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.


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.



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