F-22A Raptor, FB-22, F-22E, F-22N and Variants Index Page [Click for more ...] People's Liberation Army Air Power Index Page  [Click for more ...]
Military Ethics, Culture, Education and Training Index Page [Click for more ...]
Russian / Soviet Weapon Systems Index Page [Click for more ...]

Last Updated: Mon Jan 27 11:18:09 UTC 2014

  Cold War Air Power - Soviet Aircraft
  Part B: Monino Central VVS Museum Bomber Aircraft

Photographic Essay APA-PE-2010-1202

by Paul Cropper
Text and lineart © 2010 Carlo Kopp
Photographic images © 2007 - 2010 Paul Cropper

Tupolev Tu-22M-0 Backfire A bomber.

The Monino Central Museum of the Russian Federation Air Force
  is a unique treasure trove of  preserved Soviet era aircraft, without peer globally. What is especially valuable about Monino, unlike most other museums which preserve production examples, is that Monino is home to numerous prototypes and demonstrators, often not well known in the West. As such it provides some unique insights into the vast  development and production effort expended by the Soviet military-industrial complex during the Cold War period, intended to overwhelm Western air forces.

In 2007 the author of this photoessay had the opportunity to visit Monino and collected an extensive photographic record, using a late model 8 Megapixel digital camera, which proved especially good at capturing fine detail.


  1. Центральный музей Военно-Воздушных Сил Российской Федерации (Central Museum of the Russian Federation Air Force).
  2. Imagery: Canon IXUS 950 8.0 MP retouched/corrected/cropped and reduced.

Soviet Bomber Aircraft

Tupolev Tu-95N Bear A Mod

The Tu-95N is the sole prototype of a Bear variant developed to carry a parasitic strike aircraft, emulating 1950s USAF experiments with the B-36. The aircraft is based on the earliest baseline Tu-95 Bear A.

Tupolev Tu-22M-0 Backfire A

The Backfire A was essentially a developmental variant, superceded by the mass produced Tu-22M2 Backfire B. The variant differs in many respects from the Backfire B, with different inlets, tail fairings and numerous other design features. The primary weapon was the formidable Kh-22 Burya / AS-4 Kitchen liquid rocket fueled supersonic ASCM, modelled on the British Blue Steel.

Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder A

Deployed during the early 1960s, the Blinder was a Soviet  supersonic theatre strike aircraft armed with a single centreline Kh-22 ASCM, or dumb bombs. The Blinder was not particularly successful and replaced in Soviet regiments by Backfires from the 1970s. Blinders were exported to numerous Soviet clients, especially in the Middle East. more successful were numerous electronic warfare variants.

Tupolev Tu-16 Badger A

The Badger A was the first mass produced variant of the Badger, armed with free fall conventional or nuclear weapons. Built in large numbers, many were later rebuilt into cruise missile carriers, or electronic combat platforms. This variant was also the basis of the cloned Chinese Xian H-6 Badger.

Tupolev Tu-16K-26 Badger G

The Badger G was an anti-shipping strike variant, built to attack NATO convoys and CVBGs in the North Atlantic and Pacific. Initially armed with variants of the Kelt, these were supplanted with the very potent KSR-5 / AS-6 Kingfish, a scaled down Kh-22 / AS-4 Kitchen derivative. Some aircraft such as the exhibited example were fitted with the Ritsa RHAW system to target anti-radiation homing variants of the Kingfish ASCM.  Note the dual baseline interferometer array in the inverted T arrangement.

Tupolev Tu-4 Bull

The Tu-4 Bull was a literally cloned B-29 Superfortress, even down to manufacturing defects and fixes on the original samples. The most notable difference was the replacement of the .50 cal barbette guns with Soviet 23 mm cannon. The much longer barrels of the Russian guns are prominent.

Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle A

The Beagle was a Soviet analogue to the US A-3/B-66 and British Canberra, but designed very differently. It was widely exported during the 1950s and 1960s, and also cloned by the Chinese as the H-5 Beagle, in China in remains in use as a trainer.

Myasishchev M-50 Bounder

The M-50 Bounder was an unsuccessful attempt to develop a long range supersonic strategic bomber. Only a modest number were built and the design produced no impact other than to intimidate Western observers during early 1960s military parades.

Sukhoi T-4-1 Strategic Bomber Prototype

The T-4 was developed as a Mach 3 penetrating cruise missile carrier, intended for theatre and anti-shipping strikes, and ISR roles. The program was cancelled during the early 1970s. Built from stainless steel and titanium, the aircraft was strongly influenced by the cancelled XB-70 Valkyrie.

Early Soviet Bomber Aircraft

Ilyushin DB-3

An aircraft not well known in the West is the Ilyushin DB-3, in later variants labelled the Il-4. The aircraft was a medium bomber, but built for long range. The Soviets claimed to have raided Berlin with this aircraft.

Tupolev Tu-2S Bat

The Tu-2 Bat was built in respectable numbers during WW2 as a Soviet analogue to the German Ju-88 series. It remained in use during the 1950s and was employed in small numbers during the Korean War.

Tupolev ANT-40 SB

The Tupolev SB was built before WW2 and exported by the Soviets to a number of clients and allies. The aircraft suffered heavy attrition during early WW2 when penetrating Luftwaffe air defences.

Imagery Sources: © 2007 - 2010 Paul Cropper

People's Liberation Army Air Power Index Page [Click for more ...]
Military Ethics, Culture, Education and Training Index Page [Click for more ...]
Russian / Soviet Weapon Systems Index Page [Click for more ...]

Artwork, graphic design, layout and text © 2004 - 2014 Carlo Kopp; Text © 2004 - 2014 Peter Goon; All rights reserved. Recommended browsers. Contact webmaster. Site navigation hints. Current hot topics.

Site Update Status: $Revision: 1.753 $ Site History: Notices and Updates / NLA Pandora Archive