the United States and the former Soviet Union aside, a reasonable explanation would be that the laws of physics are same everywhere. Given that both the countries had more or less the similar requirements, and given that both the countries spent time optimizing their designs, they both arrived at a design that is more or less similar, or identical to the layman’s eyes. As the saying goes, “form follows function.”

Source:
Book entitled “Tupolev Tu-160,” by Yefim Gordon, and Dmitriy Komissarov.
Book entitled “The Big Book of X-Bombers and X-Fighters,” by Steve Pace.
 

pmaitra

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8 photos of the Tu-160M2, the new long-range super bomber that Russia just unveiled [1 of 2]


Tu-160M2.


Russia unveiled the new Tu-160M2 White Swan — codenamed Blackjack by NATO — on Thursday.


It's an upgrade to the Tu-160M, which entered Russian service in 2014.



The original Tu-160 first entered Soviet service in 1987.


The Tu-160 is often compared to the US' B-1B Lancer.


Its full capabilities are still unknown, but other than keeping the same frame, it will reportedly be a much different aircraft.



It will reportedly have a new engine — four of the NK-32 02 series seen below — which will add 600 miles to its flying range.
 

pmaitra

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8 photos of the Tu-160M2, the new long-range super bomber that Russia just unveiled [2 of 2]


It will also reportedly have new avionics, sensors, and communications equipment.




Including improved inertial, satellite, and astro-navigation equipment. An active electronically scanned array radar will be to able to detect targets at longer ranges and with better accuracy.




It will also most likely be fitted with a new KRET defensive suite.



The new Tu-160M2 will probably be used for the same kind of missions as the older Tu-160M version, and carry the same Kh-101 and nuclear Kh-102 cruise missiles.



Russia hopes to buy at least 50 of the new Tu-160M2s.


Video:
 

Photon

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Made from scratch the Tu-160M first climbed into the sky
🛫

The flight of the updated strategic rocket carrier lasted 30 minutes, during this time the crew of test pilots tested the stability and control of the aircraft in the air.
The Tu-160 is the largest and most powerful super-sound aircraft in the history of military aviation with a changeable wing geometry. Today at Kazan Aviation Plant, a full cycle of Tu-160 production was restored, but already in the "M" modification, using upgraded engines and aircraft control systems, navigation systems, weapon control systems.
For the reproduction of unique aircraft, the technology of vacuum welding titanium products has been restored, the creation of aircraft planner units has been renewed, a new cooperation from the leading industrial metalurgery enterprises has been formed, Aviation, mechanical engineering and hardware industry, most of which are included in Rosteh.
In addition, as part of this program at Kazan Air Plant, more than 40 percent of the workshop equipment was upgraded and the world's largest electronic welding and titanium vacuum agitation was also launched.
 

Tshering22

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I do not know much about aviation, so I did not follow their history. Russia bought from Ukraine how much she needed Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-142. It was a decision between the US and Russia about how much each side can have a number of strategic bombers. The remaining aircraft were disposed of or handed over to museums.
Ukraine shouldn't have given away her bombers and nuclear weapons. Keeping them would have also compelled your government to work towards developing the economy, since maintaining nukes costs money.
 

Akim

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Ukraine shouldn't have given away her bombers and nuclear weapons. Keeping them would have also compelled your government to work towards developing the economy, since maintaining nukes costs money.
This is a versatile question. Personally, I am not a supporter of nuclear weapons. We had a fairly powerful component of the conventional army and it needed to be modernized.
There will be no winners in a nuclear war.
 

Tshering22

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This is a versatile question. Personally, I am not a supporter of nuclear weapons. We had a fairly powerful component of the conventional army and it needed to be modernized.
There will be no winners in a nuclear war.
Agreed that there are no winners in a nuclear war. But it is a deterrent for the enemies to attack. Someone who attacks without provocation often has a lot to lose and simply wants to add you as his/her assets. The first thing that Ukraine should have done was to encourage outsourced manufacturing of heavy engineering equipment from France, Germany & UK and leveraged its Soviet industrial base.

Had you done that for 20 years, today your economy would have been strong enough to modernize the forces expeditiously. The woes of a democracy is that it breeds corruption and is unsuitable for countries that have just emerged from destruction/civil war/dissolutions.
 

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