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GarageImage TB-3M-17-32.jpg
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In 1925, the rapidly modernizing and growing Red Army Air Force reached out to TsAGI (Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute) in Moscow to create a new "TB", or Тяжёлый Бомбардировщик (Heavy Bomber) to replace the aging TB-1. Building on the existing civilian ANT-6 aircraft, a complete revision of the airframe led to the world's very first cantilever winged four engine heavy bomber. The TB-3M would be produced in many variants, ranging from standard bombers, to transport and paratrooper carriers, to even ideas as wild as specially modified arctic pole explorers and flying aircraft carriers for I-15 and I-16 fighters.

The TB-3M-17-32 is a rare premium gift Soviet bomber. It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The TB-3M-17-32 is a truly a force to be reckoned with in the lowtiers of War Thunder. In dedicated air battles modes, primarily Air Realistic Battles, the aircraft shines due to its above average survivability, but moreso for its incredible bomb load, able to destroy up to five bombing points in Air Realistic Battles at its Battle Rating. The powerful ordnance load for the TB-3M is also its trump card in ground battles, albeit a little more difficult to use due to its cumbersome size and manoeuvrability, allowing it to be easily targeted as a giant target if it drops its altitude, but due to its large bomb load against the weakly armoured tanks of this tier, the TB-3M may prove to be a strong aircraft, raining hell from above if it can align its bombing runs properly.

The TB-3 was given away as a reward vehicle for the 2013 Winter Magic!, the 2014 War Thunder's birthday, and the 2022 War Thunder's 10th Anniversary events. With the exception of a few rare appearances in the Warbonds shop, this aircraft is unobtainable.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 000 m185 km/h
Turn time58 s
Max altitude3 800 m
Engine4 х Mikulin M-17
Cooling systemWater
Take-off weight20 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 168 162 3800 59.2 60.7 4.9 4.9 680
Upgraded 202 185 56.9 58.0 10.2 7.2


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
450 450 - - - ~4 ~2
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 300 < 300 < 300 > 135

Survivability and armour

Crew7 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear450 km/h
  • No armour
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 in each wing)

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB218 Sl icon.png
RB299 Sl icon.png
SB421 Sl icon.png
Crew training1 400 Sl icon.png
Experts9 000 Sl icon.png
Aces80 Ge icon.png
Research Aces270 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 30 / 70 / 120 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 106 / 106 / 106 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods compressor.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods engine extinguisher.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mods pilon bomb.png


Suspended armament

List of setups (5)
Setup 124 x 100 kg FAB-100sv (forged) bomb
Setup 212 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bomb
Setup 34 x 500 kg FAB-500sv (welded) bomb
4 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bomb
Setup 412 x 220 kg BRAB-220 (1930) armor-piercing bomb
Setup 54 x 500 kg BRAB-500 (1938) armor-piercing bomb
4 x 220 kg BRAB-220 (1930) armor-piercing bomb

The TB-3M-17-32 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 24 x 100 kg FAB-100sv bombs (2,400 kg total)
  • 12 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (3,000 kg total)
  • 4 x 500 kg FAB-500sv bombs + 4 x 250 kg FAB-250sv bombs (3,000 kg total)

Defensive armament

3 х Turret2 x 7.62 mm DA machine gun
Ammunition1440 rounds
Fire rate499 shots/min
2 х Turret7.62 mm DA machine gun
Ammunition420 rounds
Fire rate499 shots/min
Main article: DA (7.62 mm)

The TB-3M-17-32 is defended by:

  • 2 x 7.62 mm DA machine guns, nose turret (720 rpg = 1,440 total)
  • 2 x 7.62 mm DA machine guns, dorsal (forward-facing) turret (720 rpg = 1,440 total)
  • 2 x 7.62 mm DA machine guns, dorsal (rear-facing) turret (720 rpg = 1,440 total)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm DA machine gun, 2 x underwing turrets (420 rpg)

