Tupelov Tu-128 Fiddler

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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nastle

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 02:27

Just reading about this missile Bosnovat R-4 [AA-5 Ash] and R-4M in Mladenov and Y.Gordon's books and it states the missile was highly agile pulling like 20Gs , what was the need for a very agile missile for a bomber interceptor like Tu-128 ?

What were the soviets up to here ?
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hornetfinn

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 09:26

It was reasonably agile probably because it was intended to be used against high altitude targets and had huge wings to do that. It was also very slow missile with likely long burning rocket motor. That probably also helped. It wasn't that agile as it could only engage targets maneuvering with 4 or 5 G's depending on model. Many missiles could do better but it's definitely quite remarkable agility given the size and age of the missile. It did have rather short range and slow speed though as many much smaller missiles of the time could do better in both.
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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 14:20

hornetfinn wrote:It was reasonably agile probably because it was intended to be used against high altitude targets and had huge wings to do that. It was also very slow missile with likely long burning rocket motor. That probably also helped. It wasn't that agile as it could only engage targets maneuvering with 4 or 5 G's depending on model. Many missiles could do better but it's definitely quite remarkable agility given the size and age of the missile. It did have rather short range and slow speed though as many much smaller missiles of the time could do better in both.

thanks for replying

are you talking about the fighter or missile ?
The tu-128 is said to be rated at 2.5G
and the R-4M missile at 15 G
targets maneuvering at 4-5G are most strike/bomber aircraft if they are loaded with offensive ordnance?
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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 23:57

I always thought it was a stopgap measure, putting an attack aircraft into the role of an interceptor so that they could cover massive areas. It had a big radar at the time and about as big of turbojet that they could field at the time. Unfortunately it was also a fat, juicy target unsuitable for any role save interception over the vast expanses of the Soviet frontiers.
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nastle

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Unread post03 Jun 2020, 00:01

madrat wrote:I always thought it was a stopgap measure, putting an attack aircraft into the role of an interceptor so that they could cover massive areas. It had a big radar at the time and about as big of turbojet that they could field at the time. Unfortunately it was also a fat, juicy target unsuitable for any role save interception over the vast expanses of the Soviet frontiers.

Fiddler was descended from an attack aircraft? I think only Firebar was
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Unread post03 Jun 2020, 02:34

nastle wrote:
madrat wrote:I always thought it was a stopgap measure, putting an attack aircraft into the role of an interceptor so that they could cover massive areas. It had a big radar at the time and about as big of turbojet that they could field at the time. Unfortunately it was also a fat, juicy target unsuitable for any role save interception over the vast expanses of the Soviet frontiers.

Fiddler was descended from an attack aircraft? I think only Firebar was


Ever hear of Tu-98? Probably not much, since it was eclipsed by successful designs. But it came first.

So did the single-engine attack fighters based on the same engines. The engine was adapted to the interception role, not the other way around.
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Unread post03 Jun 2020, 04:53

madrat wrote:
nastle wrote:
madrat wrote:I always thought it was a stopgap measure, putting an attack aircraft into the role of an interceptor so that they could cover massive areas. It had a big radar at the time and about as big of turbojet that they could field at the time. Unfortunately it was also a fat, juicy target unsuitable for any role save interception over the vast expanses of the Soviet frontiers.

Fiddler was descended from an attack aircraft? I think only Firebar was


Ever hear of Tu-98? Probably not much, since it was eclipsed by successful designs. But it came first.

So did the single-engine attack fighters based on the same engines. The engine was adapted to the interception role, not the other way around.

Mladenov did give a picture of it and the lineage of the tu-28/128

However I did not realize that that tu-128 had the same engines.

The soviet interceptors like su-11/yak-28p/tu-128 were built to attack bombers but how were they supposed to deal with the escort fighters

I mean even the F-101 was supposed to be a escort fighter originally and even this 50s design can probably easily handle these soviet interceptors
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Unread post03 Jun 2020, 13:46

nastle wrote:
hornetfinn wrote:It was reasonably agile probably because it was intended to be used against high altitude targets and had huge wings to do that. It was also very slow missile with likely long burning rocket motor. That probably also helped. It wasn't that agile as it could only engage targets maneuvering with 4 or 5 G's depending on model. Many missiles could do better but it's definitely quite remarkable agility given the size and age of the missile. It did have rather short range and slow speed though as many much smaller missiles of the time could do better in both.

thanks for replying

are you talking about the fighter or missile ?
The tu-128 is said to be rated at 2.5G
and the R-4M missile at 15 G
targets maneuvering at 4-5G are most strike/bomber aircraft if they are loaded with offensive ordnance?


