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Myth dispelled: Tu-160 Blackjack = copy of B1 Lancer?

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posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 04:58 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466
Orca71,

I despise people who assume that the obvious (U.S. original design theorem copied 'slavically' as an endemic Uncle Sam prideful prejudice rather than an underlying truth) and try to prove the opposite without compareable proofs.

For such evidentiary proof DOES exist. But since it would rain fire and brimstone if /I/ published on the net copyrighted material from _Modern Combat Aircraft, B-1B_ by Mike Spick, I can only say that there are both drawings and models both similar and different from the Russian ones dating from _1961_ when the SLAB studies began. That in fact these systems progressed through multiple 1963-67 iterations as the AMP, LAMP, AMPSS, ERSA, and AMSA _before 1968_.

While we dithered on high/low, fast, slow in the wake of FGP's little misshap.

>>
There really isnt any way to know who knew what when as designs are often sketched out and studied many years before prototypes are built and tested. But given

Tu-160 B-1B

Length, m: 54.1 44.5 (82%)
Height, m: 13.1 10.4 (79%)
Wing span, m: 55.7 41.8 (75%)
Wing loading, kg/m²: 743 816
Weight empty, kg: 110,000 86,183 (78%)
Weight max, kg: 275,000 214,650 (78%)
Max fuel & payload, kg: 165,000 128,467 (78%)

Essentially the Tu-160 is about 28% larger and has about 28% more capability but has about 25% lower wing loading with a similar load.
>>

I have already stated that the Tu-160 is a superior aerodynamic solution (larger fixed glove percentage of total wingarea among other things). Why shouldn't it be when the B-1_A_ was effectively a medium theater strategic platform much closer in design point to the B-58 or Tu-22M than anything remotely similar to the true intercontinental bombers like the Bear or BUFF?

>>
While the larger and much more powerful Tu-160 should handle better at both high and low speeds with significantly superior payload and range, the smaller B-1B is faster at sea level and, with different engines, could be faster at high altitudes as well.
>>

360,000lbs MTOGW for a _supersonic_ bomber with an intended goal of replacing the B-52 as a strategic penetrator is a complete joke, even with the original engine/inlet combination and 'mostly high' mission profile. Even with a 'one way trip' SIOP reality. Taking that gross up to 420,000lbs (taxi limit) out of 477,000lbs max gross is just begging for trouble when you are operating with a VG system that _retracts wing area with Mach point_.

To the extent that you simply cannot fly fast enough, as a function of cruise thrust, to offset the deficiencies of wingloading on accelerative stall, density height and combat ceiling.

Indeed, even the 'other justification' used for VG, takeoff roll, is also in fact /inferior/ by dint of wing area, wing loading and thrust to weight ratio comparison to the very jet it is designed to replace.

And that's with TF33s!

If you want to talk 'more power' talk Trents. Now you get an honest 10,000 mile platform, unrefueled, out of the BUFF. And enough takeoff thrust to meet all hot-high conditions, irrespective of payload:fuel fractions (the Buff can haul a heckuva lot more gas than the Bone can and it can carry CM which are about the only /useful/ [non escorted, reactionary] MISSION role that bombers now can mount).

Could a similar capability enhancement (along the lines of the TF39 in the C-5 have been drawn up using 1960's technology base instead of the utter waste that was and is the B-1 mission system approach?

Damn straight and for a quarter of the money.

So we're right back at: "Why copy a design which has so many faults in it _if_ you can come up with better on your own?"

Why not a flying wing as represented our 'next' superior configurational approach? Why not an efficient supersonic cruise platform like a Tu-144 X 1.5?

It is because, conceptually, the Russians were _stunted_ in their ability to select independent development paths for 'equivalent' roles which they let U.S. determine for them.

If you've ever read _Illusions Of Choice_ you will see that this is largely a function of Cybernetic/Cognitive Design philosophy as affected by an ultra conservative user organization 'trained from birth' to avoid complexity in defining a preset group of standardized scenario/mission templates.

Irrespective of whether they do the job better or if indeed 'the job' needs doing at all.

