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Aerofax Tupolev Tu-16 BadgerVersatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber

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Tupolev Tu-16 BadgerVersatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber

Yefim Gordon and Vladimir Rigmant



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Tupolev Tu-l 6 BadgerVersatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber




Yefim Gordon and Vladimir Rigmant


An impdnt of

lan Allan Publishing

Tupolev Tu-16: Versatile Soviet Long-Range Bomber@

ContentslntroductionOriginal translation by Alexander Boyd Edited by Dmitriy Komissarov Line drawings by Vladimir Klimov and Andrey Sal'nikov Design concept and layout 2004 l,4idland Publishing and Sue Bushell@

2004 Yefim Gordon and Vladimir Rigmant

tsBN 1 85780 1 77 6 Published by Midland Publishing4 Watling Drive, Hinckley, LE10 3EY, England Tel: 01455 254 490 Fax: 01455 254 495



E-mail: Midland Publishing and Aerofax are imprints of lan Allan Publishing LtdWo

1 2 3


Tu- 1 6 Versions, Development

andSeriesProduction .....


Production & Experimental Bombers Special PurposeVersions . . .. . . . . .23

rldw ide d i stri b uti o n (except North Ame

ri ca)


lvlidland Counties Publications4 Watling Drive, Hinckley, LE10 3EY, England Telephone: 01 455 254 450 Fax: 01 455 233 737

E-mail: midlandbooks@compuserve,comwww.

Printed in England by lan Allan Printing Ltd Riverdene Business Park, Molesey Road Hersham, Surrey, KT12 4RG All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or photo-copied, recorded or otherwise, without the written permission of the publishers.

4 TheMissileCarriers ........36 5 Reconnaissance and ECM Versions.58 6 OtherVersionsandTestbeds ......74 7 Structural Description .....89 8 TheTu-l6inService .....103Appendix

American trade d i str i butt o n : Specialty Press Publishers & Wholesalers lnc. 39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056 Tel 651 277 1400 Fax: 651 277 1203 Toll free telephone: 800 895 4585 www.specialtypress.comN orth

ProductionList.... ...... ..125 Tu-l6FamilyDrawings ......... 136 . . . .145 The Tu-16 in Colour.

Title page: A pair of Tu-16K-10s is serviced in an earthen revetment at a Soviet Navy airbase,

Note the concrete blast dellector behind the aircrafi in lhe background. Yefim Gordon archiveBelow: Winter scene at a DA airbase as


'35 Red' (c/n 6203101) is prepared for a night sortie on a floodlit hardstand.Yelim Gordon archive


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- *s$f i'*"*'t'-# d'

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lntroductionThe second half of the 1 940s found the aircraft industries of the major world powers, the Sovietat American military bases in Europe and Asia,

range bomber, and currently all of them have

Union included, faced with the task of producing long-range bombers powered by turbojet and turboprop engines able to fly at cruising speeds close to Mach 1 while retaining the load-carrying and range capabilities of aircraft Iike the American Boeing B-29 Stratofortress or its Soviet analogue, the Tupolev Tu-4. This necessity was dictated not only by the cverallthrust of progress in aviation technology ilhe availability of gas{urbine engines and advancements in aerodynamics), the increased potential of fighter aviation (the wide-scale introduction of jet fighters capable of speeds around 1,000km/h) and air defence systems ,,vith long-range detection radars, but also by a new weapon - the atom bomb - which enabled a comparatively small number of bombers to rnflict catastrophic damage on an enemy. The United States was the Jirst to produce a

the political, economic and military centres of America's allies, and American and Britishnaval concentrations, particularly aircraft carriers which presented a particular threat to the USSR. lt would also be capable of attacking the transatlantic supply routes, without which the ability of America's European allies to fight a

been reconverted back to their original role. The British V-bombers were soon withdrawn due to design faults like the Valiant or reborn, until recently retired from service, as in-flight refuelling tankers like the Victor and Vulcan.The French Mirage lV nuclear bomber can, at a stretch, be classified in this way due to its comparatively small bomb load and relatively small radius of operation. Thus the USSR remained alone among the world's major powers, designing and bullding aircraft in the long-range bomber category with a persistence born of its unique geopolitical and techno-mjlitary situation, endowing them with ever new roles, and making them a permanent, potent and continually updated response in the ruthless military-political game with the West now known as the Cold War. For many years one of the most prominent pieces in this game of world chess was the Soviet Tu-16 long-range bomber and its numerous modifications. The Soviet Air Force Command began to formulate its requirements for a future longrange jet bomber immediately after the Tu-4 began to enter service. The category of longrange bomber powered by gas-turbine englnes with pressurised crew positions and the follow-

protracted defensive war against the USSRwould be highly problematical.

These naval and maritime considerations were, it should be said, cruclal for the USSR in developing its long-range bombers and then, from the late 1950s, equipping them to carry air-to-surface missiles. The need to counter the West's enormous naval superiority, both in size and expertise, demanded the development of a class of aircraft able to operate effectively against the surface vessels of a potential enemy over the expanse of the world's oceans. It is for this reason that the USSR, and the Rus-

iong-range bomber powered by gasturbine engines. The Boeing B-47 Stratojet, on which,,vork was

sia of today, has constantly produced and developed this particular type of aircraft - aIong-range bomber equipped with air-to-surface missiles

'./ulcan and Handley Page Victor

initiated in 1945, made its first flight in 't947 and achieved initial operational capability IOC) with the US Strategic Air Command in the early 1950s as a 'medium-range strategic ccmber'. It was followed by Great Britain with ,is trio of V-Bombers - the Vickers Valiant, Avro

- while its potential enemies in the

West have not. From the 1950s through the '1980s the Soviet Long-Range Air Force andNaval Air Forces were equipped with a steady


of such aircraft

(Tu-.l6, fu-22,

ing preliminary specification appeared inplanning tor 1947-48:Maximum speed atService


nedium-range strategic bombers, which served for many years as the basis for thetsritish nuclear deterrent. For the USSR the production of a long-range




u-22M), one of whose basic applications was against naval targets, particularly aircraft carriers with their formidable anti-aircraft defences.

ln the West the category of medium-range strategic bombers and air-to-surface missilecarriers gradually died out: the B-47 was retired in the 1960s, the handful of Convair B-58 Hus-

1,000m ceiLing


Range at optimum speed with

comber with an operational radius up to 3.000km was vitally important. Such an aircraft ,vould form an effective counter, able to strikeThe Boeing B-47 Stratojet (illustrated here by a 8-478 on take-off) was one of the aircraft that

3,000k9 bomb loadTime to reach 10,000m

6,000km10 minutes 1,200m

tler supersonic bombers were quickly withdrawn due to technical and design failings and

Take-off run Landing run Bomb load normal maximumCrew


replaced by


Iimited number



sparked the Tu-16's development.,ane's All the World's Aircraft

Dynamics FB-1 11As developed from the F-11 tactical fighter-bomber - but even these inadequately fulfilled the role of the extinct medium-

3,000k9 20,000k98

Tupolev Tu1 6

At the time when the

Tu'l6 came into being the piston-engined Tu-4 (illustrated by a Kazan''built example, c/n 220605) made up the backbone of the Soviet long-range heavy bomber force' lt was built at two ol the three factories which later produced the Tu-16. TuPolev JSCTwo views of the '82' (Tu-82), one of the Tupolev Design Bureau's first attempts to create a viable r82'never swept-wing iet bomber. Although the progressed beyond prototype status and was rather smaller than the Tu-'16, it provided design experience which proved invaluable during the development of the latter aircraft. Tupolev JSC