We present to you a new type of aircraft in War Thunder - an aircraft with variable sweep wings! We are going to discuss the first such aircraft today, the Soviet Su-17M2 jet fighter-bomber that is going to appear in the game with the release of the next major update “Ixwa Strike”.
Su-17M2, strike fighter, USSR, VI rank
- Variable swept wings.
- Huge variety of suspended weaponry.
- Destructive air-to-surface missiles
- No flares
During the further development of the Su-7B project and the tendency of fighter-bomber aviation to increase the combat mass of an aircraft, the problem of difficult takeoff and landing on shorter runways became apparent. However, a massive supersonic bomb with an ability to make a missile strike as well was all too an alluring military power to simply give up! The TsAGI research institution studied the prospects for a scheme with a variable sweep-wing, which was able to facilitate takeoff and landing of a heavy aircraft at subsonic speeds. Studies have shown that when using the classical variable sweep scheme, the desired effect will not be achieved, even to the contrary, the performance characteristics will significantly decrease. However, if only part of the wing is designed to ‘swing’, take-off and landing will become noticeably easier, and flight characteristics at subsonic speeds will increase greatly.
This is how the project of an experimental prototype of the S-22I appeared: a sweep-wing fighter-bomber made on the basis of Su-7BM. After successful tests, the fighter-bomber designated Su-17 was adopted for mass production. At the beginning of the 70’s, the Su-17M modification appeared, a little later supplemented by the Su-17M2 modification, in which the most contemporary developments at that time were combined, including new navigation systems and an aiming system with a laser rangefinder, featuring a total payload of 4,000 kg. Serial production of the Su-17M2 began in 1974, a total of 152 units of this modification were produced.
So, let’s meet an aircraft with variable swept-wings in War Thunder. This is a fairly popular technical solution in combat aircraft with a high take-off weight, which should have good performance characteristics both at subsonic and at supersonic speeds. The first such aircraft in our game is the Soviet Su-17M2 fighter-bomber, the successor to one of the best attack aircraft in the game, the Su-7BKL. The maximum take-off weight of this aircraft exceeds 18 tons, so the sweep-wing is almost the only solution that allows you to achieve the take-off and landing characteristics necessary for this combat aircraft. Only the end sections of the wings are moveable here, while the root area stays fixed. Thus, the increased wing area and additional flaps on the swinging surfaces facilitate takeoff and landing, and also give better controllability at subsonic speeds. After reaching sonic speed, the moveable parts of the wing surfaces are moved back, contributing to the ability to gain and maintain high speeds.
At the time of release, the Su-17M2 will become the top attack aircraft in the USSR aviation research tree and represents a further development of the Sukhoi jet fighter line. Despite its large mass, the variable sweep of the wing makes it sufficiently maneuverable at low speeds and fast enough for a top-tier attack aircraft - at altitude and with minimal load, the aircraft can reach speeds of almost Mach 2. Compared to the Su-7BKL, defensive capabilities have increased due to an installed radar warning system.The offensive armament remains the same - a pair of 30mm autocannons, but the suspended weaponry has increased.
The payload of the Su-17M2 is 4,000 kg, amongst other things, it is possible to install cannon pods, bombs of 100 to 500 kg calibres, S-5, S-8, S-3 or S-24 rockets, as well as guided missiles: the R-60 air-to-air; as well as Kh-23M, Kh-25 and Kh-29L air to surface class missiles. The last two are worth looking at in detail. This was a further development of the Kh-23M missiles, already familiar to the masters of air combat from the Yak-38 series, but a laser seeker is used here instead of radar. The Kh-25 has a high-explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 136 kg, the Kh-29L has an armor-piercing high-explosive warhead weighing 317 kg. The launch range of these missiles is greater than that of the Kh-23M, but when the missiles are guided to the target, the tank's laser warning system may alert a crew to the attack.
The Su-17M2 opens a new page in War Thunder's combat aviation! Stay tuned for the next big update “Ixwa Strike” to find out what else is coming soon!
The War Thunder Team