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Russian “Aircraft Carrier Destroyers” Will Receive Upgrade

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Russian “Aircraft Carrier Destroyers” Will Receive Upgrade


Equipping Tu-22M3 jets with new long range cruise missiles will turn them into multifunctional strike machines.

Soon Russian supersonic jets Tu-22M3 be equipped with unique long range cruise missiles, according to Russian Izvestiya media outlet. The new missiles are currently awaiting tests, having received 9A4150 index number and designated article 715. They will be able to accurately hit targets within range of several thousand kilometers. The Tu-22s currently use X-22/32 supersonic cruise missiles with the actual range of one thousand kilometers.

According to experts, new cruise missiles will turn Tu-22M3 into multifunctional strike machines, which will be able to destroy anti-air defense systems and destroy strategic objects from long range.

The modernised Tu-22M3s will use the new article 715 aviation missile, which uses a TRDD-50 family engine. This would make the new missile’s capabilities similar to 3M-54 Kalibr and X-101 cruise missiles.

Why would you need a new cruise missile? X-101 cruise missiles proved themselves to be exceedingly efficient in Syria. They even became the main weapon of not only supersonic strategic Tu-160 bombers, but also Tu-95MC turboprop bombers. Why not just adapt the X-101 for Tu-22M3?

“You have to use cruise missiles en masse against an enemy with strong anti-air defense systems,” independent military expert Anton Lavrov told Izvestiya. “The more missiles in a salvo, the more of them will break through and hit the targets. The problem with Tu-22M3 is that they can only carry cruise missiles under their wings and the fuselage. The missiles would harm the aerodynamics of the jet. The more missiles under the wings, the stronger the air drag. The stronger the air drag, the shorter the possible flight range, and flight range is a critical factor for Tu-22M3, as their aerial refueling systems were dismantled back in the 80s. Carrying missiles this way would also prevent Tu-22M3 from “dropping” while going at supersonic speeds, which is important for jet’s self defense against long-range interceptors.

According to military historian Dmitry Boltenkov, Tu-22M3 will turn into unique multifunctional machines thanks to the new cruise missiles. “Here’s a possible scenario. A squad of Tu-22M3s takes off for a sortie. Each of them has two X-32 missiles under their wings and the “revolvers” with article 715 under the fuselages. First they’d fire the cruise missiles. They hit aviation bases, positions, radars and anti-air defense systems command nodes. Next the bombers approach and fire the more powerful X-32s. Tu-22M3 with 9-a-5015 will be very handy for fighting terrorists. They’d be able to make extremely accurate hits like their Tu-95MC and Tu-160 “older brothers.”

Currently there are approximately 80 long range Tu-22M3 bombers employed by the Russian Aerospace Forces. They are attached to two squads and one squadron.

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John Whitehot

“Why would you need a new cruise missile? X-101 cruise missiles proved themselves to be exceedingly efficient in Syria. They even became the main weapon of not only supersonic strategic Tu-160 bombers, but also Tu-95MC turboprop bombers. Why not just adapt the X-101 for Tu-22M3”

also because they are land attack subsonic cruise missiles and not designed for antiship, as Russia knows better than the US adapting the Tomahawk to TASM variants.

Russia inherited Soviet doctrine for anti-carrier operations. This doctrine correctly calls for usage of aeroballistic supersonic missiles employed by different means (Aircraft, Submarines, Ships and possibly land installations), and from different directions to saturate and defeat the advanced defensive Aegis systems.

The Tu-22M does not need the Kh-10x series; the correct update for the “Backfire” fleet should consist of:

– Improved digital communications with realtime updating of the area of operations – Improves sensors and defensive jammers. – Possibly an update of the Kh-22 – the weapon performance is likely more than sufficient as it is but it could probably be improved with newgen ECCM and LPI radar.

Such an update could be cost-effective as the Soviet produced stock is probably still largely intact, although in these years some of these missiels were converted to a land attack variant.

