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    Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

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    George1

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:03 pm

    Are Russian Bombers Flying Nuclear Drills Near Europe—Or Just Testing NATO’s Defenses?

    Nuclear-capable Russian bombers are flying over the North Sea and the Atlantic. And U.S. Air Force officers are very concerned at what could be a rehearsal of a deadly mission.

    Russian bombers may be flying nuclear strike drills over the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, current and former U.S. Air Force officers believe. At the very least, these officers tell The Daily Beast, the Russian Air Force is aggressively probing what NATO calls European airspace in an effort to gauge the reaction times of the western alliance’s defenses.

    Since Oct. 28, NATO air defenses have detected and monitored four groups of Russian combat aircraft over the Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, and Black Sea. Norwegian F-16 fighters intercepted one particular group of Russian aircraft on Oct. 29 that included four, nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-95 Bear H strategic bombers and four Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tankers. Once intercepted, six of the Russian aircraft headed for home while the two remaining Tu-95 bombers continued southwest, parallel to the Norwegian coast, before eventually turning back towards Russia.

    The giant, propeller-driven Tu-95 is a launch platform for the 1,600 nautical mile range Raduga Kh-55 nuclear-tipped cruise missile. The weapon carries a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead; by comparison, the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki was a mere 21 kilotons. Some active-duty and retired U.S. Air Force officials told The Daily Beast that the Tu-95s might have been flying to certain predetermined launch points for their nuclear missiles.

    “That could certainly be the case,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the service’s influential former intelligence chief. “It is not farfetched that at some point within the next two years [Russian President Vladimir] Putin makes a more aggressive move in Eastern Europe and uses a nuclear threat to deter a NATO response.”

    Of course, every nuclear capable air force runs exercises to practice its so-called “strategic deterrence.” It’s the pace and scale of these current flights that have military observers concerned.

    “Our bomber crews regularly fly training sorties for their full range of potential missions, including strategic deterrence practice missions,” Mark Gunzinger, a former B-52 pilot and current air power analyst the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said. “[The Russian Air Force] has never stopped flying training sorties, but it’s apparent that the scope of this one is catching people’s attention.”

    Asked if at least some of these flights were nuclear drills, Gunzinger responded, “that is probably the case.”

    The giant, propeller-driven Tu-95 is a launch platform for the Raduga Kh-55 nuclear-tipped cruise missile, which carries a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead. By comparison, the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki was a mere 21 kilotons.

    Another former Air Force officer—one with extensive experience with Russian tactics—cautioned not to interpret either the European or Alaskan flights too darkly. “A probe to test western responses, yes,” the former officer wrote in an email. “More activity than in the recent past, yes. Nuclear strike rehearsal, unlikely. Capabilities are easy to measure. Intent is not.”

    Analyst Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Independent Research, said that the recent display of Russian air power was just another provocation in a long line of similar antagonistic moves by Russia. The Russian strategic bomber foray into the Atlantic is also reminiscent of a September incident where two nuclear-capable Tu-95s bombers, two Il-78 tankers and two MiG-31 Foxhound fighters were intercepted near Alaska.

    “This reminds me of the exercises Russia has been flying in the Pacific for a few years now, just transferred to the European theater,” Grant said. “I don’t read this as a specific nuclear or conventional scenario practice, rather an exercise in long-range navigation and provocation. It’s clearly designed to annoy NATO but from a purely tactical perspective, this was still a pretty small display of airpower.”

    Another former Air Force F-4G and F-15E electronic warfare officer said that there simply is not enough information to be certain of what the Russians’ intentions are. “It could be anything,” said Michael Pietrucha. “There’s nothing wrong with long range training sorties because they allow you to work out the kinks for a variety of missions.”

    Nonetheless, the foray into European airspace by the Tu-95 Bear bombers is cause for concern. That’s not just because of the Bear bomber’s long-range nuclear weapons capability, but also because of the Russian’s general disregard for international air traffic norms. Not only did the Russians not file a proper flight plan, they also did not have active transponders—which would allow civilian air traffic controllers to see them. The situation could lead to a serious accident where an airliner might collide with a Russian bomber.

    “It’s alarming, especially, that they would fly without their transponder on particularly when they’re certain to fly on or cross an a multitude of international air routes,” one Air Force bomber pilot told the Daily Beast. “The interrogative capability of most modern airline and transport carrier transponders rely on the transmission of other transponders to ensure positive deconfliction.”

    The airspace over the Atlantic is especially busy with a lot of airliner traffic. The U.S. bomber pilot acknowledged that the U.S. Air Force also conducts long-range bomber patrols, but American aircraft always follow proper flight procedures and other regulations.

    “I’ve flown on the west of Portugal, it was a busy place to fly because a lot of air routes funnel into the Med [Mediterranean] there,” the bomber pilot said. “The U.S. does what are called ‘global power’ missions on occasion, but never without squawking, or talking, or filing flight plans, and we rarely seek to draw an escort.”

    In addition to the strategic bomber patrols in the Atlantic, the Russian Air Force also flew another bomber mission over the Black Sea on Oct. 29 with two Tu-95 Bears, which were escorted by two Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighters.

