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Credit: © Mark Wade. 20,721 bytes. 574 x 175 pixels.

Family: Winged. Country: Russia. Status: Development 1992.

In reaction to US X-30 project, government decrees of 27 January and 19 July 1986 ordered development of a Soviet equivalent. The Ministry of Defence issued technical specifications on 1 September for an MVKS, a single-stage reusable aerospaceplane system. The MKVS was to provide effective and economic delivery to near-earth orbit; develop the technology for effective transatmospheric flight; provide super high-speed intercontinental transport, and fulfil military objectives in and from space. It is known that the Tupolev, Yakovlev, and Energia design bureaux submitted designs.

Tupolev seems to have received the development go-ahead. The Tu-2000A was to be an experimental design to test the many advanced technologies required. It would have been 55 to 60 m long, have a 14 m wingspan, and a takeoff mass of 70 to 90 tonnes. It would have only been capable of Mach 6. Before work was stopped in 1992, some development work was completed: a wing torque box of nickel alloy had been built, as well as fuselage elements, cryogenic fuel tanks, and composite fuel lines. The Tu-2000A would have used a variable cycle turboramjet engine using methane or hydrogen fuel.

The Tu-2000A was to have been followed by two production designs, as Tupolev felt no single design could meet all of the military requirements. The Tu-2000B would have been a 10,000 km range bomber with a crew of two. 350 tonnes at takeoff, 200 tonnes empty, it would have been 100 m long, with a wing of 40.7 m span and 1250 square metres area. Six liquid hydrogen powered engines would take the bomber to Mach 6 cruise speed at 30,000 m altitude.

Tu-2000 SpaceplaneTu-2000 Spaceplane

Credit: Mark Lindroos. 19,969 bytes. 247 x 276 pixels.

The Tu-2000 space launcher would have weighted 260 tonnes at lift-off and be capable of Mach 25 (orbital velocity). An 8 to 10 tonne payload would have been delivered to a 200 km orbit. As with the X-30, airbreathing flight to orbit seemed questionable. The 8 turboramjets would have to be supplemented by a scramjet or a rocket engine in order to achieve orbit.

Liftoff Thrust: 90,000 kgf. Total Mass: 90,000 kg. Core Diameter: 13.0 m. Total Length: 72.0 m.

Tu-2000 Chronology

- 1986 -
1986 Jan 27 -
1986 Mar 30 -
1986 Jul 19 -
- 1986 September -


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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