Warplanes: Bears Get BUFFed Up

Archives

October 29, 2007: After years of requests from the Russian Air Force, the Tu-95 is getting its electronics upgraded. This was last done in the 1980s, when the current version of the Tu-95 was upgraded to be a cruise missile launcher. The upgrade included defensive avionics (radar detectors and jammers) along with chaff and flare dispensers, and sensors under the nose and tail to detect approaching missiles.

The Tu-95MS is a propeller driven aircraft, most often used for naval reconnaissance. As a heavy bomber, it is a 180 ton aircraft that can carry 12 tons of bombs and missiles. It has a combat radius of over 5,000 kilometers. Actually, it's total range of 15,000 kilometers enables it to reach just about anywhere on the planet, if is uses in-flight refueling.

Russia have 63 Tu-95MS "Bear" strategic bombers in service. No details of the upgrades were released, except a mention of "artificial intelligence" being used. This is a feature of all modern electronic defensive systems. If the Russians develop and install first rate stuff, it could cost them over $20 million per aircraft. This was the kind money it cost to upgrade B-52 electronics in the last decade. A nickname for the B-52 is BUFF (Big Ugly Fat F***er).

 


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad

Help Keep Us Flying!

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close