PhotogaleriesTU-22 BLINDER gallery 2018-10-242020-09-28 Javier (Tu.22B image). Despite its magnificent appearance, the Tu-22 did not achieve the high performance that were expected. It was a heavy to fly aircraft, the crew had bad visibility, short range and speed below what was desired. (Tu-22B image). For some time it was believed that only 15 or 16 Tu-22B Blinder-A had been manufactured but it seems that the lot was much bigger, although most of them have been used as trainers and some were transformed into the Tu-22K Blinder-B version. This is the Tu-22K Blinder-B prototype, presented in 1964 for the purpose of improving the attack capacity with the use of the Kh-22 AS.4 Kitchen air launched cruise missile (ALCM) as main armament. (Tu-22KD image). The Tu-22 Blinder was first shown to the public in July 1961 during an air show at Tushino Air Base, when 9 Blinder-A and 1 Blinder-B made a pass over the public. (Tu-22KD image). Tu-22K Blinder-B had the “Down Beat” radar installed under the nose to guide the Kh-22 missiles. About 150 aircrafts of this variant were manufactured and they had to modify their weapons bay to house the only missile that they carried as offensive weapon. (Tu-22KD image). The Tu-22 could carry up to 9 tons of conventional or nuclear bombs on the weapons bay. A typical load was composed by twelve 500kg bombs or a single 9 tons FAB-9000 bomb. It could carry most of the nuclear weapons in service at that time. (Tu-22KD image). The position of the engines is quite unusual but this would allow to carry more fuel inside the fuselage and provide a large continuous airflow to the engines. In each air intake there was a mobile annular lip that helped during the takeoff. (Tu-22KD image). The aircraft has a tailskid installed to avoid friction with the runway in landings and takeoffs, in addition it has two large parachutes as a brake aid due to the high landing speed. (Tu-22KD image). The Tu-22 was exported to Libya and Iraq, which acquired 12 aircraft each. The Libyan Blinders carried out several combat missions in Tanzania in 1979 and in Chad from 1980 to 1986, and the Iraqis fought in the war against Iran. (Tu-22KD image). Several variants of the Blinder-B missile carrier were built, such as the basic Tu-22K, Tu-22KD with refueling equipment, Tu-22KP of electronic warfare (EW) with anti-radiation missiles and Tu-22KPD, similar to the previous one but with refueling equipment. This is the Tu-22R Blinder-C reconnaissance version, which maintained the bombardment capability. 127 examples were manufactured in these versions: Tu-22RD with refueling equipment, RK with the Kub ELINT system, RDK as the previous one with refueling equipment, and the RDM model, that was a modernized version of the RD. This is the Tu-22RD, a reconnaissance variant to which refueling probes were installed to improve its range. The letter D refers to “Dalni”, long range. The Soviet Naval Aviation operated at least 60 units for maritime patrol missions. This is the Tu-22PD Blinder-E, developed for electronic warfare (EW) and ELINT missions. The PD variant comes from the P version to which refueling equipment was installed. (Tu-22PD image). Forty-seven Tu-22P / PDs were manufactured, whose mission was to provide targeting for the Blinder missile carriers and provide electronic coverage with their jammers to confuse the enemy defenses. (Tu-22PD image). The Blinder PD variant remained in service after the withdrawal of the Tu-22K bombers, transferring the remaining aircrafts to the newer Tu-22M Backfire regiments, to continue performing the same mission.