At the end of the 1950s, when the Tu-28-80 complex was only thought, it was planned to deploy more than twenty air defense aviation regiments equipped with them along the borders of the USSR (in the northern, eastern and southeastern directions). In reality, it was possible to deploy six regiments of a three-squadron squadron, for 9 - 12 vehicles in each squadron.
In early October, 1965, seven serial machines from the first series (from the 4-th to the 9-th series) were allocated for military tests. In October, the first Tu-1966 128 arrived at the airfield of air defense aviation in Talagi near Arkhangelsk, where the 518-iap was based, which was part of the 10-th army of the air defense. In this regiment from 18 in May 1967 to 29 in October 1968 conducted military tests of the Tu-128-4 complex.
In 1967, the TU-128s entered the 445-iap of the 10-th Army of the Air Defense Forces (Savatiya and Kotlas-based airfields). 9 July 1967. The planes of these two regiments in parade ran over the airfield in Domodedovo, where the grandiose show of the latest domestic aviation technology, dedicated to the 50 anniversary of the October Revolution. As the full-scale mass production was deployed, more and more Tu-128 came to combat units. On 1 August 1967, there were already 64 machines there.
With the beginning of the arrival of aircraft in the air defense aircraft in the ANB Design Bureau Tupolev was created a special team to operate the aircraft and the complex. At the same time, for the same purpose, the Voronezh branch of the OKB formed a group of engineers and designers who were responsible for the operation and necessary modifications of the machine.
Interceptor Tu-128 at the airport
Tu-128 aircraft at the 1967 parade in Domodedovo
Before 1970, the TU-128 was able to rearm the 72 of the Guards. Iap (Amderma, 10-I army of air defense), and also three regiments of 14-th army of air defense - 356-th in Semipalatinsk, 64-th in Omsk (Omsk-Sevonyi airway) and 350-th located at that period at Belaya airfield ( in 1984, he was relocated to Bratsk). Considering the “solid” size and mass of the Tu-128 and its far from destructive “maneuverability”, from the name of the regiments re-equipped to these machines, later the word “destructive” was removed and they became simply “air defense aviation regiments”.
How Tu-128 was mastered can be judged from the memories of Colonel E. Evlevsky, one of the first combat pilots who took off on this plane. In October, 1967, the city of Evglevsky, fell into a disaster in which his navigator died; the pilot himself managed to escape by catapulting. Subsequently, he flew the Tu-128 for almost another ten years, becoming an aviation inspector of air defense, and then, after demobilization, worked for many years as a service engineer at the Tupolev Design Bureau.
Here is an excerpt from his memoirs: “For the flight personnel of air defense aviation, switching to an aircraft of a class such as the Tu-128 presented a certain complexity. This complexity was primarily in the unusual control system of the aircraft. Firstly, the wheel instead of the usual handle fighter. Secondly, foot brakes instead of a hand lever on the control stick. A certain complexity represented the dimensions and inertia of the aircraft. Pilots were especially uncommonly perceived by the inertia of the machine on preplant planning. This was aggravated by low lateral handling at low speeds in the landing configuration. In combination with a significant planning speed, low controllability complicated the approach.
The technician gives the aircraft commander a report on the readiness of the machine for departure.
Development schemes for the combat capabilities of the Tu-128, Tu-138 and Tu-148
Landing Tu-128 with a brake parachute
For pilots who retrained from MiG-17 aircraft, the approach was a very difficult element. It was no less difficult for them to maintain the pitch angle at take-off and, especially, after separation during operation of both engines at a boost with a full take-off weight of the aircraft, when the pitch angle after separation reached 16 °. At this moment, energetic acceleration is taking place, despite the large pitch angle. In this case, the pilot is forced to tear off his left hand from the steering wheel for cleaning the chassis and flaps. Naturally, this instantly formed a roll. Of particular difficulty was cleaning the flaps. It was impossible to exceed the speed of the device more than 450 km / h, so as not to tear the flaps (by the way, there were such cases). And it was necessary to maintain this speed only by increasing the pitch angle. And if I made a mistake - I missed the speed, then the pitch angle had to be pulled to 20 - 25 °. After the MiG-17, doing it at low altitude was just scary.
