Sukhoi T-4

The Sukhoi T-4, or "Aircraft 100", or "Project 100", or "Sotka" was a Soviet high-speed Reconnaissance, anti-ship and strategic bomber aircraft that did not proceed beyond the prototype stage. It is sometimes called the Su-100, a designation also used for the SU-100 tank destroyer of the Second World War.


Sukhoi T-4
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Sukhoi
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1972
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Sukhoi 4 View

In 1963, the Soviet government held a Request for proposal among the aircraft design bureaus, with the aim of developing an aircraft analogous to the North American XB-70 Valkyrie. The Sukhoi design, with its high cruise speed of 3,200 km/h (2,000 mph) was favored over the designs submitted by Yakolev and Tupolev and after a preliminary design review in June 1964, the building of a prototype was authorized. Development of the T-4 was fraught with difficulties and required a massive research effort to develop the technologies necessary, including the manufacturing technologies to machine and weld the materials necessary to withstand sustained Mach 3 flight. Nearly 600 patents or inventions are attributed to the program. The first flying prototype was finally completed in the autumn of 1971. Work continued on an additional three airframes (one for static testing) through 1975. In 1974, the Ministry of Aircraft Industry ordered work suspended on the T-4 project, which was officially scrapped on 19 December 1975.

The T-4 had intake ramps similar to the XB-70, was made largely from titanium and stainless steel, and featured a quadruple redundant fly-by-wire control system but also employed a mechanical system as a backup. The aircraft's Droop-nose lowered to provide visibility during takeoff and landing. A periscope was used for forward viewing when the nose was retracted, and could be employed at speeds of up to 600 km/h (373 mph). Drogue parachutes were used in addition to conventional wheel brakes.

Role Bomber/Reconnaissance
Manufacturer Sukhoi
Designer Pavel Sukhoi, Naum Chernyakov(chief designer)
First flight 22 August 1972
Status project cancelled
Primary user Soviet Air Force
Number built 4 (only 1 completed)


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 44.0 m (145,2 ft)
  • Wingspan: 22.0 m (72 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 295.7 m2 (3,183 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 55,600 kg (123,000 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 114,000 kg (258,000 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 135,000 kg (297,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Kolesov RD-36-41 turbofans, 157 kN (35,000 lbf) each

Performance (estimated)

  • Maximum speed: Mach 3.0 (3,200 km/h; 1,987 mph)
  • Cruise speed: Mach 2.8 (3,000 km/h; 1,863 mph)
  • Ferry range: 7,000 km (4,347 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 20,000–24,000 m (66,000-79,000 ft)

End notes