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Author Topic: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber  (Read 11727 times)

Offline Bomber

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Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« on: September 28, 2010, 04:55:48 PM »
Here we go.  ;)
I hope that this hasn’t be done yet and if it was, then I apologise.

I give you guys three votes to vote your All-Time strategic bomber (in case you have more then one favourite; if not vote only once).
 Be kind to name your nominees and to add eventually some words as to why the respective types are your favourites.

For me it always has been the Tu-160. The most handsome design, biggest payload capacity ever, supersonic speed, long combat radius and range. In short: the king of the skies!

Although I’m not going to vote for them, I like the Avro Vulcans, Tu-22Ms, B-17s and B-29s as well;

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 02:27:16 AM »
Hehe, you asked us to select 3 and you mention 5 yourself! You're evil! Oh my, how difficult is this. I like all all deltawings and swept wings, but also don't want to discredit some of the other grand designs! In the WW2 department, I do miss the Fw 200 Condor on the list.

But staying true to what I've always said: the B-1B as number one, because of its speed, payload, capabilities and looks. It wins from the Tu-160 on the latter two imho. I love how it's now finally kicking arse, something the Tu-160 hasn't done (although arguably that's a plus!). Other reasons are the complicated design and controversy regarding its development. Always love that stuff.

Although the question is strategic, some aren't really that strategic. The Tu-22M can't be considered strategic since they removed the IFR capability. I love its looks and awesome "dumb" bomb capability, not to mention the massive Kh-22 and how it would have gone against carrier battle groups,... but if I'm going to vote on something quite incapable of the strategic role I might as well go to the poor old B-58 for my second vote. It's did so poorly on range that they fitted this huge fuel tank, which makes it an awesome looker. You might as well have listed the original Tu-22 and I'd gone for that, as the Tu-22 is the most beautiful bomber ever created! But since that isn't included, B-58 it is.

Now third option. Tu-95. Props, yet still going strong, need I say more? It's engines make it win my third choice over the B-52, which is lasting as long and doing a far better job, just as iconic, but the Bear has the looks to really reinforce that cold war feeling! That just makes it more scary.

My fourth selection would be a toss up between the Mirage IV and Vulcan! The Vulcan probably winning because of the Stanley raid.

The M-4 is also on your list, how funny is that one when reading how the Soviet capability was grossly overestimated. I think it should at least be mentioned as it probably won't get anyone's vote.
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Offline shawn a

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 07:27:59 AM »
Hustler, Spirit, and Blackjack.
The -58 just looked cool, the -2 looks bizarre, and the -160 is just absolutely beautiful!
I also liked the YB-49 'cause it looked "UFO-ish"
Uh, obviously, my preferences are based soley on looks.

Offline Bomber

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 11:54:27 AM »
Great post Admin.  ;)
It’s pretty much the kind of posts I’ve expected folks to come up with in this thread. Thanks.

I know that I’ve given only three votes, but that’s mostly to make it a little more interesting. I do encourage though everyone to mention other types that are not listed and to make as many comments as possible.  :D

Now, if you allow me to make some comments regarding your post.

The TU-22M is listed as a strategic bomber/maritime strike aircraft almost everywhere I look. Granted its combat radius of 2410 km is one that might attribute the aircraft a medium-range envelope, the Backfire – due to its 24000 kg external/internal payload capacity and nuclear weapons launch and guiding related systems – is a strategic platform.
Concerning the removing of IFR. That can be reinstated within hours.

You really like the original Tu-22 Blinder so much? It does look more Cold Warish then the 22M, doesn't it? ;) But note that it's listed mostly as a medium and not strategic bomber. Kh-22, its only nuclear weapon was a anti-shipping stand-off missile. But there wasn't a dedicated air to ground mission profile designed for it (as in the case of 22M).

Quote
But staying true to what I've always said: the B-1B as number one, because of its speed, payload, capabilities and looks. It wins from the Tu-160 on the latter two imho. I love how it's now finally kicking arse, something the Tu-160 hasn't done (although arguably that's a plus!).

