USSR: CIA Appraisal of the Backfire Bomber
the result of 'e
tha conclusions uhich follou ore thaear-long reaassesmsnt of all aoailabl
biliti/ of the backfire bomber to strike the
continental us hasritioal intelligence issue eince the plane was first identifiedeet facility
CIA believes that thewin-engine, variabie-sweep wing bomber, has significantly less Intercontinental capability than we had estimated in.
reassessment of the Backfire reinforces CIA'sthat the aircraft was designed primarilyeripheral attack mission despite having some limited intercontinental capability.
estimates of the internal fuel capacity and design bomb-load. onsequence thereignificant reduction in CIA's estimates of the unrefueled range/payload potential of the Backfire.
CIA now estimates that:
can strike targets only In Alaska
CXA further believes that assigning the Backfire to three bomber bases in the western USSR, where the aircraft can cover ground and naval tarrets in Europe and the Middle East*udgment that Backfire was designed primarily for peripheral attack where it can capitalize on its capabilities for supersonic dash and low-altitude penetration of heavily defended areas*
Another indication that the Backfire is intended primarily for peripheral attack is its designationariant of the intermediate-range
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oviet Defense Minister Grechko referred to the poor performance of the Blinder and saideplacement aircraft was in production. The timing of Grechko's remarks, the fact that the Blinder went out of productionnd the chronology of
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