Along with little-boy-stamps-foot squddian snootiness, this process of failure to analytically look at a mission platform was what ruined the F-111.

But that's /our/ excuse. What's the Russians?

Why.

Didn't the Russians /once/ develop a non-mirror platform with similar mission? Or indeed a -mission- which had _no direct U.S. equivalent_.

Preferring instead to stick with the sloppy analytics approach of 'same mission, same techbase, same solution' excuse for a lack of creative as much as engineering integrity in that one activity which, more than any other, rewards innovation and deviousness.

Indeed, even if you adopt the 'playing black' argument, The Russian Position should itself indicate an unlikely preference for following a trodden path because IF YOU CHOOSE to wait on someone else's developmental technology _coalbed_ to come up with solutions which you copy or steal at the materials/component system level -before- integration with your own platform concept.

Shouldn't your equivalent techbase be better that the otherguys when you start? Shouldn't your 'solution' be more along the lines of blocking or going around his rather than simply lockstep matching him on a 'Tsar Pushka' basis?

Ahhhhh. But it ain't and it wasn't and they didn't. And therein lies the rub inherent to the 'Russians aren't plagiarists!' argument.

No sirree bob. Not by half.

Which is where our own tendency to let herd-speak determine things by dint of historical agreement gets equally annoying because one cow starts the lohing process and then 'by mutual moo' consent, it becomes an indisputable fact.

A tendency to conformance which is so close to the way the Russians thought that it's truly scary.


KPl.


It wasnt so much conformance as fear and fear leads to reactionary thinking. Fear that the US and the rest of the Western world is going to blow them into oblivion while they sleep. As a result, everything we did, they felt they had to show an equal response or risk appearing weak and vulnerable. As a result of it's far greater economic base, the US was always able to up the ante and hence able to determine the course of the cold war. In their unrelenting efforts to bluff their way through a cold war they could never have won they they showcased their capacity for innovation in technology and design. The Tu-160 is a fine example of this.

[edit on 18-3-2006 by orca71]




posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 05:12 AM
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Of course its not a copy, despite ch's lengthy smokescreen.

The Tu-4 was a copy of the B-29, oh wait, when did the USSR acquire one or more complete B-1 airframes to strip down, analyse and back engineer? Thats the only way you can successfully copy something, not simply by looking at pictures. Theres more building a plane than what its outside shape looks like, and even in that respect, the Tu-160 only looks like a B-1 to our eyes because they are the only two large, four jet, swing wing bombers that have been built.

The general planform is the same, nothing more. The general planformn was the same in the Bf 109 and the P-51 or the Lancaster and the Halifax, and countless other aircraft down the ages. None of them were copies. Now look again at the Tu-4 and the B-29 to see what a copy really looks like, or the J-7 and Mig 21 etc.

Now if you examine the Tu-160 and B-1 and look more closely than mere outline appearance (and also consider the specs) there are just too many differences for it to be a copy.

Ch is not completely wrong in that the Soviet choice of a swing wing planform was the result of outside influence, in the same way that most design choices slip in and out of fashion. Swing wing designs were very much in vogue in the late 60's early '70's and the fact that America was going that way could easily have held some influence. That choice does not make the plane a copy though.

There is a parallel story with the Sukhoi Su-24. Whilst the TSR 2 and F-111 were competing against each other for the UK and Australian markets an identical competition was going off in Russia. Two types of T-6 prototype were flown off against each other, one with a small delta wing with downturned tips like the TSR 2 and one with swing wings like the F-111. The swing wing version went on to become the Su-24, just as VG also triumphed in the west.

Interestingly, while plane buffs have agonized over the cancelling of the TSR 2 ever since, Sukhoi themnselves also belived the fixed wing T-6 to be the superior model.



posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 05:23 AM
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Originally posted by iqonx

Originally posted by planeman
Many aviation enthusiasts are quick to point out the similarities between the Russian Tu-160 Blackjack and the American B-1 Lancer. The assumption seems to be that the Tupolev design is a crude imitation of the Rockwell design.


great post also i need to mention why do people always assume the russians need to steal western technology what makes them think the west doesnt steal russian technology and designs. russia is very advanced technology and science wise its foolish to assume they cannot make something on there own.

also lets be real how do we know for sure america didnt copy russias designs for the b1-lancer. america steals tech too.

