Monthly Archives: January 2016

Антонов Ан-225 Супер Тяжелый транспорт

An-225 1

Antonov An-225 Mriya (Cossack) Super Heavy Transport

from Wikipedia

edited by Tim Wing

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian Dream, UEDF reporting name: Cossack) was a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Soviet Union’s Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. The An-225’s name, Mriya (Мрiя) means Dream or Inspiration in Ukrainian. It was powered by six turbofan engines and was the longest and heaviest airplane ever built with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons. It also had the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.

The Antonov An-225, initially developed for the task of transporting the Buran spaceplane, was an enlargement of the successful Antonov An-124. The first An-225 was completed in 1988. This airlifter still holds the absolute world records for an airlifted single item payload of 189,980 kilograms by a conventional aircraft, and an airlifted total payload of 253,820 kilograms by a conventional aircraft.

  • Role: Strategic airlifter
  • National origin: Soviet Union / Ukraine
  • Design: Antonov
  • Manufacturer: Kyiv Mechanical Plant
  • First flight: 21 December 1988
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary user: Soviet Airforce, Aeroflot
  • Produced: 1988-1992, 2001-2006, 2014-2016
  • Number built: 18
  • Developed from: Antonov An-124

Development

The Antonov An-225 was designed to airlift the Energia rocket’s boosters and the Buran space shuttle for the Soviet space program. It was developed as a replacement for the Myasishchev VM-T. The An-225’s original mission and objectives are almost identical to that of the United States’ Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

The An-225 first flew on 21 December 1988 with a 74-minute flight from Kiev. The aircraft was on static display at the Paris Air Show in 1989 and it flew during the public days at the Farnborough air show in 1990. Two aircraft were originally ordered. After the arrival of the SDF-1, there was a sudden need for its unique talents. Consequently, an additional 30 aircraft were ordered by the Soviet government and by the United Nations Earth Government. It could carry ultra-heavy and oversize freight, up to 250,000 kg internally, or 200,000 kg on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage could be 70 meters long.

Design

An-225 3Based on Antonov’s earlier An-124, the An-225 had fuselage barrel extensions added fore and aft of the wings. The wings also received root extensions to increase span. Two more Progress D-18T turbofan engines were added to the new wing roots, bringing the total to six. An increased-capacity landing gear system with 32 wheels was designed, some of which were steerable, enabling the aircraft to turn within a 60 meter wide runway. Like it’s An-124 predecessor, the An-225 had nose gear designed to kneel so cargo can be more easily loaded and unloaded. Unlike the An-124, which had a rear cargo door and ramp, the An-225 design left these off to save weight, and the empennage design was changed from a single vertical stabilizer to a twin tail with an oversized horizontal stabilizer. The twin tail was essential to enable the plane to carry large, heavy external loads that would disturb the airflow around a conventional tail. Unlike the An-124, the An-225 was not intended for tactical airlifting and is not designed for short-field operation.

Initially the first two An-225s had a maximum gross weight of 600 tons, but from 2000 to 2001 these aircraft underwent modifications such as the addition of a reinforced floor, which increased the maximum gross weight to 640 tons. All new build airframes from this time period onwards included these reinforcements as well. Both the earlier and later takeoff weights establish the An-225 as the world’s heaviest aircraft, being heavier than the cargo variants of Boeing’s 747.

The An-225’s pressurized cargo hold was 1,300 cubic meters in volume; 6.4 m wide, 4.4 m high, and 43.35 m long — longer than the first flight of the Wright Flyer. Only the Boeing 747-LCF had a bigger cargo hold at 1,840 cubic meters.

An-225 2Operational history

During the last years of the Soviet space program, the An-225 was employed as the prime method of transporting the Buran space shuttle. The An-225’s story would have ended here had it not been for the arrival of the SDF-1. After the alien ship’s arrival, a pressing need became apparent for a heavy airlifter for transporting the various components needed for the re-construction of the ship as well as for the many other ships of the newly created United Nations Space Agency (UN Spacy). This prompted the construction of an additional ten airframes.