The lack of a training aircraft forced the command of air defense aviation to introduce a certain qualification for pilots who were going to master the Tu-128. It was necessary to have 1 class and at least 400 hours of flight time on jet planes in combat units (not counting school). I do not know from whose filing, but in the state test report there was an assessment that “... The Tu-128 is simple to operate, and does not require a training aircraft ...”. Long and hard, at the cost of several broken machines, we sought to develop and implement a training aircraft. He appeared and entered the unit when all the regiments were already rearmed on the Tu-128. And before that, we studied the first group of pilots on the IL-14, then on the Tu-124. Then they received one Tu-124 one for the regiment, and they had to train from fighter planes in a hurry to instruct pilots on a transport plane (navigational version of the Tu-124 - Tu-124Sh. Although the shelves of the Tu-124Sh were called “big UTI MiG-15”, it was he who bore the brunt of the export program during mass retraining.
The pilots from the Su-128 were more readily and quickly transferred to the Tu-9. The engine is almost the same, the speeds at take-off and landing are identical, but instead of one engine - two, and the stock of fuel is almost three times more.
T-128 interceptors at the aerodrome
Aircraft 72 th gv. an air defense on the airfield Amderma
Tu-128 in the parking lot
An assistant, a navigator-operator, appeared behind the pilot's back. True, the fighters did not want to use the help of navigators for a long time, but then they realized that part of the work could be shifted onto the shoulders of a comrade who copes with navigational problems. Well, after mastering interceptions in the forward hemisphere on a collision course, the Tu-128 pilots became proud and felt the power of their new weapons. Everyone especially liked that they did not need to climb to the height of the intercepted target, but it was possible to shoot it down while being lower on 3000 - 4500 m.
It should be noted that at that time the Tu-128 armament system exceeded in all parameters the system of all other air defense aircraft: it was the missile launch range, the height of the targets hit, the attack range, the capture range and target detection. It was bad with low altitudes, but this deficiency was subsequently eliminated during the modernization of the Tu-128 in the Tu-128. ”
From 3 in March 1970 on nine production Tu-128 began to conduct leader tests, which gave a large amount of material on the technical condition of the aircraft and the entire complex. The technical condition of the two cars from this lot in the same year was studied by the serial plant.
The military tests of the modernized complex Tu-128С-4М were carried out in the summer of 1977 at the Sary-Sha-gan test site in the area of Lake Balkhash. The crews of the 356 an at six Tu-128M took part in them. In the flights and launches of the missiles, no more than three aircraft were used, which were used to launch missiles of the Р-4ТМ and .Р-4РМ missiles at altitudes 300 - 500 m on unmanned targets La-17.
The combat use of the Tu-128 suggested several typical options for using the capabilities of the complex. In one of them, the detection of targets and the interceptor was aimed at them using ground-based radars or Tu-126 DRLO aircraft. When interacting with the Tu-126, interceptor crews often had to perform tasks in a semi-autonomous mode, since the directional pattern of the Liana complex’s on-board radar had a significant dead zone in the form of a ring, which attacking attack aircraft could jump quite quickly. In addition, the altitude of the target was determined by the equipment and operators of the Tu-126 sufficiently approximately, according to the position of the DRLO aircraft itself. The operator with the Tu-126 gave the interceptor crew only the course and the composition of the target. After receiving these data, the Tu-128 conducted a further search on its own.
With the autonomous version, the interceptor crew had to work without the aid of guidance tools. He was assigned a barrage area, as a rule, at an altitude of 11 LLC m. Unlike the Su-15, and then the MiG-31, this echelon Tu-128 held without the afterburner of engines, which significantly increased the time of loitering and, thus, efficiency complex. There was a variant of work in the squad of three or four aircraft. In this case, the system was a narrow or wide bearing, in which the latter was the vehicle of the detachment commander. Each crew conducted a search in their sector and on the radio reported the situation to the commander. He assessed the situation and made decisions independently or reported to the command post and acted further as directed. In practice, this technique has been worked out infrequently, since it required a significant flight of crews, their high flight and tactical training.
