Herpa 1/200th scale 572149 Tupolev TU-22M3M “Backfire” – M3M prototype – RF-94267. Available to pre-order at Flying Tigers.
Even more than 50 years after the first flight of the prototype, the TU-22M long-range bomber still represents a serious weapon system. To ensure that this remains the case for years to come, a modernization program is currently underway for some of the aircraft that are still operational. The modernizations make the bomber, powered by two powerful jet turbines, the TU-22M3M, which completed its first flight in prototype form in December 2018. A special feature of the bomber are its wings adjustable from 20 to 65 degrees and the good take-off and landing characteristics, which allow an economical cruise flight for a long range or completely swivelled back high speeds up to twice the sound range. The TU-22M3 is also capable of launching cruise missiles against targets from a great distance and thus does not get into the dangerous area of enemy air defenses. By 1993, the manufacturer had built 514 TU-22M of various series in Kazan, most of them in the M3 variant. There are still at least 60 of them today, not all of them are ready for use and not all will be able to be brought up to the M3M standard. These include, above all, the use of improved navigation and communication systems.