|This page is about the gift Soviet bomber SB 2M-103U. For other variants, see SB (Family).|
The SB 2M-103U is a gift rank I Soviet bomber with a battle rating of 2.7 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB). Though initially in the game pre-1.29, this plane was removed upon Update 1.37 due to redundancy. Those players who acquired the aircraft before it was removed still have access to it.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,500 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 250||< 300||< 185||> 350|
Survivability and armour
- 6 mm Steel - Pilot's seat
- Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 in each wing)
Modifications and economy
6 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bomb
2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bomb
2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bomb
1 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bomb
1 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bomb
The SB 2M-103U can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 6 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (600 kg total)
- 2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs + 6 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (1,100 kg total)
- 2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (500 kg total)
- 4 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (1,000 kg total)
- 2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs + 2 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bombs (1,500 kg total)
- 1 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bomb (500 kg total)
- 3 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bombs (1,500 kg total)
- 1 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bomb + 2 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (1,000 kg total)
The SB 2M-103U is defended by:
- 2 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun, nose turret (960 rpg = 1,920 total)
- 1 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun, dorsal turret (1,920 rpg)
- 1 x 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)
Usage in battles
This bomber is quite fast for its BR so you should use this as an advantage. For example, you should climb directly at the beginning of the match to 5,000 m and destroy the enemy bases with setup 5 (2 x 250 kg + 2 x 500 kg) which is the heaviest payload you'll have with this plane.
In Realistic battles you should use the same tactics as in Arcade battles. Note that 2 x 500 kg FAB 500 bombs are enough to destroy a base.
In Sim, the overall tactic remains the same as other bombers: base/airfield bombing. However, there are several notes for this particular SB 2M bomber.
Maybe it's because of the design of short fuselage and huge wings, or it's caused by something else, the SB 2M is super hard to control in the pitch. If you leave the stick at the dead zone, the aircraft will automatically climb or dive which will lead to a crash if unnoticed. Trimming doesn't help. For the gunner view, even though you might have the "autopilot when in gunner view" enabled, it won't help either, as it will still continuously pitch up and down like a boat. Also note that when switching to gunner view, it will sometimes uncontrollably roll to one side which will make it enter a spin quickly. Therefore this bomber is extremely frustrating to fly in Sim.
Note: the setup with the most explosive mass is the 2 x 250 kg + 2 x 500 kg, but this way the two 500 kg bombs are carried under the wing roots and the two 250 kg inside the bomb bay. So if you use the default keybind (space) to open bomb bay and drop bombs, the timing will get messed up when bombing a base, since the two wing-mounted bombs will go first, then the bomb bay opens, dropping the two inside. The time between the two drops is long enough for one drop to completely miss the target. To avoid this, set up a keybind for open/close bomb bay, and drop bomb series (all bombs go at once). When approaching a base, open the bomb bay first, then drop all the bombs, they will now all hit the target.
When bombing airfields, make sure to fly above 2,000 m to avoid the AAA, as this plane is unprotected and its coolers will often get damaged, leading to the engines overheating. You should familiarise each module of the airfield to maximise the damage. The airstrip is the most visible and the easiest one to hit, however, bombing it seems to halve your reward. So it is recommended to bomb everything else: hangar, fuel area, living quarters, etc. The plane hangars are probably easy since they aren't too small.
Given its huge wings compared to the rather skinny fuselage, it can be tricky to land as it will bounce off the ground and leap into the air again and again, no matter how slow it seems to fly. The trick is to slow it down more than any other twin-engine plane, plus set up key binds for "flaps down" and "flaps up" to replace the default "toggle flaps". This way you can use the appropriate flap anytime. When approaching the airfield, make sure to descend to around 400 m when you are approximately 2 km away from the start of the runway. This is an appropriate distance to decelerate. As the airstrip occupies 1/3 of your windscreen, reduce speed to approximately 220 km/h, deploy combat flaps and cancel out that extra lift by pitching down. When you are almost touching down, reduce speed to no more than 160 km/h (seems dangerously slow but it can still glide safely), deploy landing gear, take-off flaps and pitch down even more so the SB 2M remains overall parallel to the ground. At the last second before touch down, make sure you are around 130 km/h and deploy landing flaps. This way the bomber can land gently and softly, and will not bounce off. At last, do not constantly hold the brake. Release brake immediately once the nose starts to dip down to avoid propeller strike.
Against the SB 2M (all modes but mostly in sim):
You should be very careful against bombers since with the Sim control (whether it be mouse joystick or a real stick) the plane will manoeuvre much more gently, making yourself a great target for the bomber's gunners. Do not follow behind the SB 2M's six unless you are sure that its tail gunners are unconscious. Chasing behind the SB 2M makes yourself pretty much stationary for the tail gunners, and you will be showered with 7.62 mm bullets.
If your plane is an early biplane armed with weak machine guns (2-4 x 7.7 mm or below), you should use deflection shots. That is, imagine yourself as an anti-air missile, predict where you two will meet and fly towards that point. This way it gives the gunners little window to open fire at you. When firing, try to aim for the cockpit for a possible pilot-snipe, as the pilot is very unprotected or aim at its engines to damage it or the cooler. Without an engine, the SB 2M won't fly far.
