Tupolev Tu-4: The First Soviet Strategic Bomber

Tupolev Tu-4: The First Soviet Strategic Bomber

Tupolev Tu-4: The First Soviet Strategic Bomber

After World War II, the Soviet Union and the USA, who had been allies in the war, started moving towards political and military confrontation. The Soviet Union urgently needed a strategic bomber capable of striking at the USA. Thus, the windfall of three battle-damaged B-29s forced to land in Soviet territory was most welcome. The Soviet Union kept them; a huge reverse-engineering effort ensued, resulting in a Soviet copy of the Superfortress (the Tu-4) and a major technology boost to the Soviet aircraft and avionics industries. From then on, the "Soviet Superfortress" evolved independently, some of the Tu-4 versions having no direct U.S. equivalent. These included the Tu-4K missile carrier, a wing-to-wing flight refueling tanker, and the Tu-4T transport. The Tu-4A was the first Soviet nuclear-capable bomber. Experimental versions included engine testbeds, a towed escort fighter program, and more. The book also describes the Tu-4’s production and service history (including service in China—the only nation besides the USSR to operate the type) and touches on the Tu-4’s transport derivatives, the Tu-70 airliner, and the Tu-75 military airlifter. The book is illustrated with many color side views and hitherto unpublished photographs.

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