Skip

Тхундербирдс являются дороге!
December 23, 2007 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
posted by Artw (52 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Obviously this is probably not a good thing, but they are awesomely cool looking, like very deadly Gerry Anderson vehicles.
posted by Artw at 8:30 AM on December 23, 2007


(Corrections on the title from people not just using Google Translate welcome...)
posted by Artw at 8:31 AM on December 23, 2007


From what I've read of the interior conditions inside the Bear, resumption of long-range patrols is especially bad news for all the poor sons of bitches who're going to go deaf riding in the things.
posted by COBRA! at 8:34 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The idea is not to attack us, but to force us to deploy resources that would allow us to combat the threat if Russia decides to make one. This is the same thing as the Russians deploying a naval task force to the Mediterranean. Now that they have one there, we must devote some naval resources to the Med as well.

All in all, these moves are designed to tax our military resources, which are already stretched too thin in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the dozens of other countries we occupy.

I could not think of a more effective way of forcing us to get the hell out of Russia's back yard and sphere of influence.
posted by Sukiari at 8:35 AM on December 23, 2007


"From what I've read of the interior conditions inside the Bear, resumption of long-range patrols is especially bad news for all the poor sons of bitches who're going to go deaf riding in the things."

How about donating some Bose noise canceling headphones to these poor bastards for Christmas?
posted by Sukiari at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2007


How's that peace dividend working out?
posted by orthogonality at 8:47 AM on December 23, 2007


This reminds me of SSI's North Atlantic '86:

* * * AIRFIELD UNDER HEAVY FIRE * * *

4 x BEAR DITCH IN OCEAN!!!
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:59 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw one of those (or something similar) fly over my house once on the way to an air show... it's was pretty bloody awesome. If it was full of nuclear bombs I'd have probably felt a bit less thrilled.

(Also probably being used to ferry Putin's Scrooge McDuck-style mound of looted gold to Switzerland)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:15 AM on December 23, 2007


And so the beautiful mermaid said

"Who among you is the mighty one, my king and lover, that should provide me with the love I seek ? "

And the Bear and the Eagle, both being secretely enamoured of the mermaid , tought that they were to impress her with their skills and riches.

And the Bear unraveled an huge, rioting, unforeseeable Pink Wand of Love , with a Magic of +5 and an STD of -5

And the Eagle unwrapped a gargantuan, straight, uncontrollable Purple Missle of Pain , with more or less the same prestigeous shit.

While the Bear and the Eagle were busy showing each other they own weapon, which one was mighiter no one dared or cared to know, the mermaid discovered they both were enchanted by a misterious spell : Sudden Suggested AssHattery

Displeased by the discovery, she left the two assholes and happily married Joe, which in the ancient language of the Jeremys means: he who buy into the perennial war shit and would rather make love.

And night came, and the day came.
posted by elpapacito at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2007


To hell with Russia. Tupelov should have become competition for Boeing and Airbus, but Russia likes blaming everyone else for being a miserable failure of a country. Where is Russian industry in an era of globalisation? Invisible. China is still communist and they're running economic rings around their former Stalinist comrade. With all their industry and impressive science, Russia sells its commodities on the world market with no added value.

That being said, there was no reason for the idiot Bush to bait the bear.
posted by three blind mice at 10:35 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cool, I'd never seen a turboprop bomber, and didn't know they existed. Thanks!
posted by agentofselection at 10:43 AM on December 23, 2007


The other russian nuclear bombers were pretty cool looking as well, I get the impression that most of them are no longer in service though.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2007


Where is Russian industry in an era of globalisation?

Supplying Europe and China with oil and gas?

What does America manufacture these days?
posted by c13 at 10:48 AM on December 23, 2007


c13 - Software, assorted IP, ugly cars (not for export).

tttttthree blind mice has a point here, exporting commodities isn't really the same as an industry.
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on December 23, 2007


damn
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on December 23, 2007


Hurrah, PWEI's DEFCON 1 just came on the radio. My childhood-of-imminent-nuclear-destruction nostalgiafest is complete!
posted by Artw at 10:57 AM on December 23, 2007


Does that mean I have to put back the Air Raid shelter sign I stole off the old school?
posted by Gungho at 11:30 AM on December 23, 2007


My childhood-of-imminent-nuclear-destruction nostalgiafest is complete!