From the very beginning of combat duty, the Tu-128 took its rightful place in the air defense system of the USSR. In those years, it was built as follows: advanced aviation echelon - according to 10 Tu-128 from each regiment, which, if necessary, flew to forward-based airfields; 1-th echelon - guards and air defense systems in border districts; 2-th echelon - forces and means of air defense of internal districts. The use of Tu-128 interceptors in this system, capable of fully arming over 2,5 h in the air, made it possible to reach the interception line up to 1100 km from the borders of our country.
Interceptor crew before flight. Stars on board show the number of rocket launches from this aircraft.
Tu-128 at the airport
The most intense duty was in the northern regions. Here, the crews constantly rose to intercept reconnaissance and patrol aircraft of NATO countries. Significant anxiety was delivered by the American strategic intelligence officers SR-71, which appeared at our borders with enviable constancy.
Crews Tu-128 had to fight with automatic drifting balloons, equipped with intelligence equipment, which in those years Americans in abundance launched into our airspace, having previously studied the air currents over our territory. The capture of the on-board radar and the launch of the missiles was carried out using containers with equipment, since the balloons themselves were too low-contrast radar targets (apparently due to special coverage). Fighting them was not easy.
For example, at the end of 1970's. The crew of Major V. Sirotkin from 518-up has filled up two balls. In the second case, the ball managed to knock down, only firing all four P-4 missiles. Since not only Americans "indulged" with similar balloons, Tu-128 had to get rid of its similar "products", which were off the established course and began to pose a threat to both civilian and military aircraft. In June, 1974, six Soviet aerostats at the “bad” whim of the air flow, changed the direction of their free flight and began to approach the Chinese border in Kazakhstan. The crew of Colonel N. Gaidukov from 356-ap, who was on duty, raised on their interception, and hit one ball out of six. Then, half a dozen regimental vehicles with less experienced crews went to intercept, but they did not manage to shoot down a single balloon.
The case was saved by the regiment commander Col. E.I. Kostenko, who hit one ball from the first attack. Then the success was accompanied by four more crews; the obstinate aerostats were finally over.
Anything happened. So, in 1970, the Tu-128 took part in the Ocean exercise. Then, for a short period of time, one of the airplanes invaded Norwegian airspace, but the flight was at supersonic speed, and NATO air defense weapons did not have time to react.
During the Northern fleet Tu-128 crews were involved in joint operations with ships; as a means of guidance was supposed to use shipborne radar. But in real conditions of severe storms in the North, this idea was only partially verified. In 1978, during the exercises of Tu-128 of the 72nd Guards. the ap and the 356th ap worked autonomously, intercepting the "native" Tu-95, depicting the American B-52, attacking ships from the North Pole.
Tu-128M from 356-th ap defense is taxiing to start in Semipalatinsk, 1981. On the left inner pylon the rocket Р-4Т is suspended, on the right internal - Р-4Р
The crews of the Tu-128 persistently mastered actions from the leading airfields located along the northern borders of the USSR, such as Alykel (Norilsk), Khatanga,. Tiksi, Yakutsk, Naryan-Mar. For example, in August of 1977, pilots of the 64 up were practicing actions to cover the ships of the Northern Fleet in the waters of the Kara Sea from Arctic airfields. The possibility of using ice airfields by supersonic aircraft has also been actively studied. So, in 1979, three Tu-128 and one Tu-128UT from the 72-th Guards. An were transferred to the ice airfield Graeme-Bel. During the execution of this task, one crew was forced to stay longer than the deadline, which nature released, due to a malfunction of the aircraft, and the interceptor took off already from the sodden ice strip. Nevertheless, the car easily rose into the air. In January, 1980 was a group of Tu-128 from 356 an in the same composition for some time on the ice airfield near Sredny island.
In general, the Tu-128 enjoyed a high reputation among flight personnel. Let us turn once more to Evglevsky's memoirs: “If we talk about my personal impression of this plane, I want to say that with this beautiful machine I have gone through a very long period of my life, which I can neither delete nor forget. From the first minute of the development of this "Fiddler", as the Americans called him, I was amazed at the power of his movement, the feeling of power, mass, obedient to the movement of your hands and thoughts. Powerful acceleration on take-off and rapid climb. At the supersonic Tu-128 passed at an altitude of 10 - 11 km without the afterburner. In Tu-128 aircraft and Tu-128M aircraft, they trained a galaxy of glorious combat pilots who can rightly be proud of their flying skills and the fact that for the first time on this plane they solved the problem of completely covering the country's facilities from air strikes on the immense expanses of the northern borders ".
