Tupolev Tu-16

Tupolev Tu-16

infobox Aircraft
name = Tu-16
type = strategic bomber
manufacturer = Tupolev

caption = Tu-16R "Badger-E"
designer =
first flight = 27 April 1952
introduced = 1954
retired =
produced =
number built = 1,509cite web|url=http://www.vectorsite.net/avtu16.html|title=VectorSite|work=The Tupolev Tu-16 "Badger"|accessdate=2007-01-12]
status = Xian H-6 in service
unit cost =
primary user = Soviet Air Force
more users = Egyptian Air Force
Indonesian Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
developed from =
variants with their own articles = Tupolev Tu-104
Tupolev Tu-124
Xian H-6

The Tupolev Tu-16 (NATO codename: Badger) was a twin-engine jet bomber used by the Soviet Union. It has flown for more than 50 years and, as the Xian H-6, remains in service with the Chinese air force.


In the late 1940s the Soviet Union was strongly committed to matching the United States in strategic bombing capability. The Soviets' only long-range bomber at the time was Tupolev's Tu-4 'Bull', a reverse-engineered version of the American B-29 Superfortress. The development of the extremely powerful Mikulin AM-3 turbojet led to the possibility of a large, jet-powered bomber.

The Tupolev design bureau began work on the Tu-88 ("Aircraft N") prototypes in 1950. The Tu-88 first flew on 27 April 1952. After winning a competition against the Ilyushin Il-46, it was approved for production in December 1952. The first production bombers entered service with Frontal Aviation in 1954, receiving the service designation Tu-16. It received the NATO reporting name 'Badger-A'.

It had a new, large swept wing and two massive Mikulin AM-3 turbojets, one in each wing root. It could carry a single massive FAB-9000 9,000-kg (19,800 lb) conventional bomb (the Russian equivalent of the British Grand Slam bomb) or various nuclear weapons to a range of around 4,800 km (3,000 mi).

Although the Tu-16 began as a high-altitude, free-fall bomber, in the mid-1950s it was equipped to carry early Soviet cruise missiles. The Tu-16KS-1 ('Badger-B') version could carry AS-1 'Kennel' missiles over a combat radius of 1,800 km (1,125 mi). These very large weapons were aerodynamically similar to the MiG-15 'Fagot' fighter, fitted with either a nuclear or conventional warhead, had a range of about 140 km (90 mi). They were intended for use primarily against US Navy aircraft carriers and other large surface ships. Subsequent Tu-16s were converted to carry later, more advanced missiles, while their designations changed several times.

A versatile design, the Tu-16 was built in numerous specialized variants for reconnaissance, maritime surveillance, electronic intelligence gathering (ELINT), and electronic warfare (ECM). A total of 1507 aircraft was constructed in three plants in the Soviet Union, in 1954-1962. A civilian adaptation, the Tu-104 'Camel', saw passenger service with Aeroflot. The Tu-16 was also exported to Egypt, Indonesia, and Iraq. It continued to be used by the Air Forces and naval aviation of the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia until 1993.

Delivery of the Tu-16 to China began in 1958, and the Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) produces a copy of it under the Chinese designation Xian H-6. 120+ of these aircraft remain in service.


Among the main production variants of the Badger were the Tu-16 and Tu-16A bombers; Tu-16KS and Tu-16K-10 missile carriers; Tu-16SPS, "Elka", and Tu-16Ye ECM aircraft; Tu-16R reconnaissance aircraft; and Tu-16T torpedo bomber; others were produced from conversions. Individual aircraft could be modified several times, with designations changed, especially concerning missile-carrying aircraft.