Pah... not until you've re-watched Threads... be a real nice yuletime treat that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:30 PM on December 23, 2007


Looks like the Russians borrowed from the B-1 Lancer for the TU-160, at least in appearances. That wouldn't be the last time they borrowed something from us.
posted by Atreides at 12:42 PM on December 23, 2007


The Tsar Bomba, a 50 megaton three stage hydrogen bomb--the largest and most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated--was carried by a specially modified Tu-95V. The bomb was so large that the plane had its bomb bay doors and fuselage fuel tanks removed. 50 megatons is equivalent to ten times all the explosives used in World War II, and 4000 times the power of the bomb used on Hiroshima.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2007


The idea is not to attack us, but to force us to deploy resources that would allow us to combat the threat if Russia decides to make one.

While that's true, watch as the U.S. military responds with a massive, collective yawn. The Russians have a lot of oil and will gleefully burn it as jet fuel. Hooray for them.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has battle-tested B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 Raptors now online in Alaska, a working submarine force and more aircraft carrier deck space than the rest of the world combined.

And, oh yeah, missiles in silos that didn't suffer from maintenance problems due to a corrupt, cash-poor economy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:53 PM on December 23, 2007


Nothing really new here, please move along.
posted by chips ahoy at 2:04 PM on December 23, 2007


The title makes sero sense. I would correct it if I had the faintest idea what it was supposed to be to start with.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 2:51 PM on December 23, 2007


Looks like the Russians borrowed from the B-1 Lancer for the TU-160, at least in appearances. That wouldn't be the last time they borrowed something from us.

The Tu-160 is about twice as large as the Lancer, and was also rolled out in 1981 (the Lancer was deployed in 1986). Perhaps the Americans borrowed the design from the Russians?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:52 PM on December 23, 2007


While that's true, watch as the U.S. military responds with a massive, collective yawn. The Russians have a lot of oil and will gleefully burn it as jet fuel. Hooray for them.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has battle-tested B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 Raptors now online in Alaska, a working submarine force and more aircraft carrier deck space than the rest of the world combined.


Russia's net foreign debt.

USA's net foreign debt.

Methinks they can afford more jet fuel than the USA can afford a B-2 bomber.
posted by wilful at 3:30 PM on December 23, 2007


Or maybe it's two different sets of designers reaching the same conclusions from the same laws of aerodynamics.
posted by knapah at 3:31 PM on December 23, 2007


A lot of this is for domestic consumption only, and shows people at home that Russia is back in the saddle. In realiy they days of the strategic nuclear (or as Bush says, nukula) bomber went out with the rock musical.
posted by mattoxic at 4:26 PM on December 23, 2007


Methinks they can afford more jet fuel than the USA can afford a B-2 bomber.

Russian 2006 GDP == US$1.75 Trillion
US 2006 GDP == US$13.13 Trillion

You're bad at economics. Got it.
posted by kjs3 at 4:55 PM on December 23, 2007


Looks like the Russians borrowed from the B-1 Lancer for the TU-160

No. But interestingly the Russian TU-4 is directly copied from B-29 bombers that landed in Russia towards the end of WW2. See http://www.rb-29.net/HTML/03RelatedStories/03.03shortstories/03.03.10contss.htm.
posted by kjs3 at 4:59 PM on December 23, 2007


Your favourite oligarchy sucks!
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on December 23, 2007


Russian nuclear powered bombers

Of course, as alluded to above, all of this stuff pretty much became irrelevant to full scale global conflicts once the ICBM was invented.
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on December 23, 2007


I almost posted a more questionable statement on the similarities...but then thought that the Lancer had been in development longer. Regardless, thanks for the correction and pointing out the other borrowing.
posted by Atreides at 5:27 PM on December 23, 2007


Russia: total debt accounting for 7.5% of GDP

US total debt ~ 75% of GDP.