I was talking about the missile. 4-5G is good enough for many targets (especially attack aircraft and bombers) itself, but problem is that is the maximum performance. It's only applicable within narrow speed and altitude range. So an aircraft doing 3 Gs would have pretty good chance of avoiding the missile in most situations. Tu-128 and R-4 were meant to be used against bombers and not anything smaller and more maneuverable. In that role I think they would've been decent.
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Unread post04 Jun 2020, 13:09

The Tu-128 would not have been agile in any sense of the word.

A hundred feet long. Long, thin wings with slow actuators. Relatively weak rudder control. Weak engines. An all external load. Reliance on long range GCI that used inaccurate low frequency radars. It's hard to fathom it still had a job through to 1990, with only one major upgrade in the 70's.

Probably one of the all-time weakest designs when it comes to agility in combat aircraft history. The monster struggled with weather balloons. I believe the B-52s would have skated around them with a high confidence.
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Unread post04 Jun 2020, 16:47

Salute!

Need to get "Quick" on here or Outlaw.

Too much concern about gees. Missile and target and interceptors.

- the missile needs an ability to make severe flight maneuvers at the end game, regardless of the target gee, and depending upon the fuzing. e.g. the AIM-4D needed to contact the tgt! The 'winder and Sparrow did not. The AIM-4D was so good that it knocked off the flare on the Firebee drone wing down here at Tyndall. The drone flew on.

The Genie I carried in the Voodoo, and the 106 carried, didn't need to pull any gees and couldn't. It was an unguided "bullet" that went to M3 + velocity of my plane and exploded after a set time of flight. But it was designed, tested and launched every year when our squad went to Tyndall, and I got one great shot ( next year the damned motor didn't light).

- The interceptor can be a real pig as long as it can get to a decent firing solution and let the missile takeover. For the Cold War air defense mission, a head-on was preferred, then a beam and last of all a stern attack where you needed overtake.

The beam riders and Genie worked on all three setups. But until the AIM-9L and such, we had to run up the tail of the buff.

- The target can pull a hundred gees but if it ain't creating some angles for the missile and you to counter, who cares? So the defense is 1) knowing you're under attack, and 2) creating some angles and maybe speed if the bad guy is stuck in a tail chase trying to get within launch range.

Gums sends...
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Unread post04 Jun 2020, 17:27

nastle wrote:
madrat wrote:
nastle wrote:
The soviet interceptors like su-11/yak-28p/tu-128 were built to attack bombers but how were they supposed to deal with the escort fighters

I mean even the F-101 was supposed to be a escort fighter originally and even this 50s design can probably easily handle these soviet interceptors


The USSR did not have an "air force" like the US. The ICBM missile forces were a totally separate branch of the military, unlike SAC belonging to the USAF. The Soviet "Air Force" was the tactical part that would fight in Europe or elsewhere, much like TAC / USAFE / PACAF. The third "air force" was PVO STRANY, similar to the USAF ADC, but a totally separate branch of the military. It ranked behind the missile forces and the land army, but above the standard tactical air force.

The interceptors you refer to above belonged to PVO STRANY. They were stationed within the USSR, and were tasked with the defense of the Soviet Union from penetrating attacks by western long range nuclear bombers such as the Vulcan, B-36, B-47, B-52, and B-58. Those bombers were not going to be escorted by any fighters. A B-52 launching out of Orlando or Fort Worth and flying a 15-hour (one way) mission up over the pole to penetrate Siberia or the Urals in the middle of winter and multiple nuclear detonations....was not going to have any F-100s or F-105s or F-4s escorting it.

Likewise, our F-101 and F-102 and F-106 pilots attempting to intercept TU-95s over Saskatchewan or Minnesota did not expect those bombers to be escorted by MiG-21s or SU-15s.
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nastle

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Unread post05 Jun 2020, 05:01

Meteor wrote:


The USSR did not have an "air force" like the US. The ICBM missile forces were a totally separate branch of the military, unlike SAC belonging to the USAF. The Soviet "Air Force" was the tactical part that would fight in Europe or elsewhere, much like TAC / USAFE / PACAF. The third "air force" was PVO STRANY, similar to the USAF ADC, but a totally separate branch of the military. It ranked behind the missile forces and the land army, but above the standard tactical air force.