After the Zentraedi Rain of Death, the Mriya’s heavy carrying capacity was needed during the Earth’s reconstruction period. Thusly, the newly formed United Earth Government (UEG) funded the refurbishment of the three surviving An-225s as well as the construction of an additional six new build aircraft. It was this funding that enabled Antonov to get back on its feet in the post war years. Ironically, by time the aircraft were finished, relations had soured between East and West and none of these aircraft were ever used by the UEG. They did, however, play a role in the rebuilding of the Soviet Union and her satellite states in the Eastern Block of Soviet Independent States.

The An-225 has since become the workhorse of the Aeroflot’s fleet, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air, such as 150-tonne generators. It also become an asset to international relief organizations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during the reconstruction era.

Operators

Soviet Union (Soviet Air Force, Aeroflot)

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 6
  • Length: 84 m
  • Wingspan: 88.4 m
  • Height: 18.1 m
  • Wing area: 905 m2
  • Aspect ratio: 8.6
  • Empty weight: 285,000 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 640,000 kg
  • Fuel capacity: 300,000 kg
  • Cargo hold – volume 1,300m3, length 43.35m, width 6.4m, height 4.4m
  • Powerplant: 6 × ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 850 km/h
  • Cruising speed: 800 km/h
  • Range: 15,400 km with maximum fuel; range with 200 tonnes payload: 4,000 km
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 m
  • Wing loading: 662.9 kg/m2
  • Thrust/weight: 0.234

 


 

 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Primary source: Wikipedia Antonov An-225

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

Антонов Ан-72 военно-транспортной

An-72 2

Antonov An-72 (Coaler) STOL Military Transport

from Wikipedia

edited by Tim Wing

The Antonov An-72 (UEDF reporting name Coaler) was a Soviet transport aircraft, developed by Antonov. It was designed as a Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) transport and intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-26. Variants also found success as commercial freighters.

The An-72 and An-74 get their nickname, Cheburashka, from the large engine intake ducts, which resembled the oversized ears of the popular Soviet animated character of the same name. Nickname Galya (Galina – the popular Ukrainian female name) is also known.

  • Role: Military transport
  • National origin: Ukraine SSR, Soviet Union
  • Manufacturer: Antonov
  • First flight: 22 December 1977
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary users: Soviet Air Force
  • Produced: 1977–2011, 2014-2026
  • Variants: Antonov An-74
  • Developed into: Antonov An-71

Design and development

An-72 3The An-72 first flew in December 1977. Produced in tandem with the An-72 was the An-74 variant, which added the ability to operate in the harsh Polar Regions. It could be fitted with wheel-skis landing gear, de-icing equipment and a number of other upgrades which allowed the aircraft to support operations in Arctic or Antarctic environments. Other An-72 versions included the An-72S VIP transport and An-72P maritime patrol aircraft.

An unusual design feature of the An-72 was the use of the Coandă effect to improve STOL performance. This worked by utilizing engine exhaust gases blown over the wing’s upper surface to boost lift. The An-72’s first flight was made on 31 August 1977, but it was only in the 1980s that production started. The power plant used was the Lotarev D-36 turbofan engine. The An-72 bore a strong resemblance to the American Boeing YC-14, a STOL prototype from the early 1970s.

The rear fuselage of the aircraft had a hinged loading ramp with a rear fairing that slid backwards and up to clear the opening. The An-72 could air drop up to 7.5 tons, and was equipped with folding side seats for 52 passengers.

The An-72 had STOL capabilities with a minimum takeoff roll of just 620 meters and a landing run as short as 420 meters. This aircraft was designed to be used on unprepared surfaces: its robust undercarriage and high-flotation tires allowed operations on sand, grass or other unpaved surfaces. This was a feature

Operational history

The An-72 first entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1980. It served with the Soviet Air Force as a medium transport until the Invid Invasion. Among its many uses, the An-72 served most famously with the Soviet Air Force Frontal Aviation as a transport for air borne forces. With a payload capacity of nearly 20 metric tons, the Coaler was capable of transporting a single armored vehicle such as the BMP-3.

