Soviet/Russian Heavy Bombers

Soviet/Russian Designation Tu-95 Tu-95K20; KD, KM Tu-95K22 Tu-22M3 Tu-95MS Tu-160
US/NATO Designation Bear Bear B Bear G Backfire Bear H Blackjack
Year first deployed 1955 1959 1964 1977 1981 1981
Max take-off weight (metric tons) 172 182 185 124 185 275
Max unrefuelled range (km) 12,100 12,500 15,000 5,500 10,500-11,000 10,500-14,000
Flight speed (km/h) 850-890 (max) 860-905 (max);
700-770 (cruising)
910-1000 (max); 710-800 (cruising) 2300 (max);
950 (cruising)
830-910 (max); 710-800 (cruising) 2230 (max); 800 (cruising)
Weapon load (metric tons) 12 (maximum) 12 (maximum) 12 (maximum) 24 (maximum) 12 (maximum) 22.4 (normal); 40-45 (maximum)
Types and numbers of ordnance carried Free-fall bombs Free-fall bombs,
1 Kh-20 missile
2 Kh-22 missiles; free-fall bombs 1-3 Kh-22 missiles or 10 Kh-15 short range attack missiles (SRAM); free-fall bombs. Tu-95MS6:
6 Kh-55 ALCMs or 6 Kh-15 SRAMs
16 Kh-55s or 6 Kh-15s; free-fall bombs.
12 Kh-55 ALCMs or 24 Kh-15 SRAMs; free-fall bombs.
Notes No longer in service No longer in service   Not classified as a strategic bomber and not countable under START. Some are to be converted to Tu-22M5 variant, which is to carry new missile types. Some are being converted to carry the new Kh-101/102 ALCMs. Majority of Bear H6 are likely to be taken out of service by 2015. Supersonic dash-capable heavy bomber with variable-geometry wings. Some are being modified to carry the new Kh-101/102 ALCMs. Small scale production of the bomber resumed in 2004, modernization of avionics and communication equipment has also been ongoing. As of 2008, only one modernized version of the Tu-160 has been deployed.

[1] V. Dygalo, "Dalnyaya aviatsiya vchera, segodnya, zavtra," in Aleksandr Pikayev, ed., Raketnaya moshch Rossii: proshloye i nastoyashcheye, (Moscow: Komitet po kriticheskim tekhnologiyam i nerasprostraneniyu, Monterey Institute of International Studies, 1995), pp. 91-112.
[2] S.M. Ganin, A.V. Karpenko, "Tyazhelyye bombardirovshchiki," (St. Petersburg: Nevskiy Bastion, 1998), pp. 43-50, 63-66.
[3] R. Norris and H. Kristensen, "Russian Nuclear Forces, 2007," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March-April 2007, pg. 61-67.