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Tupolev Tu-95 / Tu-20

Tu-95 Bear D

The Tu-95 was developed for use by the Soviet Union's DA (Long-Range Aviation) as an intercontinental strategic bomber. Design of the Tu-95 version began before 1952, powered by four Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop engines, the bench-testing of which started in 1953.

Making use of identical systems, techniques and even similar airframe structures as the Tu-16, the Tu-95 (service designation Tu-20) is much larger and has roughly double the range of its turbojet predecessor. The 35 degree swept wing, formed integral tanks, with turboprop engines and their eight blade 18 ft 4½ in (5.6 m) contraprops. Sweptback tail surfaces have an adjustable-incidence tailplane. Conventional control surfaces are supplemented by spoilers in the upper surfave of the wings forward of the ailerons. Fowler-type trailing edge flaps are fitted. The tricycle undercarriage, wih twin nose wheels and a four-wheel bodie on each main unit all retract rearward, plus a small two-wheel retractable tail-bumper,


The basic bomber called “Bear A” by NATO had a glazed nose, chin radar and gun-sight blisters on the rear fuselage. First seen in 1961, “Bear B” fea-tured a solid nose with enormous radome, refuelling probe and centreline attachment for a large cruise missile (‘Kangaroo”). C appeared in 1964 with a large new blister on each side of the fuselage (on one side only on B). while D was obviously a major ECM/FSM reconnaissance type with chin radar, very large belly radar, and from 12 to 21 avionic features visible from stem to stern. F is a multi-sensor reconnaissance conversion of A. while F is a recent further conversion with an array of ventral radars and stores bays in place of the ventral guns. Older Tu-95 Bear A and B variants are being converted to carry the supersonic AS-4 Kitchen air-to-surface missile in place of the AS-3 Kangaroo. Modified aircraft are codenamed Bear G by Nato.

First flown in prototype form during 1954, the aircraft was allocated the service designation Tu-20, and began to enter service with the DA bomber force in 1955. Its turboprop powerplant gives remarkably high speed and, at the same time, long range and endurance. Additionally, the large size of the Tu-95 has permitted the carriage of extensive radar equipment and the largest Soviet air-to-surface missiles and bombs.

Built up to 1992, the total production run was fewer than 300.




In 1984 DA (Long-Range Aviation) had an ultra -long-range backbone comprising 113 bombers called 'Bear-A’ and 'Bear-B' by NATO.



The AV-MF had 75 of various types used for ocean patrol, anti-ship attack, and ECM/EW.

The crew in all versions is accommodated in nose and rear-fuselage press-urized cabins, as well as the pressurized but isolated rear turret, fitted to most versions. Most operational variants have an inflight-refuelling probe on the nose, but even on internal fuel it is possible to fly missions lasting 26 hours. Some models, such as the ‘Bear-D' maritime surveillance aircraft, are packed from nose to tail with radars, navaids, special communications, missile-guidance links and other advanced electronics.


Tupolov Tu-20 Gallery


Tupolov Tu-95MS Gallery

Engines: 4 x turbo-prop NK-12M, 11030kW
Max take-off weight: 185000 kg / 407857 lb
Empty weight: 94400 kg / 208117 lb
Wingspan: 51.0 m / 167 ft 4 in
Length: 49.0 m / 161 ft 9 in
Height: 13.0 m / 43 ft 8 in
Wing area: 310.0 sq.m / 3336.81 sq ft
Max. speed: 860 km/h / 534 mph
Cruise speed: 710 km/h / 441 mph
Ceiling: 11000 m / 36100 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 15000 km / 9321 miles
Crew: 10
Armament: 2-6 x 23mm cannons
Bombload: 20000kg

Engine: 4 x NK-12MV turboprops, 14,794 ehp
Wing span: 159 ft (48.5 m)
Length 155 ft 10 in (4750 in). (certain versions differ by up to 6 ft.)
Height 38 ft 8 in (11.78 m)
Maximum speed (typical Bear clean) 540 mph (870 km/h)
Service ceiling, about 44.000 ft (13,400 m)
Range with 25,000 lb (11.340 kg) bomb load. 7,800 miles (12,550 km)
Armament: normally six 23 mm NS-23 in radar-directed manned tail turret and remote-aimed dorsal and ventral barbettes (defensive guns often absent from late conversions and from Moss); internal weapon bay for load of about 25,000 lb (11,340 kg).

Tu-20/Tu-95 ‘Bear-A'

Type: strategic bomber
Crew: 8
Powerplant: four 14,795-ehp (11033-kW) Kuznetsov NK-12M turboprops
Max speed: 950 km/h (590 mph) at high alt
Service ceiling: 14000 m (45,930 ft)
Range with bombload: 17500 km (10,875 miles)
Wing span: 51.10 m (167 ft 7.75 in)
Length: 49.50 m (162 ft 4.75 in)
Height: 12.12 m (39 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 310.50 sq.m (3,342.3 sq ft)
Fuel capacity: 73,000 lt
Armament: two internal bays for a total bombload of 20000 kg (44,092 lb), plus a defensive armament of four (or, with rear dorsal, five) powered turrets each with two 23-mm NR-23 cannon.

Tupolev Tu-95




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