Tupolev Tu-22M

The sharp-featured Tu-22M was probabh the most effective strategic bomber produced by the
Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Tu-22M’fl most distinctive feature was its variable-geometry “swing- wing”, popular in the 1960s as a way of reconciling the demands of supersonic flight wit the need for decent performance in both take-off and landing. The bomber’s engines were mounted side-by-side in the rear fuselage, and were fed air through long duels from intakes between the cockpit and wing. The Tu-22M did not have intercontinental range without in-flight refuelling, but its potential for mounting a supersonic, low-level attack with nuclear bombs of missiles seriously concerned the US when it entered service in the 1970s.
The Tu-22M was also deployed as an anti-shipping aircraft. It saw action as a conventional bomber during Soviet operations in Afghanistan, and in Chechenia in the 1990s. The TU-22M remained in service in Russia and Ukraine into
t he 21st century.

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