According to the deputy commander of the air defense corps, Colonel V.I. Anokhin, Tu-128 was the most reliable of all Soviet interceptors of the time. The flight on the dialup and supersonic on this machine did not have any particular differences for the pilots, it did not require the crew to fly at supersonic speeds such as, for example, on the Su-15 and MiG-31. Former chief of air-fire training 350-th major N.I. Popov believes that the Tu-128 was better suited for operation in the conditions of the North at low temperatures than the MiG-31. Giving a general assessment of the Tu-128, he said: "During all my flight activities, I had the feeling of a good machine ..."
But, as you know, there are spots on the sun too - and from this point of view, the Tu-128 is no exception. With a mass of fairly positive reviews, comments on the car also lacked. Recall she was very strict on landing. The pilot had to carefully "aim" for twenty kilometers to the strip. In the event that the zone of the far drive (4000 m) the car passed with an error at the rate of more than 3 °, the landing process was stopped, and the crew took away the Tu-128 to the second approach. At preplant planning at a speed of 450 km / h, the Tu-128 reacted sluggishly to aileron deviations. This sometimes led to accidents and disasters that most often occurred with young pilots.
Pilots who flew on this plane, noted another danger - roll restrictions on a bend. With a roll more than 60 °, he sharply lowered his nose, quickly accelerated and at a speed of 800 km / h became “neutral” in ailerons. At the speed of 1000 km / h, there was a complete "loss" of the ailerons, and they began to reverse. Tu-128 entered into a deep spiral, from which it was almost impossible to withdraw it, although experienced pilots coped with this effect, saving both their lives and the aircraft. But at the same time, the design experienced such overloads and deformations (first of all, the wing, its skinning turned into an “accordion”), which the plane still had to be written off later.
One of the first Tu-128UT, converted from the combat Tu-128
Tu-128 at the airport
Flight interceptor link
A former deputy commander of the 53 Air Defense Division, Colonel E.I. Kostenko:
“In the spring of 1971, the 350 was running training shots at the Temlemba training ground near Chita. After the launch of the missiles on a parachute target, the commander of the detachment, Major E. Tkachenko, made a mistake in piloting, and the Tu-128 entered the fatal spiral. Trying to get out of it, the pilot at an altitude of 5000 m brought the aircraft to the maximum operating overload 2,5d. When 3000 m remained to the ground, the overload exceeded 5d, and the car collapsed. Obviously, due to the resulting deformations of the structure, the crew could not eject and died. ”
Serious difficulties in piloting could arise from the design features of the fuel system. Each TU-128 engine was powered by its group of tanks, the uneven generation of fuel from which led to the aircraft being tilted to one side or another, and corresponding points were added for pickling or diving. Therefore, sometimes you had to fly with a fully deflected steering wheel.
In the maintenance of the Tu-128, compared with other machines, was considered relatively simple. Designers OKB provided a large number of hatches. Access to the units was normal, although in some places they were installed in two layers, which, of course, complicated the work.
By the end of 1970's career Tu-128 gradually began to approach sunset. He was to be replaced soon by the MiG-31. But the refinement of the new interceptor, its full-scale mass production and the entry into the troops dragged on. The retooling of the regiments to a new technique was completed only by the end of the 1980s. Some regiments with Tu-128 were transferred not to MiG-31, but to Su-27. At this time, most of the Tu-128M was still quite combat-ready and could be upgraded with the transition to new weapons and navigation systems.
Tu-128, used as a textbook in one of the ShMAS
Serial Tu-128 on tests in the Institute of Air Force
Tu-128UT on takeoff
But "above" decided differently. At the end of 1980's A lot of Tu-128M (about 50 machines) were assembled at the storage base in Rzhev. The airplanes remaining in the units were destroyed in five different ways within five years - they were blown up and drowned at sea. Finally, at the end of the 1990's. have developed an effective method for the destruction of aircraft using corded explosives, which allowed them to "finish off" the remaining Tu-128.
