Russian Grounds Tu-95 Bear Bomber Fleet

The Russians have grounded their Tu-95 Bear bomber aircraft fleet after one of the aircraft caught fire while trying to take off from a base in Russia’s southwest region.

Russian officials said the country’s air force has launched an investigation to seek the cause of the fire. Officials didn’t say how long the grounding of the Bear fleet would last.

“The accident occurred during a practice flight at the Ukrainka airfield in the Amur region at 17:00 Moscow time. The Tu-95 ran over the runway during acceleration. There was no ammunition onboard. According to preliminary information, engine fire was the cause behind the accident,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

In April, two of Russian Bear bombers flew into U.S. airspace in Alaska. This week, Russian fighters have flown over U.S. Navy ships as the Navy conducts exercises with NATO allies.


About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • larry

    looks like the russians still can’t build a reliable aircraft engine.

  • Juan

    Why don’t they just commercial jet engines on that thing?

    • Juan

      Should read “Why don’t they just put commercial jet engines on that thing?”

    • citanon

      What commercial engine would fit?

    • Mike

      Avi-experts correct me, but I think the turboprops on there are more efficient than the turbofans on commercial jets.

      This gives them a huge range, as well as a long loiter time in time of crisis - bombers in the air are way more scary than bombers on the ground.

  • BlackOwl18E

    In America, you fire up the bear. In Soviet Russia, the bear fires up you!!!

  • Lance

    Not uncommon with any accidental loss of a plane look at our SNAFU F-35! Its a bomber much older than or B-52 so some accidents with older airframes will occur but the BEAR will solder on it a long time runner and will be for a long time. Its out lived its replacements the M-4 “Bison” the TU-16 “Badger” the Tu-22 “Blinder” and more of them in use than the current TU-26 “backfire” and TU-160 “Blackjack” bombers. That’s impressive!

    • citanon

      How dare you spout that sense and logic around here! You quit that right now!

    • sw614

      The TU-95/142 has been a very impressive acft over the years. Not sure about the much older than the B-52 part