Ilyushin Il-46 - "The Big Beagle"

Would you like to see the Il-46 in game?
  • Yes, as a tech tree vehicle
  • Yes, as a premium vehicle
  • Yes, as an event vehicle
  • Yes, as a squadron vehicle
  • No, I would not like to see the Il-46 in game.
0 voters



The Ilyushin Il-46 was a postwar Soviet tactical bomber developed, of course, by the Ilyushin design bureau in order to meet a requirement put forth by the Soviet government in 1951. The bureau was working on a tactical bomber project designated “Il-42” when the government suddenly asked for better performance. Soviet requirements stipulated a bomber that could deliver a 3,000 kg standard bomb load (6,000 kg overload) over a range of 4,800 km. This was 1.5x the bomb load and double the range of the projected bomber. In order to accomplish this, Ilyushin himself elected to use a similar design to the proven Il-28. Even though there was a project for a swept-wing variant called the “Il-46S” which could have reached higher speeds, the ease of flight, manufacture, and reliability of the “Beagle” type design were too attractive to ignore.

The new bomber would have basically the same armament as the Il-28, although with some improvements. Like the “Beagle”, the Il-46 had two fixed forward-facing NR-23 autocannons, although due to the size of the new bomber, they were both placed on the starboard side rather than one on each side of the bombardier. The tail turret got an upgrade: the Il-K8 turret mounting, also having two NR-23 cannons, had more ammunition and greater traverse angles than the Il-K6 turret on the “Beagle”. Theoretically, this would allow the gunner to engage enemy fighters even if they were flying parallel to the bomber, and Ilyushin thought it would render a dorsal turret unnecessary. While it was meant to be paired with a ranging radar, the turret was never equipped as such with the actual prototype. Just as the plane got bigger, the engines became more powerful as well. The Il-46 was equipped with two AL-5 axial-flow turbojet engines developing 5,000 kgf thrust each. Because of its larger size, the plane had a unique landing gear arrangement in the engine nacelles where the wheels would fold in opposing directions.

Pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki’s test flights of the sole prototype in 1952 revealed that the plane flew well and met the range and payload requirements, also being able to reach speeds of 928 km/h. As expected due to its design similarity, the plane handled just like the “Beagle”. While the aircraft did pass state acceptance trials, it was never slated for production. Even though the Il-46 was fitted with afterburning engines after trials, giving it even better performance, the rival Tupolev Tu-16 “Badger” bomber still had more attractive features to the Soviets, mainly being the swept wings for even higher speed, but the bomb load and defensive armament was also superior in the “Badger”. Since it was unknown to the West, the Il-46 never received a NATO reporting code.


Ilyushin Il-46


  • Span: 29 m (95 ft 1 in)
  • Length: 25.3 m (83 ft 1 in)
  • Wing Area: 105 m2 (1,130 ft2)

Empty weight: 26,300 kg (57,991 lb)

Gross weight: 41,840 kg (92,257 lb)

Takeoff weight: 52,425 kg (115,597 lb)

Propulsion: 2 x Lyuka AL-5F axial-flow jet engines

  • 5,000 kgf (11,025 lbf) thrust dry each (10,000 kgf [22,050 lbf] thrust total)
  • 5,750 kgf (12,677 lbf) thrust with burner each (11,500 kgf [25,354 lbf] thrust total)

Maximum speed: 928 km/h (577 mph) dry

Service ceiling: 12,700 m (41,670 ft)

Crew: 3 (pilot, navigator/bombardier, gunner)


  • 2 x Nudelman-Richter NR-23 23mm autocannon, fixed forward-facing in starboard nose
  • 2 x Nudelman-Richter NR-23 23mm autocannon in Il-K8 tail turret (320 rpg, 640 rounds total)
    • Turret horizontal traverse: + / - 105 degrees
    • Turret vertical traverse: + 60 / - 40 degrees

Internal storage: up to 6,000 kg (13,230 lb) bomb load in a 5.7 m (18 ft 8 in) bomb bay

Additional equipment:

  • 2 x PSR-2000-15 JATO gear
    • 2,000 kgf (4,410 lbf) thrust each
    • 15 second burn time




Place in War Thunder

I believe that this aircraft, with afterburners or not, would make an excellent addition to the mainline Soviet tech tree. As a natural advancement of the “Beagle”, the Il-46 would fit well in between the Il-28 and Ilyushin’s last bomber, the Il-54 “Blowlamp”, in the tech tree (assuming the latter would be added at some point). Pilots would likely enjoy the doubled bomb load compared to its predecessor and improved defensive angles, but the aircraft’s larger size and lower thrust-to-weight ratio (dry) will be challenges to overcome.



Can it have a fab 5000 or 2 fab 3000
And did it get bomb ccip

I’m not sure about those specific bombs, all the info I have is total capacity, but I can tell you based on the timeframe of this plane that it would not have CCIP.

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