    The Russian Air Force also flew additional sorties over the Baltic Sea with tactical strike fighters on Oct. 29. Portuguese F-16 fighters assigned to protect the Baltic states—which belong to NATO—intercepted a group of two MiG-31 interceptors, one Su-27 fighter and two pairs of Su-34 and Su-24 fighter bombers. The same group of Russian jets was intercepted on the previous day.

    No matter what the intent of the specific flight, the larger goal—a re-introduction of Russian military might into Europe—is clearly working, a senior U.S. military officer told The Daily Beast.

    “It certainly demonstrates their effort to re-assert themselves in the region and regain their past form,” this official added. “It appears to be successful, certainly from the standpoint that Russian airpower has re-entered the conversation and our NATO allies have had to respond to their incursions. It strikes me as destabilizing.”

    The U.S. Air Force would not officially comment on the matter and deferred all queries to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Pentagon did not return calls for comment.
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    Big_Gazza

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  Big_Gazza on Fri Oct 31, 2014 6:08 pm

    George1 wrote:Are Russian Bombers Flying Nuclear Drills Near Europe—Or Just Testing NATO’s Defenses?

    aggressively... provocation... antagonistic.... destabilizing....

    /yawn... Do the bought-and-paid presstitute trolls of the Anglo-Amerikan Reich-Wing media ever tire when writing this biased one-eyed trash? Mad
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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  GarryB on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:10 am

    Yeah... Tu-95s running training missions in international airspace are aggressive, but US M1 Abrams tanks in the baltic states... formerly part of the Soviet Union itself is defensive... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:31 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:22 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  GarryB on Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:05 am

    Putin wants Eastern Europe back like he wants a hernia.

    Russia and eastern europe have a long history together and not a lot of it was sunshine and roses, but right now eastern europe seems to be blaming Russia for all their problems... Russia does not need that... let the EU deal with them.

    Good to hear the Blackjacks are getting their upgrades...


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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  Dorfmeister on Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:12 pm

    GarryB wrote:Good to hear the Blackjacks are getting their upgrades...

    Do we know more about the upgrade? New LCD displays? Radar improvement? New ECM equipment?

    Thanks Wink
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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  GarryB on Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:50 am

    AFAIK this is basically a fairly comprehensive upgrade with new radar and electronics and cockpit displays and new unified weapons system including precision air to ground weapons plus an increase in bomb load to 45 tons for the Blackjack.

    the new weapons and radar are standardised amongst the Tupolev bombers... ie Backfire, Bear, Blackjack.


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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:39 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:24 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:45 am

    Tu-160 b/n 18 has finally acquired a personal name, "Andrei Tupolev", after completing modernization at KAPO.

    It means that all operational Tu-160 now have a name.

    - 02 Vasily Reshetnikov
    - 03 Pavel Taran
    - 04 Ivan Yarygin
    - 05 Aleksandr Golovanov
    - 06 Ilya Muromets
    - 07 Aleksandr Molodchy
    - 08 Vitaly Kopylov
    - 10 Nikolai Kuznetsov
    - 11 Vasily Senko
    - 12 Aleksandr Novikov
    - 14 Igor Sikorsky
    - 15 Vladimir Sudets
    - 16 Aleksey Plokhov
    - 17 Valery Chkalov
    - 18 Andrei Tupolev
    - 19 Valentin Bliznyuk (test bomber)
    - 342 Boris Veremey (test bomber)

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  Firebird on Mon Dec 22, 2014 12:08 pm

    George1 wrote:Tu-160 b/n 18 has finally acquired a personal name, "Andrei Tupolev", after completing modernization at KAPO.

    It means that all operational Tu-160 now have a name.

    - 02 Vasily Reshetnikov
    - 03 Pavel Taran
    - 04 Ivan Yarygin
    - 05 Aleksandr Golovanov
    - 06 Ilya Muromets
    - 07 Aleksandr Molodchy
    - 08 Vitaly Kopylov
    - 10 Nikolai Kuznetsov
    - 11 Vasily Senko
    - 12 Aleksandr Novikov
    - 14 Igor Sikorsky
    - 15 Vladimir Sudets
    - 16 Aleksey Plokhov
    - 17 Valery Chkalov
    - 18 Andrei Tupolev
    - 19 Valentin Bliznyuk (test bomber)
    - 342 Boris Veremey (test bomber)

    Does anyone know how many could reasonably be put into service or even built, without major hassles like a new production line being needed?

    PS I also wonder what the TU-22 range would be if it had modifications (eg breaching any old treaty regulations). Could it be suitable for strikes, say on the US interior eg over the Atlantic/N Pole or Pacific?

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  a89 on Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:44 pm

    Does anyone know how many could reasonably be put into service or even built, without major hassles like a new production line being needed?

    I think all the half finished aircraft were completed a while ago... it would take years to set up production line again.
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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  GarryB on Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:16 am

    to build a Tu-160 from scratch now would be very very expensive... that is why they are developing the PAK DA. If they could produce more Tu-160s then the PAK DA wouldn't be so urgent.

    there is a central forging of aluminium that is huge and is necessary for the swing wing configuration of the Blackjack... it was made in the Ukraine but even if the factory that made it was still operational that would not be an option.

