The supersonic (maximum speed - 2150 – 2200 km / h) fighter-bomber, developed on the basis of the not widely spread front-line fighter Su-7 (without a letter after the number), was officially adopted at the beginning of the year. The rush was probably explained by the fact that the Soviet Air Force desperately needed a machine designed to replace the “erzatsy” used in this capacity - the MiG-15bis and MiG-17F subsonic fighters.
Su-7B in various versions for a very long time became the main strike complex of the domestic front-line aviationimmediately displacing the "classmate" - the supersonic bomber Yak-28, not to mention the outdated IL-28. By 1965, there were 450 Su-7Bs in the combat structure of the USSR Air Force, about 28 were built in Yak-350s in bombing and strike versions. In total, Su-7B, Su-7BM, Su-7BMK and Su-7BKL fighters were built pieces. Plus 1342 training "sparks" Su-365U.
New "drying" and the Yak were considered primarily as carriers of tactical nuclear weapons. Su-7B was equipped with an 8UX69 (“244H”) compact special bombs placed on the external suspension, 5 kilotons in weight and kilograms weighing about 500, and Yak-28 (like IL-28) - much heavier (1200 kg) and requiring an external heating box (much less heavier (30 kg) and requiring an external heating box (like X-NNUMX) - much more heavy (4 kg) and requiring an external heating box (XNUMX kg) and requiring an outer heating box that requires an external heating box that is much heavier (XNUMX kg) and requires an external heating box that requires a warm outer cover (XNUMX kg) and requiring an external heating box that uses an external heating box that is using a XNUMXB). -kiloton RDS-XNUMX on the interbody fuselage.
For the use of nuclear weapons, the Su-7B was equipped with an electromechanical device for bombing from a PBC-1 cabriroon, which automatically determined the reset time provided for at a speed of 1000 – 1050 kilometers per hour when maneuvering with a sharp climb from small to 3500 – 4000 meters. Su-7B involved in the ground tests of aviation nuclear weapons.
Subsequently, the nuclear arsenal of the Su-7B was replenished with the RN-24 special bombs and, finally, the RN-28, miniaturized to the mass of 250 kilograms. However, the arsenal was not limited to nuclear weapons: in addition to the two built-in 30-mm guns of the HP-30 "universal" caliber, optimized to destroy both airborne and ground targets, including lightly armored ones, the "drying" carried a fairly diverse conventional outboard armament. Its options for an improved version of the Su-7BLK with a wheel-ski chassis and increased to six (against the previous four) number of suspension points included 160 57-mm unguided C-5 missiles in four 32- and two 16-charging units, 42 134-mm NUR C-3K in six seven-shot launch consoles, six heavy 240-mm NUR C-24, four 500-kilogram and two 250-kilogram bombs or six 100 – 250-kilogram, napalm tanks, etc. According to foreign sources, Su-7B fighters could arm and guided missiles class "Air-to-air" P-3S infrared homing head. Toward the end of their career Su-7B received suspended electronic warfare stations.
Simple in design, but not the easiest in piloting, the Su-7B won among the Air Force personnel jokes like “Tail and wings on a pipe - this is“ drying ”- the family and“ be ”. Although for the sake of truth, it must be said that the “winged tubes” were both the MiG-21, and the Su-9, and the Su-11. Foreign experts gave Su-7B different ratings. For example, American Lon Nordin, the author of Air Warfare in the Missile Age (“Air War in the Rocket Age”) noted: “Su-7B was developed as a means of delivery of a tactical nuclear weapon at supersonic speeds and therefore had a modest combat radius at maximum load ammunition. The maximum combat payload mass (2000 – 2500 kg) in the latter case was lower than that of a number of Western tactical fighters of the time. So, significantly lighter than the Su-7B and its modifications, the American F-5A Freedom Fighter lifted 2812 kilograms of missile and bomb load, surpassing even improved models of "drying" by 312 kilograms. But the enemy aircraft significantly lost to ours at maximum speed at high altitude - more than 600 – 700 kilometers per hour, although for fighter-bomber this is not so significant.
Serious drawbacks of the Su-7B were, perhaps, its lack of fitness and the impossibility of effective combat use at night.
However, many Western experts invariably emphasized the strength of the Su-7B design, its reliability and good tactical performance at low altitudes. Plus a relatively low cost - this played a role when the Su-7B entered the international market of military aircraft quite successfully (of course, some states, rated by Moscow as sympathizers, received these planes on extremely favorable terms or taking into account the subsequent debt write-off).
As a result of use in local wars, the Su-7B became a real "front-line soldier". It was used in the hostilities of the Air Force of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, India and Afghanistan. In these countries, as well as in Vietnam, the DPRK and South Yemen, it was delivered in the commercial version of the Su-7BMK, which lacked equipment that allowed the machine to be used as a carrier of nuclear bombs. But the pilots of the Polish and Czechoslovak People’s Army at their Su-7BM and Su-7BCL knew what to do in the case of the third world war. I had in mind the possibility of transferring tactical nuclear weapons to the Warsaw Pact countries under Soviet control (for more details, the “Nuclear Brotherhood”). Su-7B also the Air Force of Romania and Hungary, but it was not known whether they were intended for use in a particularly shock version.
Having passed the service baton to his deep modification with the variable sweep of the Su-17 wing (this family also includes the export Su-20 and Su-22), the veteran Su-7B remained - already of course, in a smaller number - in the combat formation of the USSR Air Force to 1989 of the year, a little before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was certainly a staging machine that left a bright mark on stories domestic aviation.
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