Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Yet another iconic Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber has crashed. Is the Russian Air Force falling apart?

Tu-95 crashed

It’s the second crash in less than two months.

On Jul. 14, at 09.50 Moscow Time, a Tu-95 bomber crashed in an uninhabited area 80 km from Khabarovsk.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the aircraft was conducting a training mission and it was unarmed. All the crew left the aircraft uninjured.

Newsworthy, this is the second incident in little more than one month: on Jun. 9, a Tu-95 skidded off the runway at Ukrainka airbase, in the Amur region, in an incident that resulted in the death of one crew member.

Following the incident, all the Tu-95 fleet was grounded: a flight ban lifted few days ago and “celebrated” on Jul. 4 with missions over the Pacific that caused the interception of four Bears by two F-15s and two F-22s in two different episodes.

It’s unclear if the Bears will be grounded again. Surely, the latest mishap might be the sign that some quite old Russian warplanes, used to intimidate NATO allies all around the world, are being pushed to their limits, as some reports have highlighted.

Along with the two Tu-95s, the most recent Russian crashes include a Su-24 Fencer, two Mig-29 Fulcrums and a modern Su-34 Fullback.

Image credit: Sergey Kustov / Wiki


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