[edit on 3/17/06 by FredT]

Perhaps because we now know that the KGB and Soviet armed forces intelligence services spent inordinate amounts of time and cash on stealing military and scientific secrets from the West. The reasoning behind it was, why spend that time and capital on updating our outdated and inferior military infrastructure and R&D, when we can find out what the Americans are up to, nick the bits and pieces that we like best and at least put ourselves in a position where we're either on par or not lagging too far behind the Americans in terms of the quality of our military technology and R&D processes.

Unfortunately for the Sovs, they could never sufficiently take advantage of having access to those secrets and inside knowledge of weapons systems and other technology being developed in the West, because, like I said, they didn't have the quality of industrial infrastructure that the US and European countries had.



posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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CH1466's analysis is brilliant.



posted on Mar, 18 2006 @ 07:03 PM
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To answer the question raised early in this thread along the lines of "Why does everyone assume the Russians had to copy everything from the Americans", I present as evidence the TU-4, and the atom bomb. There were clear examples of the Soviets having copied and/or stolen American tech, and a known thief is always held suspect.

To be fair, there have been a couple of examples where the Soviet Union devised solutions to military problems unseen in the west, such as the HIND, and the Black Sea Monster. (Official designations for each escape me at the moment)

Since I just love to muddy the waters, I'll ask this question about parralel design versus copying. Assume you're a Soviet aircraft designer, with a potentially controversial design you'd like some funding for. Is it easier to ask for the funding on the aircraft's own merits, or to make a couple of key cosmetic changes before presenting it to the Politbuero with the statement of "The Americans just this, and they may be on to something. Could we have several billion Ruples to copy it?"



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
To answer the question raised early in this thread along the lines of "Why does everyone assume the Russians had to copy everything from the Americans", I present as evidence the TU-4, and the atom bomb. There were clear examples of the Soviets having copied and/or stolen American tech, and a known thief is always held suspect.

To be fair, there have been a couple of examples where the Soviet Union devised solutions to military problems unseen in the west, such as the HIND, and the Black Sea Monster. (Official designations for each escape me at the moment)

Since I just love to muddy the waters, I'll ask this question about parralel design versus copying. Assume you're a Soviet aircraft designer, with a potentially controversial design you'd like some funding for. Is it easier to ask for the funding on the aircraft's own merits, or to make a couple of key cosmetic changes before presenting it to the Politbuero with the statement of "The Americans just this, and they may be on to something. Could we have several billion Ruples to copy it?"


The Soviets had a fraction of our resources and could not afford to take too many risks, as a result their approach was usually more conservative. Why would that imply they copied anything? In fact, the Tu-160's capabilities are so vastly different and superior to the more expensive B-1 that the mere suggestion that it's a copy is absurd.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 04:25 PM
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The Tu-160 and B-1 are so different to directly copy is impossible.

Simple, ask any other aircraft designer and they'll tell you the same thing.



As for looking at concepts explored by others, its common sense, I do it, as does everyone else. No point limiting your design through stupid pride.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 03:54 AM
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Kurt is quite correct in his analysis. The problem was often the Soviet Air Forces rather than the design bureaus. They were always envious of the latest US and Western technology and were often contempuous of any designs offered if they didn't conform to prevailing fashions. They were extremely resistant to Sukhoi's attempts to create a "jet sturmovik", obsessing over Jaguar and F-111, and demanding supersonic performance in every design. It wasn't until the US started the AX program that they started taking Sukhoi seriously. And of course, when the A-9 and A-10 configurations was revealed, Sukhoi recieved some pressure ("why does your design look like the loser?") and considered redesigning the T-8 to more closely resemble the A-10.

