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Backfire!

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My latest at the Diplomat highlights some recent work on how the Tu-22M Backfire affected US and Soviet naval doctrine:

The Tu-22M Backfire bomber entered service in 1972, with the Soviets eventually producing almost 500 aircraft.  Theories about the plane abounded (some argued that it represented the USSR’s most serious foray into a strategic nuclear bomber force), but eventually it became clear that the most important use for the bomber would come as a maritime strike aircraft.  The Backfire gave the Soviet Navy a supersonic aircraft that it could use in mass to fire anti-surface missiles against U.S. carrier battle groups.

Cited in the article, but if the topic interests please read the five part series (I, II, III, IV, V) on the subject at Information Dissemination, as well as the original Naval War College Review article.

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