The An-72 also saw success on the civil aviation market. Over a hundred examples were sold all over the world, primarily to African carriers who needed an aircraft with good short, unimproved airfield performance. It was just this capability that put the An-72 into heavy demand in the post war period. It was this market demand that caused Antonov to put the Coaler back into production.

An-72 5Variants

An-72 (Coaler-A): Pre production aircraft. Two flying prototypes, one static test airframe and eight pre-production machines.

An-72A (Coaler-C): Initial production STOL transport with a longer fuselage and increased wing span.

An-72AT (Coaler-C): Freight version of the An-72A compatible with standard international shipping containers.

An-72S (Coaler-C): Executive VIP transport fitted with a galley in a front cabin, work and rest areas in a central cabin, and 24 armchairs in a rear cabin, can also be reconfigured for transporting freight or 38 passengers or as an air ambulance carrying eight stretchers.

An-72P: Patrol aircraft. Armed with one 23 mm GSh-23L cannon plus bombs and/or rockets.

An-74: Arctic/Antarctic support model with room for five crew, increased fuel capacity, larger radar in bulged nose radome, improved navigation equipment, better de-icing equipment, and can be fitted with wheel-skis landing gear.

An-72M (Coaler-D): Modernized An-72 with upgraded avionics and engines. Went into production after the First Robotech War.

An-72 1

Operators

Civil operators

Armenia (Air Armenia), Estonia (Enimex), France (Darta), Soviet Union (Aeroflot), Sudan (Badr Airlines, Green Flag Airlines)

Military operators

Equatorial Guinea (Military of Equatorial Guinea), Angola (National Air Force of Angola), Libya (Libyan Air Force), Peru (Peruvian Air Force), Soviet Union (Soviet Air Force)

Specifications (An-72)

General characteristics

  • Crew: five
  • Capacity: up to 52 passengers or 10 tons of cargo
  • Length: 28.07 m
  • Wingspan: 31.89 m
  • Height: 8.65 m
  • Wing area: 98.62 m2
  • Empty weight: 19,050 kg
  • Gross weight: 34,500 kg
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lotarev D-36 series 1A, 63.9 kN thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 700 km/h
  • Cruising speed: 550 / 600 km/h
  • Range: 4,325 km

 

 


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Primary source: Wikipedia Antonov An-72

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Яковлев Як-41 Морской Истребитель

Freestyle 1Yakovlev Yak-41 (Freestyle) VTOL Fighter

by Tim Wing

The Yakovlev Yak-41 (UEDF reporting name “Freestyle”), was a supersonic vertical takeoff/landing (VTOL) fighter aircraft designed by Yakovlev. Developed utilizing experience from the Yak-38, the Yak-41 was meant to fulfill one mission: air defense of the fleet. The Yak-41 was the first VTOL aircraft capable of sustained supersonic speeds. Maneuverability, radar and weapons loads similar to those of the MiG-21 Fishbed.

  • Freestyle 2Role: VTOL fighter aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Yakovlev
  • First flight: 9 March 1987
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary users: Soviet Navy, Indian Navy
  • Number built: 289

The Yak-41 was the first mass produced supersonic VTOL fighter in the world. It was a very important aircraft for the Soviet Navy during the eighties and nineties. They flew primarily from the Kiev-class aircraft carriers. After the Kuznetsov-class and Ulyanovsk-class carriers began to enter service, the smaller VTOL-only Kiev-class carriers were phased out of service, and sold off to India along with most of their Yak-41s. After the First Robotech War, one Kiev-class ship, the Baku, was still in service with the Soviet Navy. The remaining Yak-41s served on this ship until replaced by SuV-1 Victor B variable fighters in the late two thousand teens.

The Yak-41 did serve with the Indian Navy until the consolidation of the United Earth Government’s militaries under the Soutehrn Cross Treaty, after which time the fighter continued to serve in the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) Navy, until replaced by the VF-8 Logan.