B-1B Lancer. Awesome aircraft.
But I dare oppose your view that sees the Lancer more capable or better-looking then the Blackjack. Perhaps, concerning capabilities, you factored the B-1s ability to flight at high sub-sonic speeds at low altitudes plus the reducing of radar signature. But bear in mind that the original B-1A didn’t have these improvements. Other then considering these two aspects, I fail to see why you think the B-1 more capable then the Tu-160.
The Tu-160 was designed for reduced detectability to both radar and infrared too, although that doesn’t mean stealth right away. The Blackjack – thanks to its Sopka TFR – is a low-flyer too. In every other bomber-department, the Tu-160 outclasses the B-1B (except the service ceiling, where, according to available data, the B-1B gets some 3000m extra).

Quote
The M-4 is also on your list, how funny is that one when reading how the Soviet capability was grossly overestimated.
Yeah, the Myasishchev M-4 Molot/Myasishchev 3M Bison-B  is a type not so much known by general public outside Russia, having being built in only 93 units and with the production ending in 1963. But I consider it pretty cool design-wise.
When you mention NATO’s overestimation of Soviet capability I take it that you refer to the 60s?

The FW 200 Condor was an airliner which later got converted into a long-range reconaissance and anti shipping bomber. Would that make it a strategic one?  :-\
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 12:12:41 PM by Bomber »

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 02:39:36 PM »
The Tu-160 lacks the conventional precision strike capabilities of the B-1B, making it purely strategic and utterly useless in today's world besides being a deterrent, whereas the B-1B is just way more flexible nowadays. Now you'll say but Tu-160 has the Kh-101...but how far along is it? Also have you seen the high-res ground images the B-1B radar produces? I don't know, but something tells me the Tu-160 does not as great. On looks it's very subjective of course, I think it does look better, especially the cockpit windows and with the smal canards, but the color scheme is also something I like more. But, no disrespect to the mighty Tu-160.

Tu-22 is shaped beautifully. Unfortunately there are not too many photos that shows her well. Imagine it painted in all-white like your Tu-160, how cool would that be. Downward firing ejection seats, how retarded is that! I just love crazy things like that. True, it wasn't strategic, but the Kh-22 wasn't only anti-shipping. It's just that the carrier groups would have been their primary target, same could be said for -22M though. But that's the missile carriers, the early version was a bomber. And Africa and during Iraq/Iran wars it did saw probably as much action in the conventional bombing role as the Tu-22M in Afghanistan. It wasn't very good, but eh, I stated it as alternative to the B-58. And how good is the Tu-22M really.

Yes, iirc they believed the Soviets had 400 Bisons? I need to check. Plus grossly overestimated the capabilities.

Ok, Condor, I stand corrected. Although I have to say it's contibution to the Atlantic battle was very strategic.
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Offline RecceJet

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2010, 06:19:00 PM »
My 3rd vote would have gone to the Condor if it was an option. My choices are the F-111 and the Lanc. I'm just sorry to see the F-111 go at the end of this year. It will be missed.

Offline shawn a

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 03:46:53 AM »
In the case of Israel, wouldn't a strategic bomber be an F-15I, or F-16I ?

Offline Bomber

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 08:38:26 AM »
Quote from: Admin
The Tu-160 lacks the conventional precision strike capabilities of the B-1B, making it purely strategic and utterly useless in today's world besides being a deterrent, whereas the B-1B is just way more flexible nowadays. Now you'll say but Tu-160 has the Kh-101...but how far along is it? Also have you seen the high-res ground images the B-1B radar produces? I don't know, but something tells me the Tu-160 does not as great.

It sounds to me that, your assessment that the Tu-160 lacks the precision strike capabilities of the B-1B is fairly based on the latter’s combat missions carried against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 and 2003 and in Kosovo. In these conflicts the B-1B used mainly (if not exclusively) unguided bombs and JDAM munitions. The high resolution images provided by the B1-B’s SAR radar (can’t remember the designation) are indeed good, but that might be due to the lack of similar information on Tu-160’s Obzor-K.
Now, I’m sure that if Blackjacks will be used in similar conflicts with the Russians releasing combat missions information, I simply fail to see why they couldn’t do just as good. Granted they won’t use JDAM munitions, but as far as training missions have proven, the Tu-160 did more then well in hitting ground targets with their Kh-15P (the ARM version) and Kh-101 IGS.
So I guess the conclusion is that B-1B is more flexible nowadays simply because they’ve seen combat action whereas the Tu-160 did not (IIRC they weren’t used in the Tjetjen war).
There is also the pretty long list of B-1Bs accidents….