Only a few copies remained. Currently, the first prototype is in the Monino Museum, two or three years ago, one Tu-128M and one Tu-128UT were still stored at the storage facility in Rzhev. Perhaps one aircraft is available at Savosleyka and at the Air Defense Academy in Tver.
Tu-128 entered history our Air Force and the domestic aviation industry as a reliable aircraft with good flight tactical and operational characteristics, designed and built clearly in the framework of the tasks set by the customer.
The feasibility of the birth of the project of a long-range supersonic missile-carrying anti-aircraft interceptor Tu-128 and an air defense complex based on it must be considered in a rigid connection to the time and conceptual frameworks of the second half of 1950-x, the beginning of 1960-x, to those specific tasks that stood in front of the Soviet air defense of that period. One of the main and most difficult to carry out of them was the cover of our military-political and economic centers from the almost undeveloped northern and eastern borders, stretching for thousands of kilometers across deserted and unsuitable for living areas. It was from these directions that, in the event of a global nuclear conflict, they were supposed to rush along routes across the North Atlantic and across the North Pole to a combination of US strategic aviation, carrying atomic bombs and air-to-ground missiles.
It would be extremely difficult to rely on the creation of defensive belts from stationary or mobile air defense missile systems in these areas, given the economic and technical problems, as well as taking into account the rather limited capabilities of the first domestic anti-aircraft missile systems. Building and deploying air defense belts in remote, undeveloped areas of the country would require hundreds of billions of investments. It is worth remembering how it cost the country the limited deployment of C-25 and C-75 complexes in fairly developed areas of the country. Therefore, the decision of the military-political leadership of the USSR on the deployment of long-range airborne missile systems based on heavy supersonic anti-aircraft fighters-interceptors was at that time the most expedient.
The emphasis on the creation of an aviation-missile complex, which was based on the concept of a heavy low-maneuverable supersonic aircraft carrier-guided maneuverable air-to-air missiles with a large launch range at that time, with two types of GOS (thermal and radar) right. This approach made it possible to obtain savings on the mass of the aircraft’s structure, maximally limiting flight operational overloads and, thus, increasing the fuel stock, and taking into account the available RDF aircraft carrier developers, to obtain characteristics that are close to the interception lines and flight speeds with missiles . All the "maneuverable" work to intercept the target in this case was shifted to the missiles.
Tu-XNUMHUT at the airport; pay attention to the keel tip made like the Tu-128M
Tu-128 in the parking lot
At that time, the Tu-128 allowed sufficiently reliable interception of strategic bombers of potential enemies at large distances from the protected objects, including outside the air-to-ground missile launch zone. Even the incomplete implementation of plans for the deployment of this technology has given a powerful tool in the hands of air defense aviation to combat the air violators of our borders, which has been repeatedly confirmed both during training intercept targets and sorties to destroy real targets.
The full potential of the complex should have been revealed in the process of further deep modernization, including during the transition to the Tu-148 with variable wing sweep in flight. Later, the Tupolevs repeatedly returned to the concept of a “flying anti-aircraft battery”, preparing proposals for similar modification of the Tu-144, Tu-22М and Tu-160 aircraft.
There are practically no direct analogues of the Tu-128 in world aviation. As closest to our aircraft as intended - and LTH, we can with some stretch consider the Canadian project of the Arrow CF-105 heavy supersonic interceptor fighter. Its take-off weight is about 30 T, the maximum speed is M = 2,3, the maximum range is 2400 km. On the plane there were two TRDFs with a maximum load at the 13,6 afterburner, it could carry up to eight guided missiles. And this analogy is not surprising, because it was the Canadian Air Force, which was part of the North American continent’s unified air defense system, that had to cover the Arctic borders from a possible red bomber attack by the North Pole to targets in Canada and the United States. -4, and then the jet M-4, 3M and Tu-95, with nuclear weapons on board. Therefore, the Canadian Air Force in the post-war years took on armament one after another heavy fighter-interceptors with a long range. At first it was a self-developed subsonic CF-100 “Kanuk”, and later - the American “I Will” supersonic CF-101B. The latter, in some respects, was superior to our Tu-128, but at half the take-off weight. The Arrow was built in only a few prototypes and did not enter service.