Freestyle 7General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 18.36 m (60 ft 2¼ in)
  • Wingspan: 10.105 m (33 ft 1½ in)
  • Height: 5.00 m (16 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 31.7 m² (341 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 11,650 kg (25,683 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 19,500 kg (42,989 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Soyuz R-79V-300 ( ru) lift/cruise turbofan Dry thrust: 108 kN (24,300 lbf)
  • Thrust with afterburner: 152 kN (34,170 lbf)
  • Lift engines: 2x RKBM RD-41 (ru) turbojets 41.7 kN (9,300 lbf) thrust each)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 1,800 km/h (1,118 mph, Mach 1.4+)
  • Range: 2,100 km (1,305 mi)
  • Ferry range: 3,000 km (1,865 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 15,500 m (50,853 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 250m/s (15,000 m/min) (49,213 ft/min)

Armament

  • Guns: 1 × 30 mm GSh-301 cannon with 120 rounds
  • Hardpoints: 4 underwing and 1 fuselage hardpoints with a capacity of 2,600 kg (5,733 lb) of external stores and provisions to carry combinations of: Missiles: R-73 Archer, R-77 Adder or R-27 Alamo air-to-air missiles

 


 

 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Туполев Ту-95 стратегический бомбардировщик

Bear 1Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear) Strategic Bomber

by Tim Wing

The Tupolev Tu-95 (UEDF reporting name: “Bear”) was a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and all the way through to the Invid Invasion. A development of the bomber for maritime patrol was designated Tu-142.

Bear 2The aircraft had four Kuznetsov NK-12 engines, each driving contra-rotating propellers. It was the only propeller-powered strategic bomber to serve in the post war period. The tips of the propeller-blades move faster than the speed of sound, making it one of the noisiest military aircraft ever produced. Its distinctive swept-back wings are at a 35° angle. Though obviously not suited to low altitude penetration, the Bear excelled as a long range, high endurance missile carrier.

After the First Robotech War, the majority of the surviving Bear fleet were converted to be powered by protoculture fired reflex furnaces. This gave the both the bomber variant (Tu-95RP, RP standing for the Russian word for reflex furnace: рефлекс печи/reflex pechi) and the maritime variant (Tu-142RP) a range limited only by the endurance of the crew and certain sub-systems. These planes were a common sight in the skies over the arctic regions and the world’s oceans where they were on station almost constantly.

  • Role: Strategic bomber, missile carrier, airborne surveillance
  • National origin: Soviet Union
  • Manufacturer: Tupolev
  • First flight: 12 November 1952
  • Introduction: 1956
  • Status: In service
  • In service dates: 1956-2031
  • Primary users: EBSIS (Soviet Air Forces, Soviet Navy, Cuban Air Force)
  • Produced: 1952–1994
  • Number built: 500+
  • Variants: Tupolev Tu-114 passenger airliner, Tupolev Tu-142 maritime patrol, Tupolev Tu-95RP reflex furnace-powered

Bear 4

 


 

 

 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Камов Ка-27 Противолодочный вертолет

Ka-29 Helix armed troop helicopter

Kamov Ka-27 (Helix) family of helicopters

by Tim wing

Attachments:

  • Helix reference file
  • Helix gallery

Kamov’s family of coaxial contra-rotating rotor naval helicopters were known by the UEDF reporting names Hormone in the case of the early Ka-25 and Helix in the case of the later Ka-27, Ka-28, Ka-29, Ka-31 and the civilian Ka-32. They were developed for the Soviet Navy in the late seventies. As the clear majority of Ka-25 Hormones had been retired by the beginning of the Unification War, this article will focus on the later Helix series of helicopters. The Helix saw service with the navies of every member of the Eastern Block of Soviet Independent States (EBSIS), as well as the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and India prior to the Zentraedi Rain of Death. Variants include the Ka-31 airborne early warning and control helicopter, the Ka-29 assault transport, the Ka-28 which was a downgraded export version, and the civil-aviation market Ka-32.

