!>http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44049000/jpg/_44049227_tupolev_203_bbc.jpg! “BBC”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6938856.stm took me back to the days of Tom Clancy and Hunt for the Red October and Red Storm Rising. The TU-95 Bears were the early warning and ocean hunters of that day. Big slow turboprops with incredible range. Apparently, the Russians visited Guam with just such a plane.
The article makes them sound like dangerous bombers, but “Wikipedia”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95 is right, they are really surveillance aircraft and ahardly a threat. Some great stories of keeping them at bay, because where you see a Bear, “Backfires”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-95 are sure to follow to quote from Red Storm Rising and their really gigantic “AS-4 Kitchen”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raduga_Kh-22 antiship missiles (called Raduga Kh-22 by the Soviets back then). They used a high speed rocket motor given them a speed of Mach 2 in cruise and 250 mile range and in terminal mode, could dive at Mach 4 and caried a 2,000 pound bomb load, enough to really wreck a carriers day. The idea was to keep the Bears at bay and then for the F-14 Tomcat to use its Phoenix missiles to take them out before they got within a 200 mile range.
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