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Ukraine eliminates Tu-22M3 aircraft and Kh-22 missiles: Insights and details

Ukraine eliminates Tu-22M3 aircraft and Kh-22 missiles: Insights and details Photo: Ukraine destroyed Russian Tu-22M3 bomber (Russian media)

Ukrainian defenders have destroyed a Russian strategic bomber, Tu-22M3, for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. Additionally, two Kh-22 missiles were also destroyed for the first time.

More details about this aircraft and the missiles in the material by RBC-Ukraine.


Russia's new attack

That night, on April 19, Russian forces once again attacked Ukraine. The occupiers launched 22 missiles and 14 kamikaze drones. Among the missiles were:

  • Two Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles were launched from Tu-95MS strategic aircraft.
  • 12 guided aviation missiles Kh-59/Kh-69.
  • Two Kh-22 cruise missiles were launched from the distant strategic bomber Tu-22M3.

The air defense forces managed to destroy all 14 Shaheds, two Kh-101/Kh-555 missiles, 11 Kh-59/Kh-69 missiles, and two Kh-22 missiles.

Additionally, the Air Force and the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense destroyed a distant strategic bomber, Tu-22M3. The Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mykola Oleshchuk, noted that two Kh-22 missiles were destroyed for the first time during today's attack.

Details of the Tu-22M3 destruction

The Russians claimed that a military plane Tu-22M3 crashed in the Stavropol Krai of the Russian Federation overnight.

However, as known, the elimination of the bomber was carried out by the Defense Forces of Ukraine. Sources from RBС-Ukraine indicated that the destroyed Tu-22M3 had been striking Ukraine. The plane was attacked at a distance of 300 km from Ukraine.

Also, according to sources, the Russian Tu-22M3 aircraft was shot down by the S-200 surface-to-air missile system. Specialists from the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense had modified the system.

Tu-22M3 overview

The Tu-22M3 is a long-range strategic bomber that serves as a carrier for Kh-22 missiles.

The first Tu-22 aircraft were developed in the 1960s. The first Tu-22M0 appeared by mid-1969, and nine such aircraft were produced by the end of 1972. Several drawbacks were identified during testing, leading to the decision to build the Tu-22M2.

The Tu-22M3 model appeared in the 1970s. The aircraft first took to the skies in June 1977, and serial production concluded in 1993. Open sources reveal that 268 bombers were built in total.

Ukraine eliminates Tu-22M3 aircraft and Kh-22 missiles: Insights and details

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As of today, it is still being determined how many Tu-22M3 aircraft Russia possesses. Experts estimate that there are at most 60, but only half of them are in operational condition.

After the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine received 22 Tu-22M2 and 60 Tu-22M3 aircraft. Later, 19 were transferred to Russia, four were kept for museum exhibitions, and the rest were scrapped.

Key characteristics of Tu-22M3:

  • Crew: 4 persons
  • Length: 42 meters, height: 11 meters
  • Wingspan: from 23.3 to 34.3 meters
  • Takeoff weight: 112 tons
  • Maximum speed: 2300 km/h
  • Service ceiling: 13,300 meters
  • Range: 6800 km

Kh-22 missiles

The Tu-22M3 is equipped with Kh-22 missiles, also known as "blind killers." These are anti-ship missiles developed in the mid-20th century. These missiles are the only ones suitable for ground targets on the Tu-22M3.

According to Defense Express, the Kh-22 has a radar-homing warhead, but it poorly identifies ground targets compared to cruise missiles. The warhead of the Kh-22 missile weighs up to a thousand kilograms, which is more than the aeroballistic missile Kinzhal and other Russian missiles.

Unfortunately, Ukraine has difficulty intercepting these missiles. Experts suggest that modern air defense systems like the Patriot may be effective against the Kh-22.

Shelling of Dnipropetrovsk region

Tonight, the main target of the enemy was the Dnipropetrovsk region. There were "attacks" in Dnipro and other cities.

In Dnipro, residential buildings, a railway station, and infrastructure were damaged due to the attack. Two people were reported dead and 16 injured. Enemy attacks also targeted Kryvyi Rih, Synelnykove, and Pavlohrad, resulting in casualties and injuries there as well.

More details on the consequences of the night attack - in the material by RBC-Ukraine.