Bears

MILITARY Tu-95 BEAR

Piotr Butowski presents the Tu-95 Bear, not the most capable of Russia’s strategic bombers, but undoubtedly the most impressive

A Tu-95MS uploads fuel via a drogue of an Il-78 Midas tanker.
Sergey Krivchikov

Today’s Tu-95MS (NATO: Bear-H), because of its external similarity to the first Tu-95 Bear-A of 1950s, is often considered an old aircraft. This is the wrong impression. Aircraft currently in service were constructed in the second half of the 1980s and early 1990s, only retaining the general configuration of older Bears manufactured between 1955 and 1969. During that period, the Samara (then Kuybyshev) plant built 173 Tu-95s in various versions.

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