* Badger A (Tu-16) - This the basic configuration of the Tu-16 bomber deployed in 1954 to replace the Tu-4. Several modified models of these variant existed, all of which were known as Badger A in the West.
** Tu-16A - Modified Tu-16s designed to carry nuclear bombs, one of main versions, with 453 built. Many of those units were subsequently converted into other variants.
** Tu-16Z - An early specialized version of the Tu-16 that served as airborne tankers (a refuelling method: wing-to-wing), though they retain their medium bomber role.
** Tu-16G (Tu-104G) - Fast air mail model, Aeroflot aircrew training version.
** Tu-16N - A dedicated tanker version for Tu-22/Tu-22M bombers, with probe and drogue system. Entered service in 1963. Similar aircraft Tu-16NN converted from Tu-16Z.
** Tu-16T - Limited production maritime strike version (torpedo bomber), that served in the Soviet Naval Aviation, and carried torpedoes, mines and depth charges. 76 built and some more converted. All units subsequently converted into Tu-16S configuration.
** Tu-16S - A lifeboat carrier version used for search and rescue operations.
** Tu-16Ye - These were equipped with heavy electronic warfare and electronic intelligence (ELINT) equipment.
* Badger B (Tu-16KS) - Variant designed as a launch platform for two AS-1 Kennel/KS-1 Komet missiles. 107 built in 1954-1958, served with the Soviet Naval Aviation, Egypt and Indonesia. Soviet ones later converted with newer missiles.

* Badger C (Tu-16K-10) - Another Naval Aviation variant, units of this version carried a single AS-2 Kipper/K-10S anti-ship missile. 216 built in 1958-1963. It differed from other variants having a radar in a nose. A further development, the Tu-16K-10-26, carried a single K-10S and two KSR-2 or KSR-5 missiles (K-26 missile complex). Some were later converted into ELINT platforms.
* Badger D (Tu-16RM-1) - Maritime reconnaissance model with ELINT equipment; 23 converted from Tu-16K-10. It retained its radar in a nose and could guide K-10S missiles, fired from other planes, at targets.
* Badger E (Tu-16R) - Reconnaissance version of the airframe, with ELINT equipment, first of all meant for maritime reconnaissance. It could guide KS missiles.
** Tu-16RM-2 - modified Tu-16R, serving in the Naval Aviation. It could guide KSR-2 missiles.
** Tu-16KRM - Launch platforms for target drones (a variant of Tu-16K-26).
* Badger F (Tu-16RM-2) - Another reconnaissance version based on the -16R/RM but with the addition of external ELINT equipment.
* Badger G (Tu-16K/Tu-16KSR) - Serving in the Naval Aviation, these were conversions from earlier models. These were designed to carry bombs in internal bays in addition to carrying air-to-surface missiles externally, such as the AS-5 Kelt and AS-6 Kingfish. There existed numerous variants, designated either from carried missile complex (K-11, K-16 and K-26) or from missiles of these complexes (KSR-11, KSR-2 and KSR-5). Following further modifications, they were also given suffixes. Main variants:
**Tu-16KSR-2 - carrying the K-16 complex (two KSR-2 missiles). Used from 1962. Similar aircraft, converted from other variants, were designated Tu-16K-16.
**Tu-16K-11-16 - carrying the K-16 complex (KSR-2 missiles) or the K-11 complex (two anti-radar KSR-11 missiles). Used from 1962. Similar aircraft were designated Tu-16KSR-2-11. Over 440 Tu-16 could carry the K-16 or K-11 complex.
**Tu-16K-26 - carrying the K-26 complex (two KSR-5 missiles), retaining a capability of KSR-2 and 11 missiles. Used from 1969. Similar aircraft were designated Tu-16KSR-2-5-11 or Tu-16KSR-2-5 (no KSR-11 capability). Over 240 Tu-16 could carry the K-26 complex.
**Tu-16K-26P - carrying the K-26P missiles (two anti-radar KSR-5P missiles, as well as KSR-5, 2 or 11).
* Badger H (Tu-16 Elka) - Designed for stand-off electronic warfare and electronic counter-measures support.
* Badger J (Tu-16P Buket) - Another electronic warfare variant configured as an ECM strike escort.
* Badger K (Tu-16Ye) - Believed to be a version of the Badger F configuration possessing enhanced ELINT capability.
* Badger L (Tu-16P) - Another version of the Badger J with more modern systems and used in ELINT role.


