Bear, Blackjack and Backfire: A Look at the Russian Bombers Alarming Europe

Deliveries are planned to be completed in It was the first time that a Tu had ever fired a full complement of missiles. By the end of February , the fleet stood at 15 with the addition of the eight aircraft from Ukraine and the new-build. It is claimed that the Tu has reduced radar cross section, however it is by no means a stealthy aircraft. The negotiations led to nowhere and in April , Ukraine decided to commence scrapping the aircraft under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Agreement.

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By the end of February , the fleet stood at 15 with the addition of the eight aircraft from Ukraine and the new-build. The Air Force fleet was reduced to 14 by the crash of the Mikhail Gromov during flight trials of a replacement engine on 18 September On 17 August , Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was resuming the strategic aviation flights stopped in , sending its bombers on long-range patrols.

According to Russian government sources, on 11 September , a Tu deployed a massive fuel-air explosive device, the Father of All Bombs , for its first field test. On 28 December , the first flight of a new Tu was reported to have taken place following completion of the aircraft at the Kazan Aviation Plant. In Russian military planned that one new Tu would be delivered every one to two years until the active inventory would reach 30 or more aircraft by — On 10 September , two Russian Tu landed in Venezuela as part of military manoeuvres, announcing an unprecedented deployment to Russia's ally at a time of increasingly tense relations between Russia and the United States.

It said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies, that the aircraft would conduct training flights over neutral waters before returning to Russia. On 12 October , Tu bombers were involved in the largest Russian strategic bomber exercise since A total of 12 bombers including Tu and Tu aircraft conducted a series of launches of their cruise missiles. Some bombers launched a full complement of their missiles. It was the first time that a Tu had ever fired a full complement of missiles.

The bombers flew along the Russian borders and over neutral waters in the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. Russian media reports in August claimed that only four of the VVS ' sixteen Tu were flight worthy. On 1 November , Aleksandr Golovanov and Aleksandr Novikov went into Colombian airspace on two different occasions without receiving previous clearance from the Colombian Government.

The aircraft were going from Venezuela to Nicaragua and headed for Managua. The Colombian Government issued a letter of protest to the Russian Government following the first violation. On 17 November , Russia started using Tu, Tu , and TuM strategic long-range bombers against targets in Syria , along with Kalibr cruise missiles fired from the Mediterranean. This marked the combat debut of the Tu and Tu From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Retrieved 28 October Retrieved 17 November Retrieved 20 November Archived from the original on 17 July Retrieved 5 August Retrieved 3 March Russian's next-generation bomber takes shape". Retrieved 21 November Archived from the original on 15 March Archived from the original on 10 March Retrieved 2 March Retrieved 3 August Russian strategic nuclear forces.

Archived from the original on 22 November Retrieved 2 May Retrieved 3 May Russia to renew production of its most powerful strategic bomber".

Archived from the original on 1 May Archived from the original on 23 June Retrieved 17 February Retrieved 27 January BBC, 25 January The Man and His Aircraft illustrated ed. Retrieved 19 July Retrieved 3 September Archived from the original on 7 July Retrieved 22 January The Great Book of Bombers: Archived from the original on 2 June A Military History Pimlico ed.

John Murray , Random House. Archived from the original on Russia's European Ambitions illustrated ed. Retrieved 15 November Retrieved 30 June Retrieved 14 November El Espectador in Spanish. Cameron to make case for Syria military action as EU troops could be sent to France - latest news". Retrieved 29 October However the Tu could never replace the ageing Tu due to its astonishing price. The Blackjack set a total of 44 world records.

Even after the aircraft entered service, problems continued to severely restrict operations and production began before a common standard and configuration was agreed. Thus wingspans, equipment fit, and intake configurations differ from aircraft to aircraft. The aircraft can carry a total of 12 Kh and up to 24 Kh Both of these missiles can carry nuclear warheads. Missiles are carried in two internal weapon bays.

The Tu can also carry free-fall bombs with a maximum weight of up to 40 t. These bombers are intended to attack the most important enemy targets. It is claimed that the Tu has reduced radar cross section, however it is by no means a stealthy aircraft. These were left at the Ukrainian base after the break up of the USSR in and, after protracted discussions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, eight were returned to Russia in Scrapping of the remaining Tus held in Ukraine began in late under a contract issued by the US government.

These were assigned to the st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment at Engels and were joined in by the first of the eight refurbished aircraft formerly held in Ukraine. Although perhaps up to a dozen further airframes are nominally serviceable it seems unlikely that Russia has sufficient funds to rework these aircraft. Some sources claim that Russian Air Force currently operates 16 of these strategic bombers.

In overhaul and modernization of the Ts commenced at the Tupolev plant. The first modernized TuM bomber was rolled out in Upgraded and refurbished aircraft are fitted with new radars, electronics and navigation equipment.

It is expected that by more than dozen of Tus bombers will be upgraded and will be in operational service with the Russian Air Force. US-based Platforms International corporation has acquired three demilitarized ex-Ukrainian Tus which it planned to convert as TuSK launchers for space vehicles.

However this was never done. By a total of 16 bombers were operational with the Russian Air Force, plus one more was being upgraded to the TuM standard.

This upgraded warplane was planned to be delivered in There were plans to upgrade all 16 operational bombers to the TuM standard. In it was announced, that Russian MoD plans to relaunch production of the Tu