The design bureaus were working to requirements put out by the Air Force, so it was largely the Air Force that drove the "mirror imaging" during the Cold War.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 07:37 AM
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I want someone of you that use the word "copy" to define it.
Because I know of only one copy the russians have made(a copy of an US airplane) and it was the B-29 (and resulted in the TU-4). As far as I know one plane was captured by russians and then copied. Tupolev was actually forced to by Stalin since he and every other engineer disliked copying. Thats because every design is based on the tech that can be used and is impractical in another country that has ofcourse different technological heritige. The copy was not very successfull because at that time russia did not have the kind of rubber that was used in the B-29.

I doubt anyone that states of the tu160 being a copy understands how Aircraft are being designed.

This is the place to say that to copy a plane(to reach a similarity further than that of a general config.) you have to have the exact know how of the designers and design parameters of the copyied plane.
I dont think that is something you can do even with KGB behind you.
(Or when you say that the Tu is a copy you'r just saying that idiots were guarding the info on the B-1.......surely not).


The similarity between the B-1 nad the Tu-160 is in their general configuration.That mens that both planes have a low placed variable geometry wing that elegantly blends with the body, four engines two by two in seperate necles under the body and thats it.
Both sides have gone through a hard time chosing their loyot and surely they have known what configurations the "enemy" has used and is using.
So if they were to use the same config. as the US the Rus. still had to test and analyse it on their own.

As for the configuration well it is hard to think of one that is the best for a given task but if we look at the facts....well the Russians did have a better loyot than the one Tu-160 and B-1 share namely the one from the T-4MS but Tupolev chose not to develope that one.
I am talking general config. here not planes. It just might have been that this better loyot couldn't result in a better plane because of the not so advanced tech at that time and probably the extra effort to develope that tech pushed Tupolev into not chosing it.



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:18 AM
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"Didn't the Russians /once/ develop a non-mirror platform with similar mission? Or indeed a -mission- which had _no direct U.S. equivalent_."


Caspian Sea Monster anyone?



posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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The point remains a valid one. The UK designed an ultralight fighter in the mid 70s which used an infra-red device as its primary sensor, due to the excessive weight of radars at that time. There is no reason to believe that the best way to counter the F-15 is to build your own F-15 with slightly improved aerodynamics.

For example, if your electronics industry can't built lightweight advanced avionics, leave the electronics wizardry on the ground and invest in an advanced datalink system. Build a lightweight fighter around the RD-33 engine, equip it with an IRST, an RWR, and a datalink (fighter to fighter and fighter to ground), arm it with IR and passive radar homing AAMs.

Likewise, why did the USSR need a swing-wing bomber?

In the end, the real answer is "because the Americans had one".



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 10:36 AM
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All this talk: they copied us, NO THEY COPIED US drives me insane. Both side are capable of produce great aircraft. If the same competition happened today, with the same design requirements, with neither side knowing anything of each others efforts, I am sure that it would still come out pretty close, even today. They are two completely different airframes. I am sure the soviets did have some people on the payroll in the US aviation industry during the cold war. But I would not go as far to say they were copies. I would say its a pretty safe bet that the soviets saw what the US did, and adapted some of it to there design.



The general planformn was the same in the Bf 109 and the P-51

Have you ever seen the two a/c? they dont look very similar.



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 12:16 PM
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I made that comment about the P-51 and Bf 109. Of course I've seen themn, do you think I live on Jupiter?


However it seems you have completely missed my point. I was using that example to illustrate how the B-1 and Tu-160 are not copies, in either direction.

Yes, the Bf 109 and P-51 DO have the same general planform, along with the Spitfire, P-40 and every other fighter of the period. I never said they looked alike. Do you know what 'general planform' means? So limited was the range of acceptable design for aircraft in this class before the advent of the jet engine that all successful fighters shared the same layout and all efforts to move away from it failed. Piston engine up front driving a single tractor propeller, low mounted, unswept cantilever wing , tapered rear fuselage with single fin and horizontal tail mounted near the upper decking line above the wing plane and with the pilot seated on the CG in line with the trailing edge of the wing.

