During the 1940s, the Soviet government, knowing of the American nuclear program, elected to begin work on its own nuclear weapon program. The goal was to create and test the first Soviet atomic bomb within a short time interval to counter a major postwar threat from the West. An important secondary concern became apparent: how to deliver that weapon to the target. Thus, the Tu-95 Bear and the Tu-142, its close relative, were born. The Tu-95 is a large, heavy strategic bomber with a slim fuselage, swept wings, and four powerful turboprop engines driving counter-rotating propellers. It remained in production as a maritime patrol aircraft and cruise missile carrier more than 30 years after it was first produced. The aircraft was revolutionary in the application of a swept wing and turbine powerplants. Yefim Gordon and Peter Davison are the authors of other Specialty Press titles such as Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot, Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum, and Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker. Together they use over 200 photos to illustrate the story of the Tu-95. Topics covered include design, development, structural detail, international production, trials, comparisons, and much more.
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