Tupolev Tu-95 Bear

If the Cold War had ever turned hot, the massive Tupolev Bear is the aircraft that might have nuked New York, The Tupolev design bureau was tasked with designing an
intercontinental bomber in 1951, as the Soviet Union sought a means to deliver its newly developed atomic bomb onto targets in the United States. Tupolev came up with the world’s only turboprop bomber aircraft, combining propellers with the swept wing normally associated with jets.
Flown in November 1952, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1957. Fast and high-flying, armed with five twin-gun turrets, it was a formidable aeroplane. Its quartet of mighty Kutnetsov turboprops, driving massive contra-rotating propellers, were powerful and fuel-efficient, although also incredibly noisy – the Bear is quite possibly
the loudest aireraft ever built. Improvements in surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles soon made it unlikely that the Bear could penetrate to a strategic target to drops free-fall bomb, so theTu-95K-20 model
became an aerial launcher for a 400-mile-range stand-off nuclear missile, the weapon being recessed into the Bear’s belly.
Like its American opposite number, the B-52, the Tupolev Bear proved adaptable to other roles and was extraordinarily durable,
remaining in Russian military service in the 21st century.

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