Tell me I'm wrong.

Thats my point about why the Tu-160 doesn't have to be a copy of the B-1 just because its the same general shape.

[edit on 24-3-2006 by waynos]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
do you think I live on Jupiter?


However it seems you have completely missed my point. I was using that example to illustrate how the B-1 and Tu-160 are not copies, in either direction.

Yes, the Bf 109 and P-51 DO have the same general planform, .....



Thats my point about why the Tu-160 doesn't have to be a copy of the B-1 just because its the same general shape.

[edit on 24-3-2006 by waynos]


How is the weather on jupiter? Serously tho, I never said they were copies, but you dont think the KGB had any operatives in the US( or NATO for that matter) aviation industries? That had to be some tech stealing, but not enough to call it a copy.



when did the USSR acquire one or more complete B-1 airframes to strip down, analyse and back engineer?


On that note, where does the Soviet built space shuttle buran and the US built space shuttle fit in? It cannot be a direct copy, but you could say that teh buran was heavily influenced by the Enterprise.







They are two completely different airframes.


Like I said, not a copy.

As for the P-51 and the bf-109, you are correct.

But could you not say the
Maserati MC12 and the VW super beatle shared the same general platform? Rear(mid) engined, standard transmissions, gas powered(in the states atleast, no idea about europe) four wheals and a seat.
/I got nothin



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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Like I said before, and Waynos has been saying, similar mission, similar design. There are only so many ways you can build something to do the same mission. With the Shuttles, you want a flat body, so it glides, and you can spread the reentry heat out. With the TU-160/B-1 if you're going to have a high speed heavy bomber, capable of breaking the sound barrier, you have to have a similar looking design.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 03:38 AM
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Originally posted by orca71
It wasnt so much conformance as fear and fear leads to reactionary thinking. Fear that the US and the rest of the Western world is going to blow them into oblivion while they sleep. As a result, everything we did, they felt they had to show an equal response or risk appearing weak and vulnerable. As a result of it's far greater economic base, the US was always able to up the ante and hence able to determine the course of the cold war. In their unrelenting efforts to bluff their way through a cold war they could never have won they they showcased their capacity for innovation in technology and design. The Tu-160 is a fine example of this.

I saw you have a couple of hawkeye



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 05:10 AM
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How is the weather on jupiter?


A bit windy and I feel like I'm under pressure all the time


I know you never said they were copies, but I was just explaining the analogy. Of course technological spying went on, but why single out the KGB? we were all at it and we spied on them too. The Russians certainly used the Space Shuttle as a model for Buran, but it was by no means the only one and there were several major differences between the two. In fact the Buran is a lot closer to the Space Shuttle than the Tu-160 is to the B-1, the Tu-160 might be said to have more in common with the Boeing 733, where some espionage might well have paid off, but who knows?

Analogy time again (sorry) but you could think of it in the same way that the 767 is similar to, but in no way a copy of, the A300. Or even the DC-8 to the 707? Very similar in many ways but quite obviously completely different in every material sense. So it is with the B-1 and Tu-160.


With your last mention of the cars, well, there are only so many ways to design a car aren't there, you need a wheel in each corner and somewhere for the driver to sit so that configuration is pretty firmly nailed, but when you have the options of delta, FSW, high or low wing (you look a fool if you built a car with its wheels attached to the roof) swept or unswept wings etc, when something that looks broadly similar to something else emerges it does tend to draw attention.

Something that occurred to me when thinking about the P-51/Bf109 analogy is how come we are so quick to call' copy' these days when such things are hardly mentioned in relation to the very many similar looking aircraft of WW2 vintage and before? I think a big reason is that we got spoiled with the sheer variety of configurations that the jet engine brought with it when it appeared, all of a sudden and for the first time vast numbers of new aircraft were getting produced successfully with wildy differing shapes. I have books from the late 1940's which comment on this very phenomenon of 'exciting new and varied shapes in the sky'. This was because everyone was used to aircraft looking broadly similar and the 'plane spotters' were attuned to looking for relatively minor identification points as a matter of course (how to tell a Hampden from a Do-17 or a Defiant from a Hurricane for example). All of a sudden you only had to distinguish a Vulcan from a B-47 or a Lightning from a Mirage etc and things were much easier. We have lived all our lives in this age, where a Concorde and a 747 or an F-18 and a Harrier were so radically different so in that respect the 'copycat' view is understandable when something like the Tu-160 suddenly appears.

