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Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber crashes in southern Russia

A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber crashed early on April 19, 2024, in southern Russia’s Stavropol region after completing a combat mission. The incident occurred in the Krasnogvardeysky district, approximately 300 kilometers (185 miles) from Ukraine’s borders, where the aircraft went down in a field. The crew managed to eject from the aircraft. 

Rescue teams evacuated two crew members from the crash site. A third crew member was reported deceased, and the fourth was missing. 

Footage on social media captures the bomber in a flat spin toward the ground with a noticeable fire near its tail. 

The Tupolev Tu-22M is a strategic bomber developed during the Soviet era. It has been followed by several modernized versions, including the Tu-22M3 ‘Backfire’. This variant can reach speeds above 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) per hour and deliver more than 12 tons of ordnance. Four crew members are required to operate it. 

 

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a “technical malfunction” was the likely cause of the crash, with no ammunition being on board at the time of the incident. However, Ukrainian sources have offered an alternative narrative, alleging that the aircraft was downed after it fired Kh-22 cruise missiles at Ukrainian cities. 

“This is the first strategic aircraft that Ukraine managed to destroy during a flight,” a source in the Ukrainian Defense Forces told RBC Ukraine. “It carried out strikes on Ukraine.” 

Another anonymous source told Novoe Vremia that the Ukrainian armed forces shot down the strategic bomber with a Soviet-era S-200 air defense system, adding that a similar method was used to bring down a Beriev A-50 above the Sea of Azov on January 14, 2024.  

The post Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber crashes in southern Russia appeared first on AeroTime.

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