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The advent of the nuclear strike force composed of US nuclear-powered submarines armed with ballistic missiles of type Polaris, demanded that the anti-Soviet defense lines make detection and destruction of submarines, missile to a distance exceeding the range of their missile launch. Along with several other domestic aviation OKB in the early 1960s, the OKB-156, AN Tupolev began work to establish long-range aircraft carrier means to combat the newest submarines likely opponents. From the outset of designing the aircraft carrier was seen as part of an integrated system that can independently solve the problem of combating submarines.

The aircraft carrier, received the designation TU-95PLO, was held in their gruzootsekah radiogidroakusticheskie buoys (RSL), anti-aircraft bombs, mines, anti-self-torpedoes fitted with a conventional warhead and nuclear. Maximum combat load of Tu-95PLO had to be 9 tons. The aircraft from this load should have been in barrazhirovaniya stay in the air from 3.5 to 10.5 hours, depending on the remoteness of the area patrols. According to the project at TU-95PLO not available on-board search and detection of submarines (a powerful overview radar, magnetometer, thermal imaging system). All of this was to be located on the second plane, part of the complex - a modified airplane AN-22, carrying capacity and internal dimensions of which meet the very heavy models of equipment offered by domestic radio-electronic industry in the initial stage of designing the complex.

Soon, advances in the creation of radio-electronic systems, reducing their weight and size parameters and energy allowed to proceed to design long-range anti-aircraft complex on the basis of a single aircraft carrier - Tu-142 (the product MP) with accommodation on the entire range of equipment and search tools destruction of submarines. As a base for aircraft carrier Tu-142 OKB are encouraged to take long-distance reconnaissance aircraft and targeting Tu-95RTS, which in this period, the OKB-156 created by order of the Navy. The motion was adopted. 28 Feb., 1963 Decision of the Council of Ministers left the USSR on the far anti-aircraft range Tu-142. OKB tasked to design and build an aircraft based on the Tu-95RTS far antisubmarine aircraft Tu-142 with PPP Berkut-95 (in which composed of the radar around the sensor of magnetic anomalies, complex passive and active sonar buoys, gas analyzer) and a set of tools for combating submarines. To support the work of PPP was to be a special flight and navigation system PKN-142 involved in antisubmarine equipment and armament. In addition to anti-defense in order to increase the range of use of aircraft to be placed on board a means of radio intelligence, particularly the station Square-2 and Cube-3.

Very stringent requirements of the customers were brought to the landing characteristics of the new aircraft. During these years the command of the Air Force and its technical services required by virtually all new combat aircraft being developed with potential for exploitation of ground airfield, which was to increase the survivability of aircraft systems at the beginning of hostilities, including those with nuclear weapons. As a result, when designing the TU-142, to improve the landing characteristics of aircraft and adapt it to the ground airfields, OKB went to use the new design of the main landing gear legs, and moved to the use of flaps. Since the new trucks have been much more used to the earlier Tu-95 had significantly increased the size of radome gondolas for cleaning the main pillars. It was a new wing with a modern set of profiles, with the area it had increased to 289.9 m 2. To increase management efficiency by 14% increased rudder area height. Rubber wing fuel tanks were replaced in the rigid metal panel-tanks. In the management system introduced irreversible power.

From onboard defensive weapons in the Tu-142 left only gun fodder plant. At the same time increased the possibilities of on-board tools REP. Some suggestions for TU-142 equipped with the latest systems for one reason or another were not adopted. For example, do not put in place a system of boundary layer control, not supported the idea of forced leave the cabin crew in an emergency. Phase working design Tu-142 has shown that the substantial increase in new equipment in the cabin of the old Tu-95RTS not. A decision to extend the cab at least 1.5 meters, but at the first trial machine extension do not become.

The first experimental engine Tu-142 number 4200 was built on the Kuibyshev Aviation Plant, which will expand the serial construction of an aircraft. Outwardly, it was very similar to the Tu-95RTS, serial production of which was still ongoing at the plant. Greater continuity of airframe design was to facilitate the transition to a new factory serial aircraft. Like the Tu-95RTS, Tu-142 had an overview of the radar dome in the central part of the fuselage for the detection of submarines surfaced and under periscopes, it had gruzootseki with anti-shock weapons and buoys. In the fore part of the translator success replaced by the search for anti-infrared system loon under the cowl slightly smaller size. At the ends of the stabilizer were installed new fairing antenna system Lyra, aerodynamically better than fairing system Harp on Tu-95RTS.

Tu-142 number 4200 made a first flight on June 18, 1968. Airplane pilot crew, led by test pilot, IK Vedernikov. September 3, 1968 batch plant from the air in the air rose the second machine number 4201, which has already been extended to a new 1.7 meter cabin, but without a complete set of staffing of special equipment. 31 Oct, 1968 takes off a third car with the number 4202 extended cab, and with all necessary equipment, which was provided for special joint decision of the MAP and the Air Force in 1967. These first three cars were factory flight tests, and then the public. Basically, the test covered the processing and verification of complex search and destroy submarines, ascertain their effectiveness and adequacy.