On the ocean side, the United States and Canada were supposed to defend fighter planes based on aircraft carriers from the Russian bombers, and in the near zone - interceptors F-102 and F-106 with guided air-to-air missiles. When before the United States at the turn of 1950 - 1960-ies. the threat posed by new Soviet missile-carrying aircraft with a launch range of several hundred kilometers loomed; they began to study the possibility of building a heavy deck subsonic vehicle patronizing fighter. The aircraft project was prepared by Douglas. The machine, which received the designation F6D-1 "Missyler", was supposed to carry under the wing up to six Eagle missiles with a flight of about 100 km. The aircraft itself, in terms of its aerodynamic and constructive solutions, was a further development of the concept of the F3D Skyboard fighter, which was in service with the US Navy for many years. To some extent, this project is permissible to be considered as a conceptual analogue of our Tu-128, although according to flight data, the Missyler was significantly inferior to the Soviet aircraft created later.
It is safe to say that the creation, transfer to mass production, the long-term successful operation and development of the Tu-128 long-range interceptor missile system were an important milestone in the history of domestic and world aviation. Many conceptual solutions embodied in this complex have not lost their relevance for the domestic Air Force in the new century and, perhaps, will be in demand and implemented at a new technical level.
Nearby are the Tu-128M (in the foreground) and the Tu-128
Tu-128 at the Air Defense Aviation Center in Savoslake
Color and designation
The planes left the serial plant, having a natural color of those sheet materials from which the plating was made (these were mainly aluminum alloys). The entire surface of the airframe was covered with a transparent protective acrylic varnish. The painting technology was as follows: AK-113F colorless varnish was applied to the individual airframe units before assembly, then they were subjected to hot drying, and after assembly, the airframe was twice coated with AC-16 or AC-82 colorless varnish. At the Air Force repair facilities, this technology was maintained during the repair work.
The radome "Smerch" radar was originally covered with radiotransparent enamel EP-255 of green color, on later series - АС-85 of gray color. Later, the white enamel AC-598 was used. The panels covering the antennas of the Prism station on the keels of the serial Tu-128UT and some Tu-128М were covered with radio-transparent enamel ФП-51-05 or ФП-51-90. Wheel rims were painted with green UE-12.
In front of the pilot's lantern, an anti-glare strip was applied on the fuselage with a black matte enamel; later, during serial production, repair and operation, they turned to white.
The placement of identification marks corresponded to the regulatory documents introduced in the middle of the 1950-s. for heavy aircraft. Red stars with a white and red edging painted on the wings above and below and on the keel. On the keel, but closer to its base, the full serial number of the machine was applied. It was repeated on the fuselage under the navigator’s cabin. In 1980-s. on all Air Force aircraft, in order to increase secrecy, all factory numbers were painted over. Oddly enough, this also affected machines that were kept in museums, as well as
called as flightless study aids in flight and technical schools and SHMAS.
Tactical number was located under the cockpit on the fuselage. Its color was different and depended on which shelf the car belonged to. For example, in the 10-th separate army of air defense, the 518-th regiment aircraft had red numbers, 445-th - yellow, 72-th Guards - blue (blue).
Tu-128 of one of the regiments of the 10 Army of Air Defense, Arkhangelsk region
Tu-128M unknown military unit
Tu-128M from 356 th anti-aircraft defense, Semipalatinsk airfield, autumn 1980,
Long-range interceptor Tu-128 in the Museum of the Russian Air Force in Monino
The nose of the aircraft. Air intakes are closed with plugs. In front of the visor of the cab, the antenna of the radio-height meter PB-UM is visible
Radome fairing and cockpit
Guided missile P-4 with radar seeker on the outer pylon
1. State Research Institute of Aviation Systems 1946 - 1996 Essays on history, M „GosNII AS, 1996.
2. Nezval I.F. Memories of work in the Design Bureau. A.N. Tupolev, M., Tupolev OJSC, 1985.
3. Rigmant V.G. Aircraft design bureau A.N.Tupolev, M., Rusavia, 2001. Journals: Aviation and Time, Aviation and Cosmonautics. Used materials of the museum of JSC "Tupolev".