Anti-carrier striker


Piotr Butowski presents the Backfire’s past, present and future

Tu-22MS 98-04 loaded with two Kh-32M test articles.
All photos Piotr Butowski unless noted

Between 1969 and 1993, the Tupolev factory at Kazan built 514 Tu-22M Backfire bombers of all versions; 268 of them were Tu-22M3 Backfire-Cs, the last version to be built. At the end of the USSR, Soviet military aviation had about 380 Backfires on strength, 60% in the Air Force and 40% in the Navy. After the dissolution of the USSR on December 26, 1991, and within the 12 independent post-Soviet states, Tu-22 aircraft remained in just two: Russia and Ukraine. The last Ukrainian Tu-22M3 was scrapped in 2006. The Tu-22M was never exported.

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