  • Ka-32T Helix

    Role: multi-role helicopter

  • National origin: Soviet Union
  • Manufacturer: Kamov
  • First flight: 24 December 1973
  • Introduction: 1982
  • Primary users: Soviet Navy (1982-2031), Indian Navy (1985-2011)
  • Produced: 1981-2011
  • Number built: 483
  • Developed from: Kamov Ka-25

Armament

Ka-27

  • 1 × torpedoes (AT-1M, VTT-1, UMGT-1 Orlan, APR-2 Yastreb) or 36 RGB-NM & RGB-NM-1 sonobuoys

Ka-29TB

  • 1 × mobile forward firing GShG-7.62 machine gun with 1800 rounds,
  • 1 × 30 mm 2A42 cannon with 250 rounds (flexible semi-rigid mount, optional/removable with ammunition carried in cabin)
  • 4 x external hardpoints for bombs, rockets, gunpods, munitions dispensers, special four round missile launchers for the 9K114 Shturm

Variants

  • Ka-27K: Anti-submarine warfare prototype.
  • Ka-27PL (Helix-A): Anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
  • Ka-27PS (Helix-D): Search and rescue helicopter, ASW equipment removed and winch fitted.
  • Ka-27PV: Armed version of the Ka-27PS.
  • Ka-27M: Post war modification of the helicopter, equipped with radar and tactical command systems that include the following systems: acoustic sensors, magnetometric sensors, signals intelligence, and FH-A radar with active phased array antenna. The radar is mounted under the fuselage and provides all-around vision in the search and detection of surface, air, and ground targets.
  • Ka-28 (Helix-A): Export version of the Ka-27PL.
  • Ka-29TB (Helix-B): Assault transport helicopter, with accommodation for two pilots and 16 troops.
  • Ka-32A: Civil transport helicopter.
  • Ka-32 (Helix-A): ASW Helicopter based on the civil market Ka-32.


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Антонов Ан-124 Военные Грузовой самолет

Condor 1

Antonov An-124 Ruslan (Condor) Military Cargo Aircraft

by Tim Wing

The Antonov An-124 Ruslan (UEDF reporting name: Condor) is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Antonov design bureau in the Ukrainian SSR, in the Soviet Union (USSR). Until the Boeing 747-8F, the An-124 was, for thirty years, the world’s highest aircraft gross weight production cargo airplane and second heaviest operating cargo aircraft, behind the one-off Antonov An-225 (a greatly enlarged design based on the An-124).

The An-124 was flown by the Soviet Air Force and various commercial carriers throughout its career. During the unification period from 1999-2011, the An-124 also enjoyed a great amount of commercial success. It was flown by Aeroflot in the Soviet Union, Libyan Arab Air Cargo in Libya, Maximus Air Cargo in the United Arab Emirates and Air Foyle and HeavyLift Cargo Airlines in the United Kingdom. During the reconstruction period, the An-124 found itself to be in high demand. So much so that the production line was reopened in the Ukrainian SSR for a run of approximately 80 more aircraft. The An-124 stayed in military service until the Invid Invasion, and continues to fly today with the civilian carrier Air Cargo Ukraine.

  • Role: Transport aircraft
  • National origin: Soviet Union
  • Manufacturer: Antonov, Ulyanovsk Aviation Industrial Complex
  • First flight: 26 December 1982
  • Introduction: 1986
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary users: Soviet Air Force
  • Produced: 1982–2011, 2016-2020
  • Number built: 164
  • Unit cost: $100 million (in adjusted 2070 International Credits)
  • Developed into: Antonov An-225

 

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4–6 (pilot, copilot, navigator, senior flight engineer (+flight engineer, radio man) + 2 loadmasters)
  • Capacity: up to 438
  • Payload: 150,000 kg
  • Length: 68.96 m
  • Empty weight: 175,000 kg
  • Max. takeoff weight: 405,000 kg
  • Powerplant: 4 × Progress D-18T turbofans, 229.5 kN (51,600 lbf) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 865 kph
  • Range: 5,200 km

 


 

 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Антонов Ан-71 в воздухе раннего предупреждения и управления самолетом

Madcap 1

Antonov An-71 (Madcap) Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWACS) Aircraft

by Tim Wing

The Antonov An-71 (UEDF reporting name: Madcap) was a Soviet airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft used by the Soviet Frontal Aviation and Soviet Navy. Its design was based on An-72, with a completely redesigned rear fuselage supporting the rotodome of the radar atop the broad chord forward swept fin. The cargo hold held the electronic equipment and six operators’ stations. Due to issues with its Vega-M Kvant radar, its entry into service was delayed until the mid-nineties.