Understandable but still wrong.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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The Russians did a great job designing the tu-160 it may look like the b-1 but has MANY things different. I would say one big difference is its payload the tu-160 has 84,800 pounds of bombs b-1 has about 40,000 pounds of payload but there is another factor speed the tu-160 is considerably faster than the b-1b.



posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 03:56 AM
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Supersonic bomber specifications


1) maximum speed

XB-70 Valkyrie 3309 km/h
Suhoi T-4 3200 km/h
BAC TSR2 2390 km/h
Mirage IVA 2340 km/h
B-1A Excalibur 2333 km/h
Tu-22M "Backfire" 2327 km/h
B-58 Hustler 2230 km/h
Tu-160 "Blackjack" 2220 km/h
M-50 "Bounder" 1950 km/h
Tu-22 "Blinder" 1510 km/h
Tu-98 "Backfin" 1365 km/h
B-1B Lancer 1330 km/h


2) rate of climb

BAC TSR2 15240 m/min
B-58 Hustler 5280 m/min
Tu-160 "Blackjack" 4200 m/min
B-1B Lancer 3600 m/min
Tu-22M "Backfire" 900 m/min


3) ceiling

XB-70 Valkyrie 23575 m
Mirage IVA 20000 m
Suhoi T-4 20000 m
B-58 Hustler 19300 m
B-1A Excalibur 18000 m
B-1B Lancer 18000 m
M-50 "Bounder" 16500 m
BAC TSR2 16459 m
Tu-160 "Blackjack" 16000 m
Tu-22M "Backfire" 13300 m
Tu-22 "Blinder" 13300 m
Tu-98 "Backfin" 12750 m


4) engine thrust

Tu-160 "Blackjack" 980 kN
XB-70 Valkyrie 800.71 kN
Suhoi T-4 628 kN
B-1B Lancer 547.69 kN
B-1A Excalibur 535.44 kN
M-50 "Bounder" 498.04 kN
Tu-22M "Backfire" 490 kN
Tu-22 "Blinder" 323.8 kN
B-58 Hustler 277.2 kN
BAC TSR2 273.4 kN
Tu-98 "Backfin" 186.4 kN
Mirage IVA 141.22 kN


5) weapons payload

B-1B Lancer 56700 kg
B-1A Excalibur 52050 kg
Tu-160 "Blackjack" 40000 kg
M-50 "Bounder" 30000 kg
Tu-22M "Backfire" 21000 kg
Suhoi T-4 20900 kg
XB-70 Valkyrie 9070 kg
BAC TSR2 9000 kg
Tu-22 "Blinder" 9000 kg
B-58 Hustler 8820 kg
Mirage IVA 7250 kg
Tu-98 "Backfin" 5000 kg


6) maximum range

Tu-160 "Blackjack" 12300 km
B-1B Lancer 11998 km
B-1A Excalibur 9810 km
B-58 Hustler 7600 km
M-50 "Bounder" 7400 km
Suhoi T-4 7000 km
Tu-22M "Backfire" 7000 km
XB-70 Valkyrie 6925 km
Tu-22 "Blinder" 4900 km
Mirage IVA 4000 km
Tu-98 "Backfin" 2440 km
BAC TSR2 1850 km


7) production

Tu-22M "Backfire" 497
Tu-22 "Blinder" 311
B-58 Hustler 116
B-1B Lancer 100
Mirage IV 66
Tu-160 "Blackjack" 35
B-1A Excalibur 4
Suhoi T-4 4
XB-70 Valkyrie 2
BAC TSR2 2
M-50 "Bounder" 2
Tu-98 "Backfin" 1




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