If you are flying an interceptor/heavy fighter that is heavily armed and armoured, you can just sit behind the SB 2M and confidently take out its crew/modules one by one, as its 7.62 mm machine gun has rather weak penetration and damage. This is the most precise way of damaging an aircraft, however, the safest tactic is still, and will always be deflection shooting. One accurate burst will critically damage the weak airframe of the SB 2M, or snap off its wing straight away.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Combined|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Adequate speed for a bomber, allowing it to get to targets quickly
- Great turn rate allows it to change direction quickly, or to even dodge attacks
- Nice payload allows it to finish off a base in one go, or destroy tanks / pillboxes easily
- Great defensive firepower at the tail (2 x 7.62 mm MGs) with fast rate of fire, good trajectory and plenty of ammo allows it to deal with enemies on its six effectively
- Defensive guns don't cover the belly and the sides well, and are quite light against fighters such as Bf 109 E-1 or Ki-61
- Crew and important parts (e.g. fuel tank, engines, coolers) lack protection, increasing the chance of being pilot-sniped or critically damaged. Combined with its weak airframe, it is vulnerable to heavy fighters like Ju 88.
- In Simulator, it is extremely hard to control. No matter how precisely you trim, it will always automatically pitch up and down. Also when switching to gunner view, it will roll, causing a death spin.
|Archive of the in-game description|
In 1937, designers under the direction of A. A. Arkhangelski began working to improve the SB even more. The aircraft received a 960 hp Klimov M-103 twelve-cylinder, V-shaped, liquid-cooled engine. The M-103 engine, created in 1936-37, was based on the M-100.
After testing was performed, the SB 2M-103 bomber was launched into full-scale production in 1938 under the designation of "96th series".
SB 2M-103 planes of the 96th series had external DER-19 bomb racks under the centre wing section that were designed to carry aerial bombs weighing up to 500 kg. The aircraft's maximum bomb capacity was increased up to 1,500 kg. DER-19 racks could house external teardrop-shaped fuel tanks with a capacity of 370 litres each.
To improve reliability, a mechanical bomb release system was introduced and also duplicated in the pilot's cockpit. The aircraft was equipped with an AFA-13 photo camera. An electrohydraulic landing gear retraction system was used, and the pilot's chair received an armoured backrest. Due to these many changes, the aircraft's flight weight increased significantly, and the airframe's structure was strengthened.
From this point on, all production SB 2M-103s began to be produced with a shielded MV-3 gun turret and an LU hatch mount with an optical sight. An inert gas filling system was introduced for the fuel tanks.
Planes of later production series had modified M-103U and M-103A engines. These engines were equipped with ducted coolant radiators located over the engine. The power unit cowling was completely changed. For this, the engine oil coolers were moved to the leading edge of the outer wing.
This SB 2M-103 with ducted radiators became the most high-speed model among production SB bombers, reaching a speed of 450 km/h at a height of 4,100 m. These bombers were produced full-scale from 1939-40, being nicknamed "Shchuka" ("Pike", as a fish) among the troops, due to the distinctive form of their engine cowls.
From December 1939 on, all SB bombers were equipped with VISh-22 three-bladed, controllable-pitch propellers.
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Ilyushin DB-3B
- Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
- Mitsubishi Ki-21-Ia
- Martin 167-A3 Maryland
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- other literature.
|Tupolev Design Bureau (Ту́полев Опытное конструкторское бюро)|
|Bombers||TB-3M-17-32 · SB 2M-100 · SB 2M-103 MV-3 · SB 2M-103 · SB 2M-103U · SB 2M-103U MV-3 · SB 2M-105|
|Tu-2S · Tu-2 · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4|
|Export||␗SB 2M-103U · ␗Tu-2S-44 · ␗Tu-4|
|* While Andrei Tupolev was imprisoned, Alexander Arkhangelsky, second in command at Tupolev OKB was able to append his name to the final production series of the SB bomber.|
|SB and Ar||SB 2M-100 · SB 2M-103 · SB 2M-103 MV-3 · SB 2M-103U · SB 2M-103U MV-3 · SB 2M-105 · Ar-2|
|Yer-2 (petrol)||Yer-2 (M-105) · Yer-2 (M-105) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) TAT · Yer-2 (M-105R) LU|
|Yer-2 (diesel)||Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (e) · Yer-2 (ACh-30B) (l)|
|Tu||Tu-2 · Tu-2S · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4|
|Pe||Pe-2-1 · Pe-2-31 · Pe-2-83 · Pe-2-110 · Pe-2-205 · Pe-2-359 · Pe-8|
|IL||DB-3B · IL-4|
|Po-2 · Po-2M · MBR-2-M-34 · TB-3M-17-32 · Yak-4 · Be-6|
|Lend-Lease||▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂A-20G-30 · ▂B-25J-30|