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Blinder is the NATO reporting name for the Tupolev Tu-22 light bomber. Produced through the 1960s, it was originally conceived as a gravity bomb carrier with supersonic dash capability, similar to the US B-58 Hustler. Later versions were capable of carrying a single AS-4 Kitchen (Kh-22) cruise missile.

The major drawback of the Blinder was its relatively short range, having a combat radius of less than 2500km. It was also considered unreliable and accident-prone. A radical redesign of the Blinder, including the addition of variable-sweep wings, resulted in the more successful Tu-22M Backfire.

Russian designation: Tu-22K
NATO designation: Blinder B (ASM carrier version)
Design Bureau: OKB-156 Tupolev
Manufacturer: Plant nr. 22 Kazan
Development began: 1954 (A model)
First flight: 1958 (A model)
Series production: 1959-1969
Deployed: 1967 on
Crew: 3
Power Plant: 2 RD-7M2 turbojet engines, thrust 16500kg each
Dimensions: 41.6m long by 10.7m high by 23.5m wingspan
Cruising speed: 825kph
Maximum speed: 1570kph
Flight ceiling: at least 13300m
Max takeoff weight: 94000kg
Maximum weapon load: 12000kg
Operational range: 2200km
Armament: Single GsH-23 23mm gun mount in tail turret, 1 AS-4 (Kh-22) missile, or up to 12000kg of 250kg-9000kg free fall bombs

Information obtained from the Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network (www.fas.org). As always, publically available information on military hardware tends to be fragmentary and inconsistent; please do not use this information to plan a war.