Tupolev Tu-123 "Hawk"


Tu-123 «Hawk" - the long-range supersonic unmanned reconnaissance Tupolev development. Its mission consisted of conducting radio and photographic reconnaissance at a distance of up to 3200 m. It was constructed on the basis of an unmanned prototype shock «121». The second name - FRT-1.

History of the Tu-123

The main objective of the project «123» was to obtain intercontinental supersonic aircraft projectile bore thermonuclear charge. In contrast to the basic model, the machine has a relatively large size, were a part of turbojet engines NK-6, and astroinertial management system.


Along with him was drafted aircraft «133», which was completed with drop tanks. Soon as 121-th and 123-th project called hopeless and decided to move towards the development of ballistic missiles as a major shock systems. The name was moved to a new unmanned reconnaissance version.

Start developing drone Tu-123 1960 on fast ice, the work on it the country's leading designers at OKB-156 AN Tupolev. In August, the 1960 issued a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, which referred to the construction of an unmanned reconnaissance DBR-1 «Hawk." The new machine, in contrast to the basic model I121K must be equipped with radio and photographic equipment, remote systems direction at a given point and securely store received intelligence. At CB laid task to make drone "Hawk" to use reusable.

Factory tests Tu-123 1961 ended in September, at the state lasted until December 1963 of unmanned systems radio and photographic reconnaissance DBR-1 «Hawk" have adopted in the middle of 1964 years. Serial production has been launched in the city of Voronezh aircraft factory №64, where production was carried out by a 1964 1972 year. During this time, the aircraft was built 52.

This unmanned systems were armed part of the Soviet Air Force, stationed in the western parts of the country. UAVs can effectively carry out exploration on the countries of Western Europe, but that there was no need. Tu-123 confirmed its suitability and reliability on the test departures. After the appearance in the ranks of the new Air Force reconnaissance MiG-25R intelligence systems DBR-1 were retired.

The design of the Tu-123

The system DBR-1 were starting machine SARD-1, which was built on the basis of MAZ tractor rocket-537, control and starting a cardio machine 1S himself UAV.

The aircraft is designed for the type of tsentralnometallicheskogo monoplane wing and had a triangular, trapezoidal tail. Sweep the wing leading edge was 67 deg., The trailing edge had a small swept forward 2 °. Wing did not participate in the management system, the basic flight controls were tsentralnopovorotny fin and stabilizer. Last deviated synchronously during tangazhnogo control and differential performing roll control. The fuselage can be divided into six compartments.


The bow compartment F-1 took all intelligence equipment and part navigatsionnno-piloting. Only this compartment intended for repeated use, it was a salvable container, all other compartments were disposable.

Compartments F-2 - F-4 were tsentralnosvarnymi fuel tanks, total capacity of which amounted to 19 thousand. Liters. Fodder compartments F and F-5-6 were busy turbojet KR-15-300, electrical aggregates, NPK, braking parachute and cooling system.


Maximum engine afterburner thrust korotkoresursnogo KR-15-300 15 000 was kgs. Estimated life of the engine - 50 hours. The start and acceleration of aircraft provided by two solid-fuel boosters DWP-52, each of which had a craving 75-80 thousand. Kg. After a 5 seconds after launch boosters separated from the aircraft. For UAV maximum speed equal 2700 km / h.

In the nose compartment there were three AFA-54 / 100M aerial cameras, a prospective AFA-41 / 20M aerial camera, a SRN-6RD "Rhomb-4A" radio reconnaissance station, a navigation Doppler station, a photoelectric exposure meter SU3-RE, an independent power supply system, a radio beacon, a radio responder, a system Supercharging and conditioning, landing parachute system, pneumatic four-legged chassis. For better maintenance of the Tu-123, its bow container was divided into 3 parts, without compromising the integrity of the connections and cables. The bow container was attached to the F-2 compartment with pneumatic locks. Storage and transportation of the forward part of the fuselage was carried out in a special closed semi-trailer.

UAV - navigation and piloting complex pre-programmed before a flight on a certain route. Coming back, the drive is controlled by the radio station.

Operation Tu-123

Advance preparation to fly UAVs provide funds and technical positions. One tehpozitsiya was able to start the work of several local starting point. Check the wire system of the body KSM-123, the team was allowed to start from STA-30, having involved the remote control. So it has done on the basis of compliance with safety measures.

Launching aircraft engine provides two starter-generator. For their power was refined powerplant MAZ-537: Aviation posted generator 28 volts.

UAV launched from the boom launcher ST-30 12 degree angle. After a 5 seconds after the start of it separated boosters through 9 seconds fell away intake manifold. Flight altitude, which reaches the plane as generating fuel was 22 800 m. The work of photography, as well as the flight itself, it was programmed before takeoff. After turning back to 500 km distance radioprivodnaya included onboard equipment.


The ground running radar, which monitor the movements of the Tu-123. Capturing and recognizing UAV radar homing system is automatically included, served on the board signals hover and landing aircraft container at a given point. To do this, the engine is stopped, the remaining fuel is drained, and the PLA goes into a climb for effective quenching rate during the landing.

Above the motor nozzle manufactured brake parachute and drone began to decline. Then the whole structure of the container bow shot back, releasing a parachute landing. For the purpose of depreciation during the landing at bay issued 4 landing gear, and after landing was driven beacon whose data were used to search for the landing site of the container. The rest of the aircraft (engines and fuel tanks), which is down on the brake parachute completely destroyed after the fall. Only bow container equipment was reusable.

Tupolev Tu-123 characteristics:

Modification   Tu-123
Wingspan, m   8.41
Aircraft Length m   27.83
Height, m   4.78
Weight, kg  
  empty aircraft   11450
  maximum take-off   35610
  Fuel   16600
engine's type   1 TRDF P-15K-300
Afterburner thrust, kgf   X 1 10000
Accelerator   2 PRD PRD-52
Thrust, kgf   X 2 80000
Maximum speed km / h  
Cruising speed, km / h   2700 (M = 2.5)
Practical range, km   3560 – 3680
Flight altitude, m  
  at the beginning of the march   22800
  at the end of the march   19000


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