You're a snarky tool. Got that.
posted by wilful at 5:37 PM on December 23, 2007


Gearing up for the future Arctic resource struggle? Christ, Canada is stuck between two of the biggest dicks in international relations.
posted by edgeways at 5:42 PM on December 23, 2007


The Tu-160 is about twice as large as the Lancer, and was also rolled out in 1981 (the Lancer was deployed in 1986).

I won't dispute the larger point that the Tu-160 isn't just a ripoff of the B-1, but the prototype of the B-1A first flew in *googles* 1974. I have no idea how much actual commonality there is between the A and B models.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:21 PM on December 23, 2007


Googling the Tu-160/Lancer issue brings up this, which has some great pictures of the evolution of the design.
posted by Artw at 7:50 PM on December 23, 2007


Russia: total debt accounting for 7.5% of GDP

US total debt ~ 75% of GDP.


Interest Russia has to promise to get other countries to buy its debt: 11%.

Interest U.S. has to promise to get other countries to buy its debt: 3.8%.

You don't know how to interpret a statistic. Got it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:04 PM on December 23, 2007


Interestingly the Valkyrie (warning: crap web design, attempts to play music), which seems to have inspired bother the Blackjack and the Lancer and was itself a very Gerry Anderson looking beast, was used as a testbed for research into supersonic transport after the project was dumped. And of course theres a very real Soviet ripoff SST story.
posted by Artw at 8:06 PM on December 23, 2007


Meanwhile, the U.S. has battle-tested B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 Raptors now online in Alaska, a working submarine force and more aircraft carrier deck space than the rest of the world combined.

... and gets their butts whipped in any insurgency going.
posted by mattoxic at 10:19 PM on December 23, 2007


A good point made in the post linked to by Artrw

great post also i need to mention why do people always assume the russians need to steal western technology what makes them think the west doesnt steal russian technology and designs. russia is very advanced technology and science wise its foolish to assume they cannot make something on there own.


When the Russian pilot defected with a MIG 15 and landed in South Korea, the consensus was that the plane was a copy of old WW2 German & British technology with the looks of a contemporary US Sabre (F-80) fighter, indeed the MIG15 even had Rolls Royce look-a-like engine.

On inspection, the plane was in fact far superior to anything the western powers were flying. The MIG15 was tough, could land on unprepared fields, faster than the Sabre, and build like a brick shithouse.

The US doesn't have a monopoly on the "best" designs, indeed many US designed ordinance fall far short of operational requirements.
posted by mattoxic at 10:43 PM on December 23, 2007


... and gets their butts whipped in any insurgency going.

Ah yes, the expected conflation that, because lots of dollars equal superiority in several arenas yet don't yield good results in all arenas, it must be a sign of overall incompetence.

Where someone above couldn't interpret a statistic, you've just missed the forest for the trees. Go talk to the Russians about their experiences in Chechnya and let me know how a different system handles the same situation better. Oh wait ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:45 PM on December 23, 2007


"Of course, as alluded to above, all of this stuff pretty much became irrelevant to full scale global conflicts once the ICBM was invented."

Which makes you wonder why we are wasting our pilots and planes following a bunch of ancient prop-planes around.

Then again, one of the advantages of the cold war was that US and USSR forces could constantly train against each other by playing these cat-and-mouse types of games. But this is really only useful training for fighting a global war, not the types of battles our forces are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, with China becoming so strong, maybe Russia is planning ahead.
posted by eye of newt at 11:35 PM on December 23, 2007


Given that Iraq costs America something like $120 Billion a year, and that Russias entire military budget is only about $50 Billion, I'd say say the Russians have done quite well getting their nightmarish quagmire at a budget price. Still, the Strategic Nuclear Bombers off either side remain an unsuitable tool for insurgency fighting , and though America has been known to try and solve this sort of problem with B52s carrying conventional payloads in the past I doubt they'll be trying anything similar in the near future.
posted by Artw at 11:36 PM on December 23, 2007


In fairness, since I mentioned Americas previous use of the B52 I should also mention that it's possible that Strategic Nuclear Bombers carrying conventional munitions were involved in the levelling of Grozny,or if only small fighter-bombers were involved. In either case I'm certain that it cost a fraction of the money than commiting a similar atrocity using the B2 bomber or F22 Raptor.
posted by Artw at 11:48 PM on December 23, 2007


Still, the Strategic Nuclear Bombers of either side remain an unsuitable tool for insurgency fighting, and though America has been known to try and solve this sort of problem with B52s carrying conventional payloads in the past I doubt they'll be trying anything similar in the near future.