Quote from: shawn a
In the case of Israel, wouldn't a strategic bomber be an F-15I, or F-16I ?

No. These aircraft are multi-role fighters with a ground-strike and increase range capability. They do not, however, carry nuclear munitions.


Offline shawn a

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 08:33:14 AM »
U

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 10:55:15 AM »
U

U?

Now, I’m sure that if Blackjacks will be used in similar conflicts with the Russians releasing combat missions information, I simply fail to see why they couldn’t do just as good. Granted they won’t use JDAM munitions, but as far as training missions have proven, the Tu-160 did more then well in hitting ground targets with their Kh-15P (the ARM version) and Kh-101 IGS.
So I guess the conclusion is that B-1B is more flexible nowadays simply because they’ve seen combat action whereas the Tu-160 did not (IIRC they weren’t used in the Tjetjen war).
There is also the pretty long list of B-1Bs accidents….

Well, they weren't used in the Georgian conflict either, a perfect opportunity for the conventional Kh-15P then, but they are probably in dire condition. My gut feeling, after years of reading up on the Russian Air Force, is that there's still no stock of Kh-101 and most aircraft are probably not equipped for it either. The Tu-160 role is simple, nuclear deterrence, with principally the Kh-55 and its variants. I prefer a strategic bomber which you can also use for lower tier wars, yes.

Imho, you can't compare a 67-100 aircraft strong fleet accident list to some 14-18 aircraft.

Quote from: shawn a
In the case of Israel, wouldn't a strategic bomber be an F-15I, or F-16I ?

No. These aircraft are multi-role fighters with a ground-strike and increase range capability. They do not, however, carry nuclear munitions.
[/quote]

Of course they will. Multi-role include nuclear role in their case.


I read some news last month that Kazan is contracted to build another bomber. But it was quite vague, I was wondering if it is for another Tu-160? Finish another stored, unfinished airframe, like a few years back? Or is it about a new one? Do you know anything about that?
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Offline Raptor

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2010, 06:12:19 PM »
22M, Bone and Vulcan, definitely. =)

Hohoho I'm semi-back again.

The Bone because it looks cool. Also because it's fast, technologically capable (as opposed to the Tu-160, which was the other option) and of course the fact that it's been said that it may be retired early... (always go for the pity factor, i do. Correct me if i'm wrong on this one.)

Second place goes to the Vulcan just because again it looks cool, but mostly because it was among the first batch of successful jet bombers, (Also because it had a delta-wing) it had a more or less minimal radar cross-section, and it's role in the falklands war.

Finally, a tough decision to fill up the last slot, the 22M cos it's such a bloody "dumb" bomber that I really can't help but love it for the back-to-basics-style, (even though neils has mentioned that it's not really that much of a strategic bomber...) 

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Re: Your All-Times favourite strategic bomber
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 09:36:49 PM »
True, true, pity factor always comes into play wit these things, and I certainly won't hold that against you. Also "favourite bomber", it sounds pretty bad alrdy, so I'm more inclined to vote for insuccessful ones. So double pity... hence, I voted B-58, haha.

On the 22M, I agree, the thing is that both sides of the Cold War had basically converted their bomber inventory to missile carriers. Now, in Afghanistan a more conventional bomber was needed and there came the Tu-22M with everything up to 3000 kg bombs. That's not because it was retarded, it just still had that "dumb" bomber capability in additional to being an almost dedicated Kh-22M platform. Compare this with the B-1B at the time of Desert Storm... it wasn't ready for conventional, still fully dedicated to the nuclear role. Anyway, this makes it cool indeed, also if you read about how the Tu-22M anti-carrier packages would work... wow. Maybe tactical, but it's pretty close to strategic.

But yeah, I would have gone for the Tu-22, because it's basically like the 22M, only with a more exotic history and also more insuccessful, hehe.
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