*Armenian Air Force : 30 aircraft inherited from the Soviet Union. Out of service by 1995.cite web|url=http://www.worldairforces.com/Countries/armenia/arm.html|title=World Air Forces|work=Armenia Air Force|accessdate=2007-01-12] ; AZE
* 10 aircraft inherited from the Soviet Union. Out of service by 1995.cite web|url=http://www.worldairforces.com/Countries/azerbaijan/aze.html|title=World Air Forces|work=Azerbaijan Air Force|accessdate=2007-01-12] ; BLR
*Belarus Air Force : 121 aircraft inherited upon the fall of the Soviet Union cite journal |quotes= |last= |first= |authorlink= |year= 2006 |month= August |title= Aircraft Profile:Tupolev Tu-16 "Badger" |journal= Air International |volume= |issue= |pages= |id= |url= |accessdate= ] , out of service by 1995.cite web|url=http://www.worldairforces.com/Countries/belarus/bye.html|title=World Air Forces|work=Belarus Air Force|accessdate=2007-01-12] ; PRC
*People's Liberation Army Air Force : A few Tu-16s were acquired in 1959; the type was then built under license as the Xian H-6; EGY
*Egyptian Air Force : Operated Tu-16KS, Tu-16T, Tu-16KSR-2-11, and Tu-16R. Also operated H-6. Last retired in 2000.; GEO
*Georgian Air Force : 20 aircraft inherited from the Soviet Union. Out of service by 1995.cite web|url=http://www.worldairforces.com/Countries/georgia/geo.html|title=World Air Forces|work=Georgia Air Force|accessdate=2007-01-12] ; IDN
*Indonesian Air Force : 25 Tu-16KS-1 acquired in 1961, Used during the preparation of Operation TRIKORA in 1962 (taking of Western New Guinea from the Netherlands) in Western New Guinea (now, Papua and Papua Barat). All of the aircraft planned for attacking "Karel Doorman", Netherlands Naval Fleet Aircraft Carrier which sailed near Irian Barat. 14 aircraft in Skadron 41 and 12 more aircraft in Skadron 42. All of the aircraft based at Iswahjudi Air Force Base, Madiun, East Java. All of the aircraft grounded in 1969. No longer in service since 1970

*Iraqi Air Force : Eight Tu-16, six Tu-16KSR-2-11. Also operated H-6. All destroyed in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.; RUS
*Russian Air Force : Many aircrafts inherited from the Soviet Union. Out of service by 1993.; USSR
*Soviet Air Force
*Soviet Naval Aviation; UKR
*Ukrainian Air Force : 18 aircraft inherited from USSR. All put out of service today.

pecifications (Tu-16)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
length main=34.80 m
length alt=114 ft 2 in
span main=33.00 m
span alt=108 ft 3 in
height main=10.36 m
height alt=34 ft 0 in
area main=165 m²
area alt=1,775 ft²
empty weight main=37,200 kg
empty weight alt=82,000 lb
loaded weight main=76,000 kg
loaded weight alt=168,00 lb
max takeoff weight main=79,000 kg
max takeoff weight alt=174,000 lb
engine (jet)=Mikulin AM-3M-500
type of jet=turbojets
number of jets=2
thrust main=93.2 kN
thrust alt=20,900 lbf
max speed main=1,050 km/h
max speed alt=656 mph
range main=7,200 km
range alt=4,500 mi
ceiling main=12,800 m
ceiling alt=42,000 ft
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=460 kg/m²
loading alt=94 lb/ft²
* Guns: 6-7× 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 cannons, two each in dorsal and ventral remote turrets and manned tail turret, with the occasional addition of one fixed forward in the nose
* Bombs: 9,000 kg (20,000 lb) of free-fall weapons "or"
* Missiles:
** 1× Kh-10 (AS-2 'Kipper') anti-ship missile semi-recessed in bomb bay "or"
** 1× Kh-26 (AS-6 'Kingfish') anti-ship missile on port underwing hardpoint

ee also

* Xian H-6
* Tupolev Tu-104
* Tupolev Tu-124

similar aircraft=
* B-47 Stratojet
* Vickers Valiant
* Handley Page Victor
* Avro Vulcan



*http://airwar.ru/ - Ugolok Neba (Russian language)
*"Ту-16. Ракетно-бомбовый ударный комплекс Советских ВВС", "Voyna v Vozduhye" series no 26
* " [http://russianforces.org/eng/book/ Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces",edited by Pavel Podvig, The MIT Press, 2001.]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org Global Security.org]
* "Soviet Military Power: 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988"
* [http://www.sinodefence.com/airforce/groundattack/h6.asp H-6 Medium Bomber]

External links

* [http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/bomber/tu-16.htm FAS on the Tu-16]
* [http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Badger.html Xian H-6 Badger]

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