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Tu-95 (Tupolev, Russia)

The Tu-95 with NATO codename "Bear" is a Russian strategic intercontinental bomber, in service from 1956 until now.
The Tu-95 was developed begin 50ths when the Tu-4 was brought into production. The Russia's concluded that a bomber with piston engine was not useful enough for intercontinental attacks. There for the Tu-95 was equipped with 4 turboprop engine with contra-rotating propeller blades.
The Russian Air Force bear's were grounded for several years but were recently been taken out of storage. Since the end of the cold war there have been several interceptions of Bear bombers flying in European or United States airspace.

Important versions

Bear A Tu-95M
The Tu-95M Bear A bomber had a maximum range of 13.200 km with a payload of 9000 kilograms by a cruise speed of 435 km/h. The most Bear A 's were modified to Bear B.

Bear B Tu-95K
The Tu-95K came operational in 1959 and were equipped with the Kh-20 (AS-3) air-ground missile with a range of 350 nautical miles. It was mounted external, beneath the centerline. The Kh-20 missile caused a increased parasite drag which reduced the maximum range. Here for the bears B were equipped with an air refueling system in 1961. After being equipped with this they were designated as Tu-95KD.

Bear F Tu-142
The Bear F version differs in a lot of views from the Tu-95 and is used for anti-submarine warfare.

Bear G Tu-95K-22

The Tu-95K22 is a improved version of the Bear B which was modernized in the 70th years. The Ka-22 (AS-3) missile has been replaced by the supersonic AS-4 air-ground missile. The first Bear G flow in 1975.

Bear H Tu-95MS
In 1979, the Tu-95MS was developed on the basic of the Tu-142. In 1981 the production line was re-opened. The Tu-95MS Bear H is equipped with the Kh-55 (AS-15) cruise missile. There are currently about 64 Bear H's operational with the Russian Air Force.

Tu-95MS Tu-95MS Tu-95MS
Tu-95MS Tu-95MS Tu-95MS
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Last updated: September 11, 2011