Categories: Military Aviation

The modernized Tupolev Tu-95MSM strategic bomber has made its combat debut

The modernized Tupolev Tu-95MSM

Released by the Russian Defense Ministry on its YouTube channel on Nov. 17, 2016, the video in this post shows the first combat sortie of the latest variant of the iconic Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber.

As reported by Tass.com in fact, one sample of the modernized Tu-95MSM performed last Thursday the type’s first-ever mission against terrorist groups’ strongholds in Syria.

The aircraft, that was flanked during the sortie by a “legacy” Tu-95MS, used the Kh-101 cruise missile to destroy the assigned targets. As it can be seen in the footage the bombers were escorted by Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker fighter jets during their strike mission.

The Russian Air and Space Force (RuASF) received the first sample of Tupolev Tu-95MSM Bear in Aug. 2015. The aircraft was named “Dubna,” after the town in the Moscow region home of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, the renown international nuclear research center.

Noteworthy the Tu-95MSM, which is an upgraded version of the previous MS model, features advanced radio-radar equipment and a target-acquisition/navigation system based on GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System).

Furthermore the following clip features several Sukhoi Su-33s performing take offs and arrested landings aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier. As reported by major media outlets, the aircraft embarked on-board the flattop have recently joined the Russian air war in Syria.

The Tu-95 Bear

The Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber (NATO reporting name: Bear) was developed to carry long-range strategic air-launched cruise missiles and entered operational service in 1957. The Bear is the world’s fastest production turboprop bomber aircraft and one of the components of Russia’s nuclear triad.

In the late 1960s, an extensive modification of the Tu-95 resulted in Tu-142 long-range antisubmarine aircraft; later on, based on its Tu-142M modification, Tu-95MC strategic bomber aircraft carrying long-range cruise missiles was developed.

Various variants of the Tu-95 were in operational service until the early 1990s; they underwent quite a number of major upgrades for engines, weapon systems and avionics. 

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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