Tupolev VR-2 Swift
Tupolev VR-2 Swift

Tupolev VR-2 Swift

BP-2 «Swift» - a complex of Soviet tactical reconnaissance UAV developed reusable specialists Tupolev. It was created as a result of development, extensive testing and refinement of the intelligence complex Tu-123 (DBR-1). A significant role in the creation of "Swift» played a construction DBR-2 (Tu-139), which turned out to design a fully rescues the UAV system.

Bp-2 was the latest in a series of complex, as the results have been very progressive. The continuation of the complex "Swift" was BP-3 «Flight" and BP-3D "Reis-D".

Work on the complexes "Swift" and "Flight" in the OKB conducted almost simultaneously. Much of the technical solutions for both development including layout elements were identical. The main difference is in the range, which directly affects the method of application and tasks. Unmanned complex tactical and operational intelligence BP-2 «Swift» intelligence operations carried out at a distance from the start point of a few hundred kilometers, while the BP-3 «Flight" - about 20-30 km.

Initially, "Swift» planned UAV design dual-mode type. According to the preliminary opinion of the Engineer UAV complex Tu-141 will fly at low supersonic or transonic speed for dual breakthrough of enemy air defenses. That is to fly into enemy territory with the condition of returning back to the landing site.

Following the reconnaissance route, an unmanned aircraft must pass on a subsonic cruising mode. A sitting reconnaissance will be on the produced ski before landing (on the airplane). The same concept was suggested by representatives of the military forces. Preliminary calculations and estimates were made, which showed that to achieve this goal, an avalanche-like increase in the scout's mass was necessary. And for an exit for a short time to a transonic mode, it would require an optimization of the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft, in particular with respect to its power plant. It would be necessary to remove from the layout a simple single-mode air intake, to install a larger thrust engine (with the afterburner). And this inevitably led to an increase in the fuel reserve and, of course, to the starting mass. Thus, in order to satisfy the demands of the military and increase the stability of the complex to defense against anti-aircraft defense, it was necessary to make drastic changes and significantly complicate the entire design of the UAV. And this would directly affect the decrease in reliability and increase in value.

Based on the research and as a result of a long debate, the designers decided that the best option - to abandon the regime and a supersonic speed limit threshold to 1000 km / h. In addition, the idea of ​​landing on a ski replaced the standard version with a parachute. All new, but small finishing gradually begun to change the project to a large-scale copy of the increased tactical unmanned reconnaissance aircraft Tu-143.

The end result of "Strizh" began to resemble its smaller copy - complex "Flight". The difference was expanded intelligence and on-board equipment, the size and number of UAVs and ground complex of means of support and combat service work. And the use of complex Tu-141 was just an enlarged copy of the Tu-143.

Complex BP-2 «Swift" was developed under the leadership of GM Gofbauer, who was the head and leader of unmanned vehicles to the EDO 90-ies.

The first prototype of the complex took to the air in December 74 of the year. It was equipped with an experienced engine KR-XNUMHA. Although the complex itself was not particularly propagandized, his plane gained great popularity among the military. Serial production was launched in 17 at the plant number 1979 (the current Kharkov Aviation Plant) and finished after 135 years. Total created 10 production units Tu-152. In the first trial batch, the P141A-9 engine was used.   

Tupolev VR-2 Swift. Characteristics:

Modification   BP-2 SWIFT
Wingspan, m   3.875
Aircraft Length m   14.33
Height, m   2.435
Wing area, m2   10.00
Weight, kg   5370
engine's type   1 TRD KR-17A
Maximum speed km / h   1110
Flight distance, km   1000
Practical ceiling, m   6000
The minimum flight altitude, m   50


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