The first flight of the prototype took place on 21st June 1958 and four years later, in the year 1962, it entered operational status. Unfortunately, the aircraft disappointed the militaries, because of the lack of intercontinental range. The Tu-22 was the first Soviet-made supersonic bomber aircraft, as its maximum speed is around 1510 km/h. Its engines are remarkably high mounted, directly at the vertical stabilizator.
History EditThe Tu-22 was developed to be the successor to the Tupolev Tu-16, to create a more survivable and faster bomber, with the goal to be less vulnerable to new NATO air defence systems. Production of the bomber started in the year 1961. Besides its main role, which is attacking ground targets, it was also used as a reconnaissance aircraft, over sea and land.
The Tu-22 was able to carry up to 25,400 kg of bombs, 1 9000 kg bomb or nuclear weapons.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, all Tu-22 have been passed over to Russia and Ukraine. It was also exported to Libya and Iraq. Seven of the Iraqi aircraft were shot during the Iraq-Iran War, the rest was critically damaged and then scrapped, the surviving Tu-22 were destroyed during the Gulf War.