From 1946 to 1991, the Soviet Union made extensive deployment of strategic bombers as deterrent flying weapons against the United States of America and NATO’s countries in the Cold War context. Most of them could not only carry free-fall nuclear bombs but also long-range, surface-to-earth missiles, which could be armed with nuclear warheads. Although the Russian bombers were not as varied in design types, as the American ones, they were massively produced, specially those developed by the state-run firm Tupolev as their long range capacity was impressive.

Tupolev Tu-4 “Bull”. Subsonic. Fitted with conventional straight wings and powered by 4 piston engines. In service: from 1949 to 1964. Range: 5,400 km (3,355 miles). Bombload: 6,000 kg. Number produced: 840.

Tupolev Tu-16 “Badger”. Subsonic. Powered by 2 turbojet engines, it had a maximum speed of 1,050 km/h (652 mph). Its range was 7,200 km. It could carry up to 9,000 kg of bombs or anti-ship and cruise missiles. Introduced in 1954. Number manufactured: 1,500+

Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear”. Subsonic. 4 turboprop engines. Introduced in 1956, it is still in service today. Bombload: 15,000 kg. Range: 14,990 km. Maximum speed: 920 km/h. Number manufactued: 500+

Myasishchev M-4 “Bison”. Subsonic and powered by 4 jet engines. In service: 1956-1994. Bombload capacity: up to 24,000 kg. Max speed: 947 km/h (588 mph). Range: 8,100 km. Number produced: 93

Tupolev Tu-22 “Blinder”. Supersonic, equipped with 2 turbojet engines. Maximum speed: 1,510 km/h (938 mph). Range: 5,000 km. Bombload: 9,000 kg. In service: from 1962 to 1998. Number manufactured: 300

Tupolev Tu-22M “Backfire”. Supersonic. Jet-powered and fitted with variable-sweep wings. Maximum speed: 2,303 km/h (1,431 mph). Range: 6,800 km. Introduced in 1967 and phased out in 1997. Bombload: 24,000 kg. Number built: approx 500

Tupolev Tu-160 “Blackjack”. Supersonic. Also fitted with swing-wings. 4 turbofan engines. Max speed: 2,220 km/h (1,380 mph). Range: 12,300 km. Bombload: 40,000 kg. Introduced 1987. Number built: 35

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