Military Review

Strategic Aviation


Only two countries in the world - the United States and Russia - have in the Armed Forces an elite branch of the Air Force - Strategic, or Far Aviation. Together with submarine missile carriers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, Long-range aircraft are part of the nuclear triad and are responsible for the state’s safety in the air.

Strategic Aviation

Strategic bombers that are in service with the Armed Forces of Russia are part of the 37 Air Army Supreme Command (strategic). The army commander - Lieutenant-General Igor Ivanovich Khvorov - was appointed to this position by presidential decree of November 15 2002.

As of July 2009, the 37 Air Force had 76 strategic bomber of two types capable of carrying long-range cruise missiles to 856.

Bombers Total

Tu-95MS6 (Bear H6) 32
Tu-95MS16 (Bear H16) 31
Tu-160 (Blackjack) 13
76 total

Long-range aviation units

The 37 Air Force includes two heavy bomber divisions armed with strategic bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95MS. In addition, the army includes four heavy bomber divisions with Tu-22М3 bomber (Backfire C).

The 22 Guards Heavy Bomber Division, based in the city of Engels (Saratov Region), includes two heavy bomber regiments: the 121 Guards with Tu-160 bomber and the 184 B regiment with Tu-95 bomber. The 22 division includes the 13 bomber Tu-160 and 23 bomber Tu-95MS.

In addition, the division may include the 203 th regiment of Il-78 tankers, based in Ryazan. A training center is also located in Ryazan, where strategic bombers can be based.

326-I heavy bomber division is based in Ukrainka (Khabarovsk Territory). The division includes the 79 and 182 Guards regiments of Tu-95MS bombers. In total, the base in Ukrainka is 40 bombers.

Strategic bombers

Strategic bomber Tu-95MS (Bear H) was created in the design bureau of ANN Tupolev. Serial production of the aircraft was carried out in 1984-1991. at an aircraft factory in the city of Kuibyshev (now Aviakor Aviation Plant, Samara). The bomber is equipped with turboprop engines. The bomber’s strike armament consists of six X-55 long-range cruise missiles deployed in the bomb bay. The bomber version, designated Tu-95MX16, may additionally carry up to 10 cruise missiles placed on pylons under the wings, but the range of the bomber is significantly reduced.

Strategic bomber Tu-160 (Blackjack) was developed in the AN Tupolev Design Bureau. Serial production of the aircraft was carried out in 1984-1992. and again from 1999 at the aviation plant in Kazan (at present - the S.P. Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Production Association). The bomber’s strike armament consists of X-12 X-55 long-range cruise missiles deployed in a bomb bay. After the modernization program currently underway, bombers will be able to carry free-fall bombs and non-nuclear cruise missiles.

Cruise missiles

The X-55 cruise missiles (AS-15, RKV-500А), which are in service with long-range aviation, were developed in the Raduga ICD (Dubna, Moscow region). The production of rockets from 1983 was carried out by the Dubninsky machine-building plant. A variant of the X-55CM rocket was also developed, having a greater range due to additional fuel tanks. This option is designated RKB-500B. In 1999, tests of a modernized version of the rocket, which became known as the X-555, were carried out. It has been reported that X-555 is a non-nuclear version of X-55. This rocket is planned to equip the Tu-160 bombers.

Currently, Russia is working on a new cruise missile, which is likely to be designed to replace the X-55 and its variants. The new rocket in conventional equipment became known as the X-101, the nuclear version of the rocket in the nuclear equipment is known as the X-102.
Strategic aviation

Only two countries in the world - the United States and Russia - have in the Armed Forces an elite branch of the Air Force - Strategic or Long-Range Aviation. Together with submarine rocket carriers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range aircraft are part of the nuclear triad and are responsible for the security of the state in the air. Over the post-war 60 years, it has passed a difficult path: from complete oblivion and reduction to reform and revival. About unknown pages stories Strategic aviation for the first time will tell our film.


Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. His
    His 28 June 2011 12: 21
    When our Tu-95 flies from him such a noise that even NATO submarines in the depths know who is flying. This is about the issue of stealth and stealth.
    1. DAGESTAN333
      DAGESTAN333 28 June 2011 12: 27
      Let them be afraid.
      And so, a cruise missile crashes before sound from the carrier appears.
  2. datur
    datur 28 June 2011 15: 52
    Nehai bear growls more afraid will be. and the swan is a deadly beauty, it’s just a pity that they are 13 pieces. and thank God that they managed to take them from the Ukrainians.
    1. Glory
      Glory 29 June 2011 11: 36
      Well, only 8 of the initially available 19 were taken from Ukraine, the rest was cut into scrap metal at an American expense. At the same time, they agreed to buy them from Ukraine after the first aircraft began to be destroyed here, already in 2000. So for the fact that now there are fewer of them in Russia than it could be worth saying thanks to EBN.
  3. voin-xnumx
    voin-xnumx 29 June 2011 16: 10
    At least something that can inspire respect. And it’s not a shame for the power, there is something to be proud of.
  4. AlexiusKit
    AlexiusKit 29 June 2011 22: 29
    For them "Black Jack", for us "White Swan" ... It's good that this is so ... Let them be afraid for their "asses" ...
  5. nnz226
    nnz226 24 November 2011 13: 01
    As many as 76 planes ?! And the amerikosov ??? Moreover, Russia has many times more targets for bombers, since it is surrounded by all sorts of limitrophes and other countries that are a breeding ground for terrorism, and hitting them with "Voyevods" or "Topols" is the same as with a cannon at sparrows. American strategists will not unload over Canada or Mexico, but the Tu-160, in the light of Medvedev's latest announcement on missile defense, would be good against the Romanians, brothers of the Slavs, who will let the radars and missile launchers of missile defense systems in, but there will be no air defense either Are there not enough planes to extinguish all ??? War - it goes with losses (unfortunately) ...
    1. bistrov.
      bistrov. 16 January 2012 17: 31
      Strategic bombers do not have to approach the air defense coverage area. They can carry long-range cruise missiles (2500-3000 km. Now more long-range and more powerful missiles are being developed. They can carry conventional and nuclear warheads). Having risen in the Engels area, they can immediately hit targets in the Berlin area. The Tu-95, for example, was created as a carrier of nuclear weapons, since at that time the USSR could not reach the territory of the United States with anything (there were no missiles or nuclear submarines then). Then it was considered a "killer of aircraft carriers", and even now it has not lost of its importance, for example, against missile defense destroyers based in Spain, there are no means of struggle, the cream of strategic bombers. Therefore, a new, modern strategic bomber is in great need.
  6. Artemka
    Artemka 27 November 2011 16: 08
    We have known problems not only with strategic planes but also with the Air Force in general.