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Tu-95 Tupolev
Tu-95, Tu-142
ASCC codename: Bear
Intercontinental Strategic Bomber

The Tu-95 is the world's only swept-wing turboprop ever to enter service. Its distinct engines, each with two counter-rotating propellers, also make the Bear the fastest propeller-driven airplane ever built. The original Tu-95 was designed to carry two nuclear bombs to targets in the continental US. Later versions carried cruise missiles for long-ange stand-off missions. The Bear has also been used for reconnaissance, especially by the Soviet/Russian Navy which used the aircraft to track US aircraft carrier task forces. A specialized variant of the Bear is the Tu-142 dedicated to maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare. Over 300 Bears were built.

Data below for Tu-95MS
Last modified 13 September 2009

First Flight September 1952
Service Entry



seven: pilot, co-pilot, tailgunner, four others
crew of ten in older models
maximum of 16 personnel possible



Wing Root TsAGI SR-5S
Wing Tip TsAGI SR-5S

Length 162.42 ft (49.50 m)
Wingspan 167.67 ft (51.10 m)
Height 39.75 ft (12.12 m)
Wing Area 3,330 ft (310.0 m)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 198,415 lb (90,000 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 414,470 lb (188,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

(Tu-95) 44,090 lb (20,000 kg)
(Tu-142) 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)

Powerplant four KKBM Kuznetsov NK-12MV turboprops
Thrust 59,180 shp (44,132 kW)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 575 mph (925 km/h) at 40,010 ft (12,205 m), Mach 0.87
at sea level: 405 mph (650 km/h), Mach 0.53
Initial Climb Rate unknown
Service Ceiling 39,370 ft (12,000 m)
29,850 ft (9,100 m) with max payload
Range 8,110 nm (15,000 km) with max fuel
g-Limits unknown

Gun one or two 23-mm cannon in tail
Stations one internal weapons bay
Air-to-Surface Missile Kh-20, Kh-22, Kh-26, up to 16 Kh-55
Bomb nuclear bombs
Other (Tu-142) torpedoes, nuclear or conventional depth charges, sonobuoys

Tu-20 Original designation for the Tu-95/Tu-142 aircraft
Tu-95/1, Tu-95/2 Prototypes
Tu-95M 'Bear-A' First production model carrying two nuclear bombs
Tu-95M-5 Missile carrier model armed with the Kh-26/AS-6 'Kingfish' missile
Tu-95M-55 Missile carrier, details unknown
Tu-95U 'Bear-A' Trainer version based on the Tu-95M
Tu-95K Experimental model used to drop a MiG-19 aircraft in flight in order to test systems for the Kh-20 missile
Tu-95K-20 'Bear-B' Version armed with the Kh-20/AS-3 'Kangaroo' missile and featuring a large, flat nose radar
Tu-95KD Armed with the Kh-20 missile and equipped with an in-flight refueling probe on the nose
Tu-95KM 'Bear-C' Missile carrier model nearly identical to the Tu-95K-20 but fited with additional electronic intelligence equipment
Tu-95RT 'Bear-D' Maritime reconnaissance model with multi-sensor pallets; 45 built
Tu-95MR 'Bear-E' Maritime reconnaissance model with seven cameras located in the weapon bay
Tu-95K-22 'Bear-G' Re-built 'Bear-B' and 'Bear-C' airframes with new avionics and armed with the Kh-22/AS-4 'Kitchen' missile
Tu-95MS 'Bear-H' Armed with the Kh-55/AS-15 'Kent' cruise missile
Tu-95MS-6 'Bear-H6' Armed with six Kh-55 missiles
Tu-95MS-16 'Bear-H16' Armed with 16 Kh-55 missiles
Tu-95MR 'Bear-J' Believed to be a communications relay aircraft
Tu-96 High-speed development aircraft, details unknown
Tu-119 Experimental design to test a nuclear-powered engine, converted from a Tu-95M
Tu-142 'Bear-F' Maritime version introduced in the late 1960s with a longer fuselage and improved engines; 50 built
Tu-142A 'Bear-F Mod 1' Tu-142 variant with a slightly different external shape
Tu-142M 'Bear-F Mod 2' Model with a longer fuselage, redesigned cockpit, and a new infrared probe
Tu-142M2 'Bear-F Mod 3' Model with a new magnetic anomaly detector (MAD)
Tu-142M3 'Bear-F Mod 4' Model with multi-sensor antennae and electronic warfare equipment
Tu-142LL Test aircraft converted from a Tu-142M Mod 3 and used to test engines




India (Indian Naval Air Squadron)
Russia, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Russian Air Force)
Russia, Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskoyo Flota Sily Rossii (Russian Naval Aviation)
Ukraine, Viys'kovo-Povitriani Syly Ukrayiny (Ukraine Military Air Forces)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Voyenno Vozdushniye Sili (Soviet Air Force)
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Aviatsiya Voyenno-Morskoyo Flota (Soviet Naval Aviation)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 371.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 884, Tupolev Tu-95 and -142.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 426-430, Tupolev Tu-95/95M 'Bear-A', Tu-95K 'Bear-B/C/G', Tu-95MS 'Bear-H', Tu-95RT/MR 'Bear-D/E', Tu-142 'Bear-F', Tu-142MR 'Bear-J'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 273-275, Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear', Tu-95MS 'Bear', Tu-95 and Tu-142 'Bear-D/E/F/J'.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircraft. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 1995, p. 424-427, Tu-95, Tu-142.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 230-233, Tupolev Tu-95, Tu-142.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 100-102, Tupolev Tu-95 (NATO name Bear), Tu-142 (NATO name Bear-F/J).
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 82-84, Tupolev Tu-95 (NATO name Bear), Tu-142 (NATO name Bear-F/J).

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