Daniel Castro

Well, hunting carriers was always the main role of Tu-22, so I think a dedicated upgraded anti-ship missile like those huge missiles they were designed to carry is the way to go.

Remember, now with f35 every helicopter carrier is also an aircraft carrier, I guess US NAvy will have some 20 carriers with new SAM systems, defensive lasers and so on, so russia needs to deal with this threat.

John Whitehot

“Remember, now with f35 every helicopter carrier is also an aircraft carrier, I guess US NAvy will have some 20 carriers with new SAM systems, defensive lasers and so on, so russia needs to deal with this threat”

nothing really changed. the same ships that carry Harrier jets will carry the F-35C, except that Harriers are combat proven and work as intended, while the F-35 “C” variant risks being a nightmare in itself to debug due to the VTOL requirements.

remember that the US aeroindustries have never designed a working VTOL craft, as the AV-8Bs were basically licensed design from UK original Harriers.

The F-35C itself is a copy of the Yakovlev-141 in the concern of the engine systems, as Lockheed Martin stole blueprints they obtained from Yakovlev while working at common projects in the 90ies.

Daniel Castro

I know, but I always thought they bought the blueprints of yak-141… one way or another it seems russians themselves had droped the concept because it was too expensive and had worse performance than normal fighters.

Anyway, there is kh-32 already, but I think they can squeeze even more reach and precision from this missile concept, russian airforce has some 100 tu22m, and just 16 tu160, I think that’s a way to get the most from the resources they have now, they don’t want to make the same mistake of UK that droped the Arrier waiting for the f35, and ended up with no aircraft for their carrier, they have to work with what they have now, new tu-160s and PAK DA are still a long way to go.

John Whitehot

“I always thought they bought the blueprints of yak-141”

It is possible, i just wanted to underline how they used concept developed by Yakovlev, when what you normally read around is that Russia/China copy the US and not the other way around.

“there is kh-32 already”

true. I reckon not much is known about it but it will nonetheless make the TU-22M combat efficient through the next decades. Keep in mind that China still uses copies of the Tupolev 16 in this role, although their missiles are updated too and they present a formidable threat to carrier groups.

Daniel Castro

“It is possible, i just wanted to underline how they used concept developed by Yakovlev, when what you normally read around is that Russia/China copy the US and not the other way around.”

People who say this are idiots, everyone copy from everyone. First airplane to fly with its own power was projected by brazilian/french mulato that was raised on a coffee farm very close from where I live, he also made the first airship and the 1st mass produced airplane, Demoiselle, it was from this airplane that all others decended.

Wrights plane was a dead branch on the evolution of aircrafts, so we can say everyone “stole” airplanes from us, but it would be a lie because Santos Dummont donated his project for mankind.

John Whitehot

well said


Perhaps Russia and China should consider sinking the US Carrier Fleet in shallow waters so that tourism and sport divers can enjoy the spectacle for generations to come :)

Daniel Castro

Coral reefs would prosper, and who knows, with all that radiation there could be some interesting mutations…


” some interesting mutations…”

Boneless Gefilte fish perhaps :)


The Bikini coral reefs are doing very well.

John Whitehot

see, the carriers aren’t that large threat anyway. In the end, if the US would use them against those countries, there would already be very high probabilities that nuclear weapons are used.

In that case, their destruction would be more easily accomplished.

Daniel Castro

In case of all out war they would retreat the carriers to use them later on the war. if they are located on the start of the war at the reach of russian and chinese weapons they are sitting ducks, only later after airfields and missile pads are nuked they would be usefull, but then they would be hunted by attack subs.

John Whitehot

in that case they’d lose them without even the chance to employ them. It’s not easy to hide a 80000 tons carrier and without doubt their homeports (which aren’t that many, as much infrastructure is needed to support carriers) would be high priority for nuclear attack.