The interceptors you refer to above belonged to PVO STRANY. They were stationed within the USSR, and were tasked with the defense of the Soviet Union from penetrating attacks by western long range nuclear bombers such as the Vulcan, B-36, B-47, B-52, and B-58. Those bombers were not going to be escorted by any fighters. A B-52 launching out of Orlando or Fort Worth and flying a 15-hour (one way) mission up over the pole to penetrate Siberia or the Urals in the middle of winter and multiple nuclear detonations....was not going to have any F-100s or F-105s or F-4s escorting it.

Likewise, our F-101 and F-102 and F-106 pilots attempting to intercept TU-95s over Saskatchewan or Minnesota did not expect those bombers to be escorted by MiG-21s or SU-15s.


i know what you said but F-101 ORIGINALLY designed to be an escort fighter for SAC bombers , it did not happen due to a variety of reasons maybe you can elaborate on those

The soviets cannot provide escort fighters as they simply did not have any with sufficent range and their fighters lacked IFR
while NATO fighters did and this was frequently used
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Unread post05 Jun 2020, 06:20

Gums wrote:Salute!

Need to get "Quick" on here or Outlaw.

Too much concern about gees. Missile and target and interceptors.

- the missile needs an ability to make severe flight maneuvers at the end game, regardless of the target gee, and depending upon the fuzing. e.g. the AIM-4D needed to contact the tgt! The 'winder and Sparrow did not. The AIM-4D was so good that it knocked off the flare on the Firebee drone wing down here at Tyndall. The drone flew on.

The Genie I carried in the Voodoo, and the 106 carried, didn't need to pull any gees and couldn't. It was an unguided "bullet" that went to M3 + velocity of my plane and exploded after a set time of flight. But it was designed, tested and launched every year when our squad went to Tyndall, and I got one great shot ( next year the damned motor didn't light).

- The interceptor can be a real pig as long as it can get to a decent firing solution and let the missile takeover. For the Cold War air defense mission, a head-on was preferred, then a beam and last of all a stern attack where you needed overtake.

The beam riders and Genie worked on all three setups. But until the AIM-9L and such, we had to run up the tail of the buff.

- The target can pull a hundred gees but if it ain't creating some angles for the missile and you to counter, who cares? So the defense is 1) knowing you're under attack, and 2) creating some angles and maybe speed if the bad guy is stuck in a tail chase trying to get within launch range.

Gums sends...


Did the soviets also have AAMs with nuclear warheads ?
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Unread post05 Jun 2020, 09:37

nastle wrote:Did the soviets also have AAMs with nuclear warheads ?


I don't think they ever had those. They did develop some nuclear tipped surface-to-air missiles (S-25/SA-1, S-75/SA-2 and S-200/SA-5) but AFAIK they never had nuclear air-to-air weapons. I think early on they didn't have technology to make small enough nuclear warhead. Later on they definitely could've developed such weapons, but it's interesting that they didn't even when they faced a large number of USAF bombers. On the other hand USAF had those weapons while facing smaller and less capable Soviet bomber force.
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Unread post05 Jun 2020, 09:59

madrat wrote:The Tu-128 would not have been agile in any sense of the word.

A hundred feet long. Long, thin wings with slow actuators. Relatively weak rudder control. Weak engines. An all external load. Reliance on long range GCI that used inaccurate low frequency radars. It's hard to fathom it still had a job through to 1990, with only one major upgrade in the 70's.

Probably one of the all-time weakest designs when it comes to agility in combat aircraft history. The monster struggled with weather balloons. I believe the B-52s would have skated around them with a high confidence.


Agree that it was not that successful design and only a small amount (by Cold War standards) was ever produced. The Soviets went for MiG-25 which was a far more capable aircraft and entered service only less than a decade later than Tu-128. Tu-128 did have powerful radar though and MiG-25 used a radar that was based on the one used in Tu-128. It seems that the Soviets didn't scrap anything until it was just unusable and that's why Tu-128 was used for a very long time despite being totally obsolete for a long time.
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