Russian Video: Tu-95 (Bear is back!)

Hello,

Today we’ll talk about Russian long-range bombers Tupolev Tu-95. Now these planes are patrolling the skies on a regular basis once again. And the backbone of the country’s strategic fleet remains the TU-95 “Bear”, an aircraft many consider to be a Cold War legend.

For our readers who wants to know more:

– TU-95 is too old
– So what? Still can’t be beaten
(conversation on YouTube)
The Tupolev Tu-95 (NATO reporting name Bear) is the most successful Tupolev strategic bomber and missile carrier from the times of the Soviet Union, still in service as of 2006 and expected to remain in service with the Russian Air Force until at least 2010. The Bear is powered by four Kuznetsov turboprop engines, each driving contra-rotating propellers, and remains one of the fastest propeller-driven aircraft ever built. To date it remains the only turboprop-powered bomber to have been deployed. A naval version is designated Tu-142.For a long time, the Tu-95 was known to Western intelligence as the Tu-20. While this was, in fact, the original Soviet Air Force designation for the aircraft, by the time it was being supplied to operational units, it was already better known under the Tu-95 designation used internally by Tupolev and the Tu-20 designation fell out of use. Since the Tu-20 designation was used on many documents acquired by Western intelligence agents, the name continued in use there.

Like its American counterpart, the B-52 Stratofortress, the Tu-95 has continued to operate in the Russian Air Force while several iterations of bomber design have come and gone. Part of the reason for this longevity was its suitability, like the B-52, for modification to different missions. Whereas the Tu-95 was originally intended to drop nuclear weapons, it was subsequently modified to perform a wide range of roles, such as the deployment of cruise missiles, maritime patrol (Tu-142 Bear-F), AWACS platform (Tu-126) and even civilian airliner (Tu-114). During and after the Cold War, the Tu-95’s utility as a weapons platform has only been eclipsed by its usefulness as a diplomatic icon. When a patrolling Tu-95 appears off the coast of the United States or one of its allies, it may not be the technological menace that it was in its heyday, but it is still a potent and visible symbol of the Russian capability to project military power over great distances.

The Soviet Union did not assign official “popular names” to its aircraft, although unofficial nicknames were common. Unusually, Soviet pilots found the Tu-95/Tu-142’s NATO reporting name, ‘Bear,’ to be a fitting nickname, given the aircraft’s large size, ‘lumbering’ maneuverability and speed, and large arsenal. It is often called Bear in Russian service. An anecdotal story states that it was actually a Russian crew who had the privilege of assigning the NATO reporting name; during the aircraft’s Paris Airshow debut, a Western reporter asked the crew what the plane’s name was. The pilot responded, “it can’t be anything but a bear.”

(From YouTube)

More links:
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/bomber/tu-95.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/russia/tu-95.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu-95_Bear
http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/20815

Have a good day and remember
old does not mean worse
sometimes it means the best! 😉

Svet and Kyle

comments always welcome.

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