Russia's Nuclear Deterrent
Russian long range bombers Tu-160 and Tu-95 in action. The Tupolev Tu-160 is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber designed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. Although several civil and military transport aircraft are larger in overall dimensions, the Tu-160 is the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep aircraft built. Only the North American XB-70 Valkyrie had higher empty weight and maximum speed. The Tu-160 has the heaviest take off weight of any military aircraft besides transports. The Tupolev Tu-95 is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040. A development of the bomber for maritime patrol is designated Tu-142, while a passenger airliner derivative was called Tu-114.