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Tupolev Tu-102 / Tu-28 / Tu-128


The Tu-28, which carries the design bureau designation Tu-102, was originally thought to be intended for strike and reconnaissance, and was described by the commentator at the 1967 Soviet Aviation Day as being a descen-dant of the Shturmovik, capable of engaging targets in the air or mobile targets on the battlefield. When revealed to Western eyes in 1961, the Tu-28 Fiddler-A was fitted with a large ventral blister which was thought to contain, variously, a reconnaissance pack, an early-warning radar, avionics, fuel or weapons. By the time of the 1967 display, however, this bulge had disappeared and the Tu-28P Fiddler-B was revealed as carrying twice the armament, in the form of four AA-5 Ash air-to-air missiles.

The Tu-28 was developed in competition with the Lavochkin La-250 Anaconda and made its maiden flight in 1957, a year after its rival. The La-250 was abandoned in 1958 after a series of accidents, and Fiddler entered service in 1962-63. The Tu-28's lay-out is similar to that of the Tu-98, although the bogie main-gears retract into underwing fairings - thus freeing space in the fuselage - and a fire-control radar replaces the glazed nose. The wing, mounted part-way up the area-ruled fuselage, is slightly tapered and has 56 degrees of leading-edge sweepback at the wing centre section, reducing to 50 degrees on the outer panels. The all-moving tailplane is mounted low on the fuselage, and the original Tu-28 was fitted with two ventral fins; these have been discarded on the Tu-28P.

Air is fed from two shoulder-mounted intakes to a pair of afterburning turbojets side by side in the rear fuselage. The original powerplant was the Lyulka AL-7F, developing 6440 kg (14,198 lb) of dry thrust and 10 000 kg (22,046 lb) with afterburning.

The Tu-28P has a distinctive wing with sharply kinked trailing edge, the outer 45 degrees panels being outboard of large fairings extending behind the trailing edge accommodating the four-wheel bogie landing gears. The Tu-28P is understood to have been employed primarily on standing patrols around the periphery of the Soviet Union, beyond the belts of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and in areas unprotected by SAM. Maximum frontline strength is thought not to have exceeded 150 Fiddlers, most of which were based in the Moscow military district. Others are reported to have been deployed in the Arctic alongside Tu-126 Moss early--warning and control aircraft. Normal endur-ance of the Tu-28P is thought to be 3.5 hours, but this could be increased to 5.5 hours with the addition of auxiliary fuel tanks. The standard armament is four AA-5s, two with infrared seekers and the other pair with semi-active radar guidance. Normal Soviet prac-tice is to ripple-fire the weapons, the radar -guided missile following its IR counterpart
Two crew sit in tandem under upward-hinged canopies, and all armament is carried on wing pylons.

The largest and heaviest interceptor fighter ever to have achieved service status, the Tu-128 was developed by a team led by I. Nezval'. A dedicated interceptor fighter intended for the high-altitude patrol of sections of the Soviet periphery unprotected by surface-to-air missile screens, the Tu-128 was flown as a prototype (Tu-28-80) on 18 March 1961 powered by two TRD-31 (Lyulka AL-7) turbojets. Production deliveries to the Voyska PVO began in late 1966, the Tu-128 having a crew of two and paired AL-7F-2 turbojets each rated at 7425kg unaugmented and 10,000kg with afterburning. Equipped with a large I-band radar, the Tu-128 had a primary armament of two radar-homing and two infra-red homing Bisnovat R-4 missiles. Progressively withdrawn from the Voyska PVO home defence fighter force through the 'eighties, the Tu-128 was finally succeeded by the MiG-31 in late 1990.






Type: long range all-weather interceptor
Estimated span: 65 ft (20 m)
Estimated length: 85ft (26m)
Estimated Height: 23ft(7m)
Estimated empty weight: 55,000 lb (25.000 kg)
Estimated maximum loaded: 100.000 lb (45,000 kg)
Estimated maximum speed (with missiles, at height): 1150 mph (M 1.75)
Estimated initial climb 25,000 ftpm
Estimated  service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18.000 m)
Range: about 1.800 miles
Seats: 2.

Fiddler A
Armament: 2 x AA-5 AAM
Combat radius: 4989 km (3100 km)

Engine: 2 x Lyulka AL-21F turbojets, 11200kg
Max take-off weight: 40000 kg / 88185 lb
Loaded weight: 25960 kg / 57232 lb
Wingspan: 18.1 m / 59 ft 5 in
Length: 27.2 m / 89 ft 3 in
Max. speed: 1850 km/h / 1150 mph
Ceiling: 20000 m / 65600 ft
Range: 5000 km / 3107 miles

Tupolev Tu-28 / Tu-128



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