Contrary to popular belief, the An-71 was never meant to serve on Soviet aircraft carriers. It was operated by the Soviet Navy, but only from land bases. The carrier AWACS role was fulfilled by the Yak-44.

  • Role: AWACS
  • Manufacturer: Antonov
  • First flight: 12 July 1985
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary user: Soviet Frontal Aviation, Soviet Navy
  • Number built: 123
  • Developed from: Antonov An-72

Madcap 3General characteristics

  • Crew: 6
  • Length: 23.5 meters
  • Wingspan: 31.89 meters
  • Height: 9.20 meters
  • Powerplant: 2 × Progress D-436K turbofan
  • Powerplant: 1 x Rybinsk RD-38A turbojet, 31.9 kN

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 650 kph
  • Cruise speed: 530 kph

 


 

 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Туполев Ту-160 Белый лебедь стратегического бомбардировщика

Blackjack 1

Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed (White Swan, Blackjack) Strategic Bomber

by Tim Wing

Though the strategic bomber feel out of favor with the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF), the Soviet Air Force continued to use them all the way till the Invid Invasion. This was mainly due to the fact that they could not count on their relatively small space fleet to survive in an all-out confrontation with the UEDF. Because of this, they had to rely on the traditional nuclear triad for their deterrent. Of the three weapons systems in this triad (intercontinental missiles, ballistic missile submarines and nuclear armed bombers) the bombers actually had the greatest chance of making through to their targets. ICBMs would have been easily knocked out by the UEDF’s fleet as soon as they left the Earth’s atmosphere. Bombers, on the other hand, would at least have a ghost of a chance of sneaking through air defense coverage far enough to launch their cruise missiles. Of course, as EBSIS cruise missile technology got more and more advance, the bombers that carried them could fire from a greater distance, which only enhanced their effectiveness and relevance.

  • Role: Supersonic strategic bomber
  • National origin: Soviet Union
  • Design group: Tupolev Design Bureau
  • Built by: Kazan Aircraft Production Association
  • First flight: 19 December 1981
  • Introduction: 1987
  • Status: Retired
  • In Service Dates: 1987-2031
  • Primary user: Soviet Air Force
  • Produced: 1984–2003
  • Number built: 127

Blackjack 2

The Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed (or White Swan, UEDF reporting name: Blackjack) was a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. Though thought by most to be little more than a copy of the American B-1 bomber, this is an unfair assessment. Though certainly, the B-1’s basic design served as the jumping off point for the Tu-160, the “White Swan” was significantly larger and introduced a host of Soviet developed technologies. The Tu-160 was both faster and more versatile than its American counterpart, and it carried a heavier bomb load. The Tu-160 did not, however, have the low altitude performance of the B-1.

Entering service in 1987, the Tu-160 was the last strategic bomber designed for the Soviet Union before humanity’s brief unification. With unification came the end of the Tu-160’s production run with only 127 built. In the wake of the First Robotech War, and humanity’s re-polarization into East and West, the Tu-160 found itself in high demand once again. By this time, however, most had been lost to the Zentraedi Rain of Death. Only 40 some Blackjacks survived the war. The leadership of the Eastern Block of Soviet Independent States ordered the Tu-160 back into production in the late teens. Tupolev complied of course, but the aircraft that would emerge from their production facility four years later was a radically different plane. This plane, of course, was the Tu-210 Beast.

Blackjack 4Though the Tu-160 was rendered redundant by its younger brother, it continued to serve as a high altitude cruise missile carrier. It is curious that the Soviet Union kept this plane in service. It was in-capable of conducting low altitude penetration into United Earth Government territory, nor was it as efficient of a missile carrier as the updated Tu-95 Bears. It can only be surmised that sentimentality alone kept the small fleet of 40 some “White Swans” in service until the Invid Invasion.

