In 1983, OKB Tupolev and OKB Sukhoi received governmental demands for a
new medium-range bomber to replace Tu-22M3
(Backfire) bombers already in service. By
this time OKB Sukhoi engineers were already working on the T-60 project,
which would replace not only Tu-22M but also Tu-16 and Su-24.
According to vice-general designer of the OKB Sukhoi O.S.Samoilovich as
M.Simonov became vice-minister of Aviation Industry, he pulled-out an
idea that all projects should be developed in TsAGI (sort of like NASA)
while the actual improvement and construction would be done by the design
This kind of project codenamed T-60 with full report on model testing in
wind tunnels was transfered to OKB Sukhoi in 1981, and works continued
managed by N.Chernyakov and V.F.Marov. The development was almost completely identical to the
except for two new and absolutely absurd technical solutions. First was
the replacement of turning wing consoles fully under the fuselage without
taking into consideration real wing deformations. Second was the use of
variable-level double-path jet, the so-called double-tube jet. In this
case, the stupidness was lying right on the surface, but for authorities
it was presented as an ordinary breakthrough in aviation technology.
Especially after that kind of jet was made at OKB Kolesov and actually
passed initial tests. At the same time two things weren't taken into
consideration: how will such engine will fit into the aircraft and what
kind of output would it give to the aircraft in general. Several mistakes
were found during the wind tunnel testing program. Despite all that, heavy
works on the T-60S project were held all the way until the unfortunate
collapse of the USSR.
It was planned that the aircraft will enter service by 2003.
The T-60S was briefly mentioned here and there with a
few artist impressions appearing in the press, but factual information remains
scarce. Recently an interesting article about T-60S and other perspective
Russian bomber designs appeared in the Air
International (Nov. 1998, pp. 274-278). The article suggests that the T-60S, which
weights around 80 tones,
may be a high-altitude, high-speed bomber with a lifting body fuselage design
and a swing-wing construction. Mach 2 cruise speed on high altitude, stealth
technology, internal placement of extreme range stealth cruise missiles
will make T-60S an ideal medium range attack aircraft.
Although no photographs of the T-60S
are available, Piotr Butkowski (Air International correspondent on Russian
aviation) believes that the T-60S features a variable geometry wing, flat
lifting fuselage and two engines, equipped with two-dimensional thrust
The engine air intakes are believed to be shoulder
mounted, slightly forward of the wing root. Armament is understood to
include up to six Kh-101 stealthy cruise missiles, as well as
Kh-15P (AS-16) missiles, free-fall nuclear weapons and precision guided conventional
In 1990s the project was kind of frozen due to lack of funding.
According to several reports, by 1998 the T-60S remained on the stage of
development without any construction taking place and could enter service
by late 2020s.
At the same time, starting from 1994 new aircraft has begun its testing
program the Su-34 which is expected to replace the Su-24. And a decision
was made to uprate the existing Tu-22M3 («145») to the Tu-22M5 («245») level.
In March 2000, Russian experts were close to conclusion on who should
handle the development of Tu-160 Blackjack replacement. Assuming all that, the T-60S
doesn't look so much needed any longer, beside that it's not economically
It's still possible that the T-60S will have some continuation but it's
very doubtful to be so.
AOOT «OKB Sukhoi»
supersonic intermediate range bomber
Wing Span, m
x = 70º
x = 30º
Overall height, m
Empty weight, kg
2 variable-level bypass engine or TVC engines
Thrust, kgf (kN)
Speed, km/h (Mach=)
Max. range, km
Range with max load, m
Cruising altitude, m
Kh-55MS, -65, -101 (up to 6-8)
References and Credits:
Blackjack and further... / Malkolm Davis.
AIR International, November 1998 /