Ahem. If by insurgency fighting, you mean guys kicking down doors and going house to house, no, they're not terribly useful. But the B-52H and B-1B Lancer have been re-purposed with cheap, GPS-guided munitions and turned into workhorse "bomb truck" planes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Indeed, the USAF intends to keep the B-52 in service until 2040.

Moreover, the success of this combination (low cost planes + low cost munitions + low cost precision guidance) has by and large replaced many of the perceived needs for on-the-ground artillery -- it's one of the reasons cited for the killing of the Crusader project.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:01 AM on December 24, 2007


It's the SECRET GOLD JULY BOOJUM tech you've really got to worry about.
posted by enn at 1:45 AM on December 24, 2007


Moreover, the success of this combination (low cost planes + low cost munitions + low cost precision guidance)

Sounds to me like a great excuse to re-vitalize this project. Otherwise, what the f*ck am I going to do with this?
posted by thrakintosh at 3:52 AM on December 24, 2007


Go talk to the Russians about their experiences in Chechnya

OK, I will try, but I can't promise anything.
posted by mattoxic at 4:31 AM on December 24, 2007


Indeed, the USAF intends to keep the B-52 in service until 2040.

Note the Tu-95 is in the exact same situation. Why? Range, and really big payload bays. Thus, the two bombers -- built to handle the massive weight and volume of the early nuclear weapons -- are still around why?

1) To handle those weapons needed a great deal of airframe strength.

2) To be survivable, they were over engined -- which also required more airframe strength. (It's embarrassing when you push the throttles forward and the engines try to take off without you.)

3) When the big bombs went away, you still had big payload bays that could handle lots and lots of stuff.

4) The mission demanded intercontinental range.

So. Combine. You have two planes that have very strong airframes, very long range, a surplus of engine power, and very large cargo bays.

That sort of starts to look useful for lots of things, doesn't it?

So. Both the B-52 and the Tu-95 hang around, and neither the US nor Russian Air Forces can even think of they're going to do when they do have to finally ground those airframes. Both AFes have tried to replace them -- they're old, they're expensive to operated, and the spare parts issue is *not* trivial -- but nothing has come out that can do as much as they can (and what has come out has cost vastly more.)
posted by eriko at 9:09 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


mattoxic : ... and gets their butts whipped in any insurgency going.

CPB already touched on this, but insurgency combat has no real effect on air superiority (barring specific and strange circumstances like surface-to-air-missiles and such.)

And air superiority is something that America has in spades. We can take any country and reduce a good portion of it's infrastructure to rubble in no time at all. We have precision guided munitions that can provide pinpoint mayhem to anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.

And because of this overwhelming ability, we are getting our asses kicked. I think that we just naturally assumed that since we could destroy any city we wanted, we could do whatever struck our fancy, but the old adage remains; air power won't hold a city. You have to have boots on the ground for that. And that is where we can't keep up with the insurgency.

But there is nothing wrong with our air power, in that respect, we are still top dog. It just doesn't count for much (at all) when it comes to prolonged pacification.
posted by quin at 9:38 AM on December 24, 2007


Sounds to me like a great excuse to re-vitalize this project.

Besides the technical and budget nightmare it turned into, the Sgt. York gun was essentially killed by this little number and all its success in Afghanistan.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:05 PM on December 24, 2007


"Does that mean I have to put back the Air Raid shelter sign I stole off the old school?"

I doubt that'll make much difference one way or another when a Tu-160 flies over with 40 tonnes (!) of bombs on board.
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 PM on December 24, 2007


« Older Street fighting men first had to pay their dues   |   One Gorilla Drumming Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post