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Tupolev Tu-22

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The Tupolev Tu-22 (NATO reporting name: Blinder) was the first supersonic bomber to enter production in the Soviet Union. Manufactured by Tupolev, the Tu-22 entered service with the Soviet military in the 1960s. The last examples were retired during the 1990s. Produced in comparatively small numbers, the aircraft was a disappointment, lacking the intercontinental range that had been expected. Later in their service life, Tu-22s were used as launch platforms for the Soviet Kh-22 standoff missile, and as reconnaissance aircraft. Tu-22s were sold to other nations, including Libya and Iraq. The Tu-22 was one of the few Soviet bombers to see combat; Libyan Tu-22s were used against Tanzania and Chad, and Iraqi Tu-22s were used during the Iran–Iraq War.


  • Tu-22B: Original free-fall bomber variant. Only 15 built, ultimately used mostly for training or test purposes.
  • Tu-22K: Missile-carrier version built from 1965, equipped to launch the Raduga Kh-22 (AS-4 Kitchen) missile.
  • Tu-22KD: Version of Tu-22K with refueling equipment.
  • Tu-22KP: Electronic warfare / bomber version, introduced circa 1968, carrying the Kh-22P anti-radiation missile.
  • Tu-22KPD: Version of Tu-22KP with refueling equipment.
  • Tu-22P: Electronic warfare/ELINT version.
  • Tu-22PD: Version of Tu-22P with refueling equipment.
  • Tu-22R: Reconnaissance aircraft, retaining bombing capability
  • Tu-22RD: Version of Tu-22R with refueling equipment.
  • Tu-22RK: Reconnaissance aircraft, retaining bombing capability and fitted with Kub ELINT systems during the 1970s.
  • Tu-22RDK: Version of Tu-22RK with refueling equipment.
  • Tu-22RDM: Upgraded reconnaissance version, converted from earlier RD aircraft in the early 1980s, with instruments in a detachable container.
  • Tu-22U: Trainer version.
  • Tu-22UD: Version of Tu-22U with refueling equipment.


  • Iraq
    • Iraqi Air Force
  • Libya
    • Libyan Air Force
  • Russia
    • Russian Air Force
  • Soviet Union
    • Soviet Air Force
  • Ukraine
    • Ukrainian Air Force

See Also[edit]

Related Development[edit]

Comparable Aircraft[edit]

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