The Tupolev Tu-95 has been built in many Tu-95 and Tu-142 variants, but was originally constructed as a strategic, intercontinental heavy-payload bomber aircraft.
The aircraft is in service in the Russian Air Force Naval Aviation and Russian Air Force Air Army units, as well as with the Indian Air Force.
Tu-95 Bear intercontinental bomber development
The Tu-95s were designed and built at the Tupolev Joint Stock Company aviation plant in Moscow. First flight of the Tu-95 was in 1954 and it entered service in 1956.
The Tu-95 has a maximum level speed of 650km per hour and an unrefuelled combat radius of 6,400km. With one in-flight refuelling, the aircraft has a combat radius of 8,200km.
The Tupolev aircraft regularly made long-range patrols near Nato and US airspace until the end of the Cold War. In August 2007, President Putin announced that the Russian Air Force would resume long-range patrols by Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers after a gap of 15 years.
In July 2007, two Tupolev Tu-95 aircraft headed towards Scotland and were met by UK RAF Tornado aircraft. In August 2007, two Tupolev Tu-95 aircraft flew towards a US air and naval exercise near the US military base at Guam. That same month, two UK RAF Typhoon aircraft were scrambled to intercept a Russian Air Force Tu-95 over the North Atlantic.
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