I’m not saying that carriers are useless or weak, just that they are little more than sitting ducks in a war with peer or near peer enemies

Daniel Castro

In any case they would lose them, if they are in reach they would be targeted and destroyed on the 1st minutes of war, by retreating them NATO would at least force the eastern alliance to spend resources searching and reaching them.

One way or another, carriers are just power projection tools to harass weak countries, their role on a war of major powers is very limited.

John Whitehot


Admiral Sergey Gorshkov in the book “Naval Power of the State” outlined how the contemporary western navies aren’t anything different than those used as an instrument of colonial policies during british/french/spanish empires times.

What has characterized Soviet and Russian (And Chinese) naval doctrine is the need to counter this threat “asymetrically” – which means, not by building and maintaining an own carrier force, but by developing a doctrine that would render enemy carrier actions suicidal.

Note that when the US boasts about their military budget being so larger than others, they fail to point out that a large part of it is absorbed by the carriers – something that subtracts that “value” almost completely, if the comparison is made against Russia and China.

Who in the world is spending on an “Offensive” military, and who is spending on a “Defensive” one? It’s in plain view – the hypocrisy of the western media in repeating that NATO/US/Israel are just defending themselves is abundantly proven.

The hope is that the populations would understand these simple facts before things get awry for the world.

Daniel Castro

Yes, but we must agree that at least some level of power projection is needed, if only to counter imperialist aggressions against weak countries around the world offering them protection, this is specially true nowadays with empires deploying ilegal terrorist/guerrilla mercenaries as a new way to project power.

John Whitehot

Selling S-300/350/400 class missiles (Chinese types too) to countries who could be subject to aggression and provide training and technical support could be a start. Of course it’s not enough, but western (and israeli) forces tend not to operate well without having air supremacy, or dominance (that means, operating inside enemy airspaces with impunity).

Western armies would still be able to subdue relatively weak adversaries, but without controlling the airspace they would have to resort to ground wars (which is a defeat in itself), and suffer casualties in the process.

For example (just a technical example, no politics), if North Korea would be able to deny its airspace to USAF and SKAF, its regime would probably last for centuries.

The geopolitical game has been unbalanced too much on the cabals side after the end of cold war – they have become overly bullying and arrogant, they have no respect for the UN or international law.

The return to more balanced situation, where no side would dare to start wars to assert their interests, would only be good for peace and stability.

Daniel Castro

I’m not so sure, ISIS was capable of dealing a huge damage to Syria without much air support, the same happens in Africa where huge chunks of the continent are under control of terrorists, if russia or china had stronger means of power projection they could offer legitimate governments to help them get rid of these mostly western sponsored terror groups that exist with the sole purpose of keeping Africa in chaos. For instance, one russian carrier group (or brazialian for that matter) could be sent to Venezuela and that alone would be enough to keep USA away.

It wouldn’t take too much to stabilize the world against the anglozionist empire, each BRICS country with one active carrier group would be enough to stop all aggression.

John Whitehot

you don’t need power projection to defend friendly countries.

In your example, Russia would have no need to send a carrier to Venezuela, it would send fighters, bombers and air defence systems.

The other examples imho don’t fit into the definition of the prior subject, which i got was being directly threatened by the US and not by proxies.

In these cases, a multipronged effor is needed in which the military part is only one element; this is what is happening in Syria currently.

Daniel Castro

Carriers serve as mobile airbases and allow much faster deployment of military assets, and they also serve as a power symbol, one thing is to use proxy terrorists to attack military advisors deployed on the ground, another thing is attacking a carrier or carrier group, that would seriuosly spark a major war.

I agree with you, there are more cost effective ways to project power, but you can’t deny the value a carrier posesses, or else Russia and china, or Brasil for that matter, wouldn’t be trying to get carrier to their navys.

Nigel Maund

So, you think the Russian military experts have not thought of all this given their thorough knowledge of US and Israeli capabilities?

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