Video: F-16s Intercept Russian Bombers

Remember how the Russian’s caused a minor ruckus a couple of years ago when they resumed flying long-range, Cold War-style patrols with their Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers (that were designed in the 1950s)? Well, those patrols are still going on and NATO air forces are still interecepting the flights. The cool video video (after the jump) was shot by a pair of Royal Netherlands Air Force (Dutch) F-16s that intercepted two Bears that entered Dutch airspace without identifying themselves on Aug. 17. This apparently marked the fourth time this year that Dutch fighters have been scrambled to intercept Russian bombers.

Still, its not a very big deal. The Tu-95s were shadowed by Danish F-16s before they entered Dutch airspace and where tailed by RAF Eurofighter Typhoons upon leaving.

The first versions of the Bear entered service with the Soviet air force in the 1950s and with their four turboprop engines each equipped with two, four-bladed contra-rotating propellers make it one of the loudest airplanes in the world. The current fleet of Bears is made up of the Tu-95MS that were built in the 1980s and 1990s and were designed to carry the Kh-55 air launched cruise missile — a mission they retain to this day. The Kh-55 can carry nuclear or non-nuclear weapons and has a range of just over 1,800 miles. China allegedly received a copy of this missile in the 1990s.

Interestingly, I can’t make out whether the Bear’s tail guns in this video are pointed straight upwards. This was apparently a common practice during the Cold War meant to calm the nerves of NATO pilots sent to escort them. Likewise NATO pilots were usually barred from locking onto the Soviet bombers with their fire control radars lest it be considered a hostile act.

Ahhh, Russia’s nostalgia for the good old days.

28 Comments on "Video: F-16s Intercept Russian Bombers"

  1. Wait, how did the Russians get all the way to Dutch airspace?

  2. "Russian's?" Proofread.

  3. CARZY IVAN!

  4. Hilarious . Ivan the game is well and truly over I guess the Vodka finally took its toll.

  5. That lunatic Putin is having flashbacks once again.

  6. EVERY TIME I WANT TO SHARE AND CLICK ON IT, IT OPENS UP BEHIND THE VIDEO, PLEASE FIX IT

  7. NEVER MIND IT FIXED ITSELF

  8. The Tu-95 may still be effective in the maritime surveillance role but its days as a strategic bomber are long over. The Russians are just showing the flag with flights like this.

  9. The TU-95 is the Russian B-52 a plan which still flies the Cruse Missiles they have can deliver a nuke from way outside NATO airspace.

  10. They may not know where the Russians' tail guns are pointing but you know where those F16 missiles are ready to go to.Keep it up Putin–you're arrogant.

  11. This can be view as an act of war and how do you correctly respond, you tell the Russians that you'll shoot down any Russian bomber that is in your country's airspace; then, you equip your Norwegian destroyers with AEGIS defense systems, buy more F-16s and possibly THAAD missile defense system.

  12. OMEGATALON love your solution. Not sure if it would help the Dutch or Denmark, but it would help the American defense industry!!

  13. Cold War 2: Imagine same model Tu 95 taken in 1950, 1960, 2001 & Today & other Intercepters, photos alone say volumes.
    Timeless reminder we are in Cold War 2, unless China flies Tu95s.

  14. A little shooting affair may be just what Putin wants. A chance to crack down on the population in defense of the mother land?

  15. And maybe while the right hand was being watched a stelth recon got what it wanted on the left hand. The US should start another space program. We can not achieve our goals if we depend on others to do it for us.

  16. I'll give props to the crews and the wrench monkeys back in the rear for making those elderly critters keep on keeping on. Too bad we didn't keep a couple of B-36's around for the Novaya Zemlya route for old time's sake. My mom used to have those puppies take off from Hanscomb AFB over her house when she was a kid, said it was quite the sight.

  17. kidwittoothpick | August 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply

    I like to see the pics where f-22's escort those russian tu-95's

  18. It's the Confederate Airforce and they're lokin for dam Yankees!

  19. Just a simple point of clarification: I'm assuming the still photo leading into this article is from the video because I can't get the video to work here on my work computer. So, going off that, I'd like to point out that the BEAR in the photo with the F-16 is actually a Tu-142, not a Tu-95 – a subtle, yet important difference. Because of this, the mission was most likely nothing more than long-range navigation training for the crews coupled with the Russians showing the flag.

  20. quote: The Tu-95 may still be effective in the maritime surveillance role but its days as a strategic bomber are long over.

    You are very very wrong, comrade.
    Modern days Tu-95s are getting Kh-101 which is stealth nuclear-capable cruise missiles with a range about 5500 kilometers (3400 miles). So Bear still sharping his claws.

    Their fleet of supersonic Tu-160 bombers would be modernized to carry these toys in its weapons bays.

  21. Having been lucky enough in the late 70s during the Cold War to have actually flown alongside a Bear, one of the procedures was to shadow it with 3 aircrraft. 1 under , 1 on the tail and 1 off a wing. Should the bomb bay doors open, the aircraft underneaths only mission was to fly into into the bomb bay preventing anything from dropping. The USSR got smart and after awhile flew with the bomb bays open at interception, so all we got after that was some great pictures up close and personal.
    Kudos to the crews on this flight. It was a memory I will never forget in my time .

  22. Dig the "bow-chikka-bow-bow" soundtrack. Call it aeroporn.

  23. Tailguns, wow. Makes me feel like watching black and white TV.
    What caliber?

    Funny thing is we're about to put a tailgun on the harvest hawk.

  24. Just goes to show that we are still a toggle switch away from the big enchilada in defending one's nation. You got all the tree huggers running around thinking Defense spending in any capacity is a waste of taxpayer dollars…little do these people know that NATO and America still have nations that want to bomb us into oblivion and the threat of war with Russia or China no matter what is shown in the political arena is very real!!!!!

  25. If you go to the Elmondorf AFB web site there is a great picture of an F22 and the TU

  26. or, this could be a way of tem distracting there attention or something or getting rid of it or the pilots were drunk

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