Usage in battles

TB-3 is, in a nutshell, a typical heavy bomber, and a very heavy, very slow one at that. It packs a truly majestic payload of 3,000 kg of bombs, however, the problem is in getting this payload to its target. The maximum speed of TB-3 is less than 200 km/h and its flight will take a really long time during which the giant TB-3 will become a very easy and enticing target for all enemy fighters and even some bombers. All this combined with practically non-existent manoeuvrability makes this bomber a very vulnerable one and its pilots may consider themselves lucky if they reach the target - not mentioning the route back. However, the TB-3 is not at all defenceless. Five turrets with a total of eight 7.62 mm DA machine guns present quite an effective firepower - at least against fighters of the TB-3 age. When attacked, don't even bother with manoeuvres, man the turrets and open fire, it is the only hope of the TB. The effectiveness of the turret fire is multiplied thanks to one previously mentioned factor - very low speed. As the maximum speed of TB-3 is equal to a terminal speed of most of the fighters, these fighters will often have a hard time intercepting the TB, while the TB gunners will gain a great opportunity of hitting slowly approaching enemy planes. This tactics, however, doesn't work very well when attacked from below. In that case, pray.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Large payload of up to 3,000 kg (6,613 lb) with different payload configurations, capable of destroying all bombing targets in a single run
  • Adequate defensive firepower capable of fending off enemy fighters effectively
  • Good damage absorption due to large size and strong construction
  • Four engines at Rank I can allow for some to be knocked out without causing the plane to fall drastically
  • Difficult to hit by fast Boom & Zoom interceptors thanks to its low speed
  • Despite its low speed, not many planes are able to catch up to the TB-3 due to the altitude difference
  • It never rips itself from a dive
  • Surprisingly manoeuvrable for its size
  • Gunners have plenty of ammo before reloading


  • Very slow speed
  • Very slow climb rate - the speed loss while climbing is very significant and can be deadly due to the low overall speed
  • Almost no speed reserve for manoeuvring, especially apparent when landing
  • There are no brakes, that you have to wait for the plane to glide to a full stop before rearming
  • Basically incapable of manoeuvring when attacked - survival depends on turret fire
  • Have no offensive armament and will require to slightly tip the plane forward for the turret to engage manually
  • No armour protection for the crew or modules
  • Large size makes large target for enemy fire, even flak
  • While relatively safe from fast interceptor fighters, the TB-3 is very vulnerable to agile and manoeuvrable planes


Archive of the in-game description

A four-motor all-metal monoplane with fixed landing gear and a crew of 12. Designed in the AGOS department (Aviation, Hydroaviation and Experimental Construction) of the TsAGI (Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute) under the direction of A.N. Tupolev.

In February 1929, the UVVS and TsAGI signed a contract for the construction of a "Metal bomber-type aircraft with 2,400 hp engine output". The ANT-6 prototype model took its maiden flight on 20 March 1931.

Based on flight tests, the ANT-6 received the following appraisal: "Judging by all its flight characteristics, this aircraft is a highly advanced bomber, on the same level as the best foreign aircraft". In fact, no foreign bomber possessed the same collection of flight characteristics as the Tupolev at that time. It was the best of its class in the world.

The ANT-6 was recommended for series production and accepted into service with German BMW-VI engines. At the end of the 1920s, the USSR obtained a license for their production and organized their manufacturing at the Rybinsk engine plant under the designation M-17. The aircraft received the military designation TB-3 ("tyazhyolyj bombardirovshchik tretiy" or "third heavy bomber")

The TB-3 went into construction at the No. 22 aircraft plant in Fili – the only Soviet plant at that time experienced in working with duraluminum.

On 26 February 1932, the first serial TB-3 was rolled out of its gates. The aircraft was powered by four water-cooled V12 BMW-VI engines with a maximum output of 735 hp. After the license was obtained, the engine was refined for series production and received the designation Mikulin M-17.