In May 1970, the first Tu-142 (NATO code - Bear-F) came into operation in the aircraft the Navy and began their daily work to track the movements of submarines in the western expanses of the oceans. After the entire cycle of tests and modifications to customer comments, 14 December 1972 the Council of Ministers of the USSR complex Tu-142 aircraft was adopted by the Navy. As long as there were tested and fine-tuning in Kuybisheve continued to produce mass-produced cars. Serial Tu-142 were produced with long-cabin and a full complement of equipment continue to improve on-board the target hardware.

The initial operating experience, the refusal of the customer requirements of the complex from ground airfields, as well as the desire to improve the flight characteristics of aircraft by reducing the mass of the empty aircraft, led to a major source for further modernization of the aircraft. At the Tu-142 number 4211 in the cabin have been installed to bed rest during extended flights. . At the Tu-142 number 4231 was dismantled ineffective system loon and of the equipment REP. At that same car back to the main chassis with quadricycles trolleys and normal gondola under them. All this has led to a reduction in aircraft empty weight by about 4 tons. Flight characteristics of speed and range Tu-142 number 4231 (the code of NATO - Bear-F Mod 2) were better than those of mass-produced cars, but the series has continued to build the old Tu-142 with a radical design improvements.

In the early 1970s MAP decided to refer to serial production of Tu-142 at the Taganrog Machine Building Plant George Dimitpova (now JSC TAVIA - Taganrog aviation). Soon, the transfer of technical documentation from the Kuibyshev in Taganrog and preparation of a series production. Total Kuybisheve was released 18 TU-142 including the first three finishing cars. Currently, all aircraft Tu-142 production Kuibyshev refinery shut down, decommissioned and scrapped.

Last number 4242, released in Kuibyshev, became a benchmark for the series in Taganrog. It was 2 meters long, compared with the first Tu-142 number 4200, and extended cab.The equipment and chassis were performed on the aircraft number 4231. In contrast to previous aircraft engines, serial production started in Taganrog in 1975, received in OKB code VPM, but in operation it has retained its previous designation - Tu-142 (NATO code - Bear-F Mod 1).

The START 1 Twelfth Agreed Statement clarifies the treatment of the Soviet Tu-95RTs maritime reconnaissance airplane (known to the United States as Bear D), the Soviet Tu-142 antisubmarine warfare patrol airplane (known to the United States as Bear F), the Soviet Tu-142 maritime communications relay airplane (known to the United States as Bear J), and the Soviet Tu-95U training heavy bomber (known to the United States as Bear T).

The definition of a heavy bomber excludes bombers tested, equipped, and configured exclusively for maritime operations, provided such bombers are not models or modifications of an accountable heavy bomber. The term "modification of an accountable heavy bomber" means having a design essentially identical to the design of an accountable heavy bomber. The Tu-95RTs (Bear D), although built on the airframe of a heavy bomber, was designed and built as a maritime patrol airplane. The Tu-142 (Bear F/J), although designated by the Soviet Union as a separate type of airplane from the Tu-95, has a design essentially identical to the design of the Tu-95 heavy bomber.

The agreed statement provides that none of these airplanes shall be considered to be former heavy bombers. At the same time, the phrase "notwithstanding the definition of the term 'former heavy bomber'" makes it clear that other airplanes having a design essentially identical to the design of the Tu-95 heavy bomber shall be considered former heavy bombers.

The treatment and exhibition of the Bear D is provided for in an exchange of letters between heads of delegation on July 31, 1991. In those letters, the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics informed the Government of the United States of America that: such airplanes are not heavy bombers nor have they been equipped with air-to-surface weapons or undergone conversion; such airplanes possess a variety of external features distinguishing them from heavy bombers of the TU-95 type; and that the Soviet Union has 37 such airplanes, all of which are based at naval air bases. (See analysis of the Letters Exchanged by Heads of Delegation.)

This agreed statement further provides that all Soviet Tu-95U airplanes formerly known to the United States of America as Bear E and now known as Bear T shall be considered to be training heavy bombers, and thus subject to the limit in paragraph 3(a) of Article IV.

In April 2003 two Russian TU-142 Bear F and Bear J aircraft entered Iceland's airspace, prompting the immediate launch of three F-15 fighter planes from the 493rd Fighter Squadron deployed and a Tanker deployed to the Air Force's 85th Group. The mission began as the 932nd Air Control Squadron received reports from Norway that they had an unknown aircraft come through their area and they were intercepting it to get identification. Norway did a VID (visual identification) on that track and saw that it was two Bears. The fighters picked up the radar through the air control squadron and the unknown track. When the Bears came into the military air defense identification zone (MADIZ), they were intercepted by the fighters and escorted through the MADIZ for about 15 minutes or so. Then they exited the MADIZ and went back to Russia. As the fighters escorted the Bears the pilots took some pictures and confirmed the identification of the aircraft.Brien said that the Bears left on their own. Once the Bears left, the fighters returned to NAS Keflavík, ending a successful, but far from routine mission - an occurrence like this has not happened for the prior four years. This was the first time since 1999 that they had actually done an active air defense scramble and intercepted Bears inside the MADIZ.

This is just something that happens periodically where for whatever reason the Russians bring aircraft from their area down into NATO's just to see our response times. And in this case the response times were outstanding. The fighters went from a 12-hour to a one-hour alert status immediately, launched airplanes on time, and made the intercept happen exactly where they wanted it to happen.

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