Tupolev Tu-22

The Tupolev Tu-22 (NATO reporting name Blinder) was a Soviet supersonic bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. The Tu-22 entered service in 1962 and 1963, but it experienced considerable problems, leading to widespread inserviceability and a number of crashes. Despite its speed, it was inferior to the Tu-16 in combat radius, weapon load, and serviceability. The Tu-22 was upgraded in service with more powerful engines, in-flight refueling (for those aircraft that didn't have it initially), and better electronics. 

Tu-22s were exported to Iraq and Libya in the 1970s and were used in combat by both countries. The only Soviet combat use of the Tu-22 took place in 1988, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Radar-jamming Tu-22PD aircraft covered Tu-22M bombers operating in Afghanistan near Pakistan border, protecting strike aircraft against Pakistani air defence activity. The Tu-22 was gradually phased out of Soviet service in favor of the more-capable Tupolev Tu-22M. At the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union there were 154 remaining in service, but none are now believed to be flying.

Tupolev Tu-22
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Tupolev
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1958
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) 1962 1992 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Tupolev 311 View

Role Medium bomber
Manufacturer Tupolev
First flight 7 September 1959
Introduction 1962
Retired 1998 (Russia)
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Ukrainian Air Force
Libyan Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
Produced 1960–1969
Number built 311
Developed into Tupolev Tu-22M

General characteristics

  • Crew: three - pilot, navigator, weapons officer
  • Length: 41.60 m (136 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 23.17 m (76 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 10.13 m (33 ft 3 in)
  • Wing area: 162 m (1,742 ft)
  • Empty weight: kg (lb)
  • Loaded weight: 85,000 kg (187,390 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 92,000 kg (202,400 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 x Dobrynin RD-7M-2 turbojets
    • Dry thrust: rated 107.9 kN (24,250 lbf) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 161.9 kN (36,376 lbf) each


  • Maximum speed: 1,510 km/h (938 mph)
  • Range: 4,900 km (3,045 mi)
  • Service ceiling 13,300 m (40,540 ft)
  • Rate of climb: m/s (ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 525 kg/m (107 lb/ft)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.38


  • Guns: 1 x AM-23 23 mm cannon in tail turret
  • Bombs: 9,000 kg (20,000 lb) or
  • Missiles: 1 x Kh-22 (AS-4 'Kitchen') cruise missile

End notes