The TB-3's artillery and firing armament included a front-mounted Tur-6 open turret containing two tandem 7.62 mm Degtyaryov DA machine guns (the tandem version was designated DA-2), two diagonally-placed upper Tur-5 open turrets behind the wing edge which moved from side to side, each with a DA-2, and two extensible B-2 turrets under the wings armed with a single DA on a pivot, for firing to the rear.

The DA machine guns were disc-fed. A standard disc contained 60 rounds. The underwing B-2 turrets had 420 rounds (7 discs) each. The DA-2 turrets had 1440 rounds (24 discs per tandem turret) each.

Its standard bomb load amounted to 2,000 kg. When overloaded (by reducing its fuel supply) the aircraft could carry up to five tons of ordnance.



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links

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-2 · Tu-2S · Tu-2S-44 · Tu-2S-59 · Tu-4
Arkhangelsky Bomber  Ar-2*
Strike Aircraft  Tu-1
Jet Bomber  Tu-14T
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.

USSR bombers
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  Po-2 · Po-2M
Other  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

USSR premium aircraft
Fighters  Krasnolutsky's I-15bis · I-16 type 28 · Zhukovsky's I-153-M62 · I-153P · I-180S · I-301 · ITP (M-1)
  LaGG-3-4 · LaGG-3-23 · LaGG-3-34 · Dolgushin's La-7 · La-11
  Eremin's Yak-3(e) · Yak-3 (VK-107) · Yak-3T · Golovachev's Yak-9M
  ▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15 · ▂P-40E-1 · ▂P-47D-27 · ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5
  ▂Hurricane Mk IIB · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc · ▂Fw 190 D-9
Twin-engine fighters  I-29
Jet fighters  Su-11 · MiG-15bis ISH · MiG-17AS · MiG-21S (R-13-300) · MiG-23ML
Strike aircraft  IL-2M "Avenger" · IL-2 M-82 · IL-8 (1944) · Su-6 · Tandem MAI · TIS MA · Su-8 · Tu-1
  Yak-38 · Su-7BMK · Su-25K · Su-39
Bombers  Po-2M · Be-6 · MBR-2-M-34 · Pe-2-205 · TB-3M-17-32
  ▂PBY-5A Catalina · ▂Hampden TB Mk I · ▂A-20G-30 · ▂B-25J-30

Winter events
2022  Winter Quest
Pilot stars  Late 298D · ◄Tornado IDS MFG
Tanker stars  T-80UM2
Sailor stars  USS Newport News
2021  Operation W.I.N.T.E.R.
Pilot stars  C. 202D · ◊MiG-23MF
Tanker stars  A.C.I · AGS
Sailor stars  IJN Hayanami · MPK Pr.201K
2020  Operation W.I.N.T.E.R.
Pilot stars  Ro.57 Quadriarma · MiG-21PFM
Tanker stars  E.B.R. (1954) · Class 3 (P)
Sailor stars  Type K-8 No.13 · USS Baltimore
2019  Operation F.R.O.S.T.
Pilot stars  TIS MA · J6K1
Tanker stars  QF 3.7 Ram · ▃Merkava Mk.2B
Sailor stars  PT-811 · Jaguar
2018  Festive Quest
Pilot stars  M.B.152C1 · Fw 190 C
Tanker stars  SU-85A · T30
Christmas Lights  P-43A-1 · Comet I "Iron Duke IV"
2017  Festive Quest
Pilot christmas toys  P-40C · NC.900
Tanker christmas toys  AEC Mk II · Ersatz M10
Christmas Lights  Fw 189 A-1 · KV-2 (1940)
2016  Winter Holiday
Pilot stages  Ki-21-I hei · Me 262 A-2a
Tanker stages  ▃LVT(A)(4) (ZIS-2) · ▂Type 62
2015  War Thunder Fulfills Your Wishes!
Pilot reward  ▂P-63C-5
Tanker reward  VK 45.01 (P)
2014  Holiday War Thunder Marathon!
Pilot reward  I-301
Tanker reward  M8A1 GMC