posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 04:41 AM
Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by Helious
The odds are that they were Tu-95MR, known as the Bear E, or Tu-95RTs, known as the Bear D. The MR was modified for photo recon, and the other for
SIGINT. They were out there because the Air Force recently announced that for the first time since the crash in 2008, a pair of B-2 bombers were
deploying to Anderson AB, I'm willing to bet.
All those earlier Tu-95 Bear variants such as Bear D and Bear E have long since gone. Just Tu-95MS Bear H and Tu-142M MR Bear F and Bear J. There is
probably a limited electronic package on the Tu-95MS Bear H for basic SIGINT/ELINT as the crews operate on these out of area flights?
Even the old Tu-95 variants used for crew training were scrapped in the early 1990s. Some of these were Bear As and Es.
BEAR T - TU-95U -- About a dozen surviving 'Bear-As' were converted to Tu-95U configuration, with sealed bomb bays and a broad red band painted
around the rear fuselage. Under the START I agreement, the Parties agreed that all airplanes formerly known to the United States of America as Bear E
and now known as Bear T, which are designated by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as Tu-95U, were to be considered to be training heavy
bombers. Most served with the Long-Range Aviation training center at Ryazan, and most were withdrawn from use during 1991 and 1992
Spot on with your earlier post on carriage of nuclear weapons on such flights. No side wants to go back to the days of strategic bombers having
accidents. It would take a much higher alert posture for such flights to be carrying live nuke air launched cruise missiles.
One good thing that has developed out of the treaty confidence building measures such as New START is a bomber exchange programme. Hopefully it will
result in regular exchange visits?
Plans for 2013
Russian strategic bombers to visit U.S. Two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers will fly to the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana,
United States, in 2013 under an agreement reached during a recent visit of senior officers from the Russian Long-Range Air Force to the United States,
Long-Range Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev said on Tuesday. Zhikharev made the announcement at a news conference. "There will also be
a return visit in 2013 - two American [Boeing] B-52 strategic bombers will land at our air force base in Engels, Saratov region, in 2013," he said.
U.S. officers are due to pay an inspection visit to the Russian base next week, he added.
Team members evaluated the suitability of the airfield at Engels Air Base for B-52H operations. The outing also established initial relationships
for a long range aviation bomber exchange program between the U.S. and Russia.