    Regarding the inflight refuelling capability of the Backfire.... that is interesting... armed with 8 Kh-101s externally it could certainly threaten all of Europe and most of north america from Russian bases.

    With inflight refuelling they could reach even further.

    The introduction of upgrades for the Bear, backfire, and blackjack that include a wide range of smart weapons I am looking forward to seeing them used in the tactical role of persistent ground support with potentially super heavy weapons.

    The PAK DA when it arrives should cost the same as the Bear to operate, but be better able to penetrate enemy airspace than the Blackjack and carry a heavier load than all three aircraft.


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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:32 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  GarryB on Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:30 am

    They have said before that they had upgraded the Tu-160s, so I wonder if this new upgrade is just new engines and a few minor tweeks to the systems... that would explain how they could upgrade 6 planes in one year... perhaps limited by the number of new upgraded engines they have produced so far.

    Will be interesting to see what sort of improvements these new engines can offer the aircraft... increased range/speed/reliability/lower fuel consumption/lower operating costs...







    {note blue engine AB flame = no water injection for extra take off power, but also less smoke)


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    Modernized Tu-95

    Post  Viktor on Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:09 pm

    Modernized Tu-95



    LINK
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    George1

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:27 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  Viktor on Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:45 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:43 pm

    Modernized Tu-95MS in Engels

    On the web-site appeared russianplanes.net, Photo famous combatant strategic bomber Tu-95MS (tail number "red 10" registration number RF-94128, the name "Saratov") the Russian Air Force, equipped with highly visible new four double nodes external suspension to accommodate strategic cruise missiles, air-launched a new type. This is the first picture of the modernized Tu-95MS bombers equipped to carry the new cruise missiles, in Engels stationed there as part of the aviation group Air Base Command of long-range aviation.

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:42 pm

    Sergey Shoygu: Russia to expand patrol areas of strategic bombers
    Russian Aviaton » Wednesday March 11, 2015 16:59 MSK

    Russian strategic bombers to start patrolling new areas in the network of cooperation with allies, TASS reports with reference to Russian Minister of Defense General of the Army Sergey Shoygu.

    The minister reminded that Russian aircraft are constantly on duty and protecting the state borders in different regions.

    “I must admit that the flights are performed on regular basis and we are not going to change that,” the minister stated.

    “In future we are going to start patrolling new areas under agreements with our allies in other countries of the world,” Shoygu added.

    He reminded that in February Tu-95MS strategic bombers performed flights above Barents Sea and Norwegian Sea as well as northeast part of the Atlantic. In particular, the aircraft performed aerial refueling. It was reported earlier that during this flight British Typhoon fighters escorted the Russian bombers.
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    George1

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:21 pm

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:46 pm

    Russia’s strategic aviation begins exercise featuring missile carrying cruisers, bombers

    MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. A headquarters exercise has begun on a major base of Russia’s strategic aviation in the city of Engels, Saratov region in the Middle Volga area, Colonel Igor Klimov, the chief public relations officer of the Russian Air Force told reporters on Wednesday.

    Engaged in the exercise are the strategic missile carrying cruisers Tupolev-160 (Blackjack) and Tupolev-95MS (Bear), long-distance missile-carrying strike bombers Tupolev-22M3 (Backfire), the early warning and control aircraft A-50 (Mainstay), the Sukhoi-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets, as well as Antonov-12 airlifters and Mi-8 helicopters.

    All in all, the exercise involves more than twenty aircraft.

    The program includes simulation of redeployment of the Tupolev-160, Tupolev-95MS and Tupolev-22M3, aerial reconnaissance, penetration through air defence barriers, coordination with friendly fighter jets for scouting operations, and refueling in midair.

    In addition to this, the pilots will do practical and tactical launches of missiles at designated targets placed on the Pemboi and Kura testing ranges that are located in the Komi region in the north of European Russian and in Kamchatka respectively.

    The Antonov-12 (Cub) airlifters and Mi-8 (Hip) helicopters are engaged in the exercise to ensure search and rescue operations.

    All in all, more than fifty sorties will be made. The chief of Russia’s strategic aviation, Lieutenant General Anatoly Zhikharev is supervising the exercise.

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    Russia to Renew Production of Tu-160 'Blackjack' Strategic Bomber

    Post  Honesroc on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:24 pm

    No details aside from Shoigu's general announcement. Interesting news here...

    Russia to Renew Production of Tu-160 'Blackjack' Strategic Bomber
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    George1

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    Re: Tu-160 and Tu-95MS ( Blackjack and Bears )

    Post  George1 on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:33 pm

    Honesroc wrote:No details aside from Shoigu's general announcement. Interesting news here...

    Russia to Renew Production of Tu-160 'Blackjack' Strategic Bomber

    i remember that the same intention had been announced in 2007-2008 but then wasn't implemented. Then they had spoken about 1 aircraft delivered per year.
    I think its a logic move to resume Tu-160 production, this aircraft could take over only the tactical bomber role while the PAK-DA will be the strategic nuclear bomber. Lets see

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