Sukhoi BB-1 / Su-2
During 1939, Sukhoi established his own design bureau, and began the redesign of the ANT-51 with an M-88B engine, a low wing and an increased offensive load, this emerging as the BB-1, entering series production in 1940, and being redesignated Su-2 in 1941.
The Sukhoi Su-2 entered service with the V-VS early in 1941 but, as far as is known, was not encountered during the Winter War which ended the previous year. Derived from Sukhoi's ANT-51 and designated BB-1 during its early trials, the aircraft was fairly efficient by current standards once the M-87 engine had been replaced by the M-88 and then the M-88B.
Despite being further improved by installation of the 746kW M-88B radial, the Su-2 was found to be desperately vulnerable and virtually unable to defend itself with its single small-calibre machine-gun in the unwieldy manually-operated dorsal turret. Estimates suggest that about 100 were in service with the Frontovaya Aviatsya at the time that the German army rolled into the Soviet Union in June 1941, but that dozens were shot down by flak and fighters in the first few disastrous weeks.
The Su-2 was built in fairly substantial numbers, both with the IM-88B engine and with the more powerful M-82. The state of the Soviet aircraft industry in 1941 prevented much being done to remedy the immediate lack of suitable ground support aircraft (until production of the two-seat Il-2m3 could be stepped up) and recourse was made to further attempts to improve the Su-2 by installation of the 1134kW M-82 radial and freguent deletion of the dorsal turret, but with little tactical benefit. Accepting that losses would remain high, the Soviets therefore simply loaded the aircraft with further bombs and rockets on the supposition that the more explosive delivered against the enemy the better the chances of some degree of success. This version, as well as the completely redesigned Su-6, were abandoned in favour of all-out dependence on the Il-2m3. The Su-2 probably did not survive in production beyond mid-1942.
Engine: 1 x M-88B, 735kW
Max take-off weight: 4400 kg / 9700 lb
Empty weight: 3000 kg / 6614 lb
Wingspan: 14.3 m / 47 ft 11 in
Length: 10.3 m / 34 ft 10 in
Wing area: 29.0 sq.m / 312.15 sq ft
Max. speed: 460 km/h / 286 mph
Ceiling: 3800 m / 12450 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 1200 km / 746 miles
Armament: 5 x 7.62mm machine-guns