 


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Сухой Су-100 Стратегический бомбардировщик Сотка

Bullock 2

Sukhoi Su-100 Sotka (Bullock) Strategic Bomber

by Tim Wing

Though the strategic bomber feel out of favor with the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF), the Soviet Air Force continued to use them all the way till the Invid Invasion. This was mainly due to the fact that they could not count on their relatively small space fleet to survive in an all-out confrontation with the UEDF. Because of this, they had to rely on the traditional nuclear triad for their deterrent. Of the three weapons systems in this triad (intercontinental missiles, ballistic missile submarines and nuclear armed bombers) the bombers actually had the greatest chance of making through to their targets. ICBMs would have been easily knocked out by the UEDF’s fleet as soon as they left the Earth’s atmosphere. Bombers, on the other hand, would at least have a ghost of a chance of sneaking through air defense coverage far enough to launch their cruise missiles. Of course, as EBSIS cruise missile technology got more and more advance, the bombers that carried them could fire from a greater distance, which only enhanced their effectiveness and relevance.

  • Role: Bomber/Reconnaissance
  • Manufacturer: Sukhoi
  • First flight: 22 August 1972
  • Status: Retired
  • Primary user: Soviet Air Force
  • Number built: 410

The Sukhoi Su-100 Bullock was a Soviet high-speed Reconnaissance, anti-ship and strategic bomber aircraft. Thought the project was cancelled in the seventies, it was restarted again in the late eighties when the Soviet Air Force decided it needed a low altitude high speed medium bomber to compete with the American B-1 bomber. The airframe was strengthened, allowing the Bullock to fly at supersonic speeds at low altitude.

Bullock 5The Bullock had intake ramps similar to the Rockwell 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 in early versions, though this was replace by an infrared search and track camera system in post-war version. After the First Robotech War, the type was upgraded with fusion turbine engines and the wings were significantly strengthened with advanced materials derived from alien technology. This allowed the Su-100 to cruise at up to Mach 2 at sea level. In this way it was a highly effective at penetrating enemy airspace.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 44.0 meters
  • Wingspan: 22.0 meters
  • Height: 11.2 meters
  • Wing area: 295.7 square meters
  • Empty weight: 55,600 kg
  • Loaded weight: 114,000 kg
  • Max. takeoff weight: 135,000 kg

Performance (late Su-100)

  • Maximum speed: Mach 4.0
  • Cruise speed: Mach 3.8 at altitude, Mach 1.9 at sea level
  • Ferry range: unlimited
  • Service ceiling: 28,000 meters

Bullock 6


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing

 

 

 

Туполев Ту-22М стратегического бомбардировщика

Tupolev Tu-22M (Backfire) Strategic Bomber

by Tim Wing

Though the strategic bomber feel out of favor with the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF), the Soviet Air Force continued to use them all the way till the Invid Invasion. This was mainly due to the fact that they could not count on their relatively small space fleet to survive in an all-out confrontation with the UEDF. Because of this, they had to rely on the traditional nuclear triad for their deterrent. Of the three weapons systems in this triad (intercontinental missiles, ballistic missile submarines and nuclear armed bombers) the bombers actually had the greatest chance of making through to their targets. ICBMs would have been easily knocked out by the UEDF’s fleet as soon as they left the Earth’s atmosphere. Bombers, on the other hand, would at least have a ghost of a chance of sneaking through air defense coverage far enough to launch their cruise missiles. Of course, as EBSIS cruise missile technology got more and more advance, the bombers that carried them could fire from a greater distance, which only enhanced their effectiveness and relevance.

The Tupolev Tu-22M (UEDF reporting name: Backfire) was a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau. Though the Backfire was the Soviet Union’s most advanced bomber through most of the Cold War, after the First Robotech War it had been overshadowed by the Tu-160 Blackjack and later by the Su-100 Bullock and Tu-210 Beast. By the early twenties, the Tu-22M Backfire had passed into retirement.

  • Role: Strategic bomber, maritime strike
  • Manufacturer: Tupolev Design Bureau
  • First flight: 30 August 1969
  • Introduction: 1972
  • Status: Retired
  • In service: 1972-2021
  • Primary users: EBSIS (Soviet Air Forces)
  • Produced: 1967–1997
  • Number built: 497

 


 

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing