Tu-95 Bear  

The Tu-95 is in many respects an unlikely aircraft. It is an heavy bomber with a slender fuselage, swept wings, and four extremily powerful turboprop engines driving contrarotating propellers -- more than enough for the West not to take it serious at first. But more than 30 years after its first appearance, it was still in production as a marimitime patrol aircraft and cruise missile carrier. Air force designation was Tu-20, but "95" project index preserved to save lots of paper. Never sold to foreign countries.
The govermental order dated July 1951. Draft project - September 1951. First "95-1" built - 20-Sep-1951. First flown 12-Nov-1951. Four TV-12 12000hp engines.
See Tu-20.

"95-1" - proto - Range 14200km. Speed 890km/h max. Altitude 13500m max. Max take-off mass 156t.
Tu-95 proto [Type-40] - service designation Tu-20; later the NATO Reporting Name 'Bear' was assigned; first seen 1955 Soviet Aviation Day, Tushino.
Tu-95M [33K] Bear-A - Original 'Bear-A' was a free-fall bomber and carries only small radar under nose. Four 14795hp Kuznetsov NK-12M. Range 13200km. Speed 905km/h max, 750km/h cruising. Max alt 11900m. Max take-off mass 182t.
Tu-95 Bear-B - has the 'Top Crown' radar under nose and refueling probe in front of cocpit
Tu-95 Bear-C - a dual recco and bomber version. Differs from 'Bear-B' by having blisters on both sides of the rear fuslage. Capable to carry AS-3 'Kangaroo' under belly.
Tu-95 Bear-D - equipped with 'Mushroom' chin radar and the enormous 'Big Buldge' under the belly is a general purpose maritime version.
Tu-95 Bear-E - maritime recco version similar to "Bear-A' but has refueling probe, rear blister fairings and cameras in the veapon bay.
Tu-95 Bear-F - an anti-submarine version with smalled under-belly radar than one of 'Bear-D'. It also features extended forward fuselage and MAD projection from the tailfin.
Tu-95K Bear-G - looks like 'Bear-B/C' but subsonic 'Kangaroo' is replaced by supersonic air-surface AS-4 'Kitchen'.
Tu-95MS [36K] Bear-H - the new-build cruise missile (AS-X-15) carrier. It has radar similar to the 'Top Crown' of the 'Bear-B/C'. 1985.

«Independant Military Review», No14, 1997

Strategic missile carrier. Tu-95MS is intended to strike with nuclear and conventional missiles against the most important targets at remote regions and in the depth of continental operational theatres.
Developed by Aviation Science and Technology Complex (ANTK) named after A.N.Tupolev.
Produced by Samara Aviation Production Union (APO). First a/c were assembled at Taganrog machinery plant.
Tu-95MS is a freely carrying arrow-wing middle-winger. Four NK-12MP turbofans (two engines redundancy). Aerial refuelling system. Max take-off weight: 185t. Max combat load: 20t (normal: 9t). Fuel: 84t. Practical range at normal load: 10,500km (6,500km at max load). Max speed at high altitude: 830km/h (550km/h at ground level). Practical ceiling: 12,000m. Dimensions: length 49.6m, heigth 13.3m, wing span 50.05m. Crew of 7. Crew comfort significantly improved as compared to previous versions. "All conditions" operations.
Tu-95MS can carry 6 cruise missiles X-55 (rotary launch unit) in the bay. There were versions for 6 and 16 missiles (extra 10 missiles under the wings), but they were converted to 6-missiles Tu-95MS under «SAL-2 treatment».
Self-defense weapon consists of rear firing 23mm twin gun and ECM system. Targeting radar is capable to search, track, and fire against enemy fighters in the rear semisphere automatically.
Tu-95MS is the last version of Tu-95 bomber (first flown in 12-Nov-1952). Experimental missile carrier was built in Sep-1979. Serial production - since 1981 to early 1990s. First Tu-95MS entered service in 1982. USSR had 84 Tu-95MS to 1991 (mostly in Ukraine and Kazakhstan). Some sources report 65 Tu-95MS in Russian VVS today. 21 Tu-95MS left in Ukraine. Obsolete Tu-95K and Tu-95K-22 are now dismounted.

TU-95.jpg (18658 bytes)Tu-95t.jpg (23414 bytes)

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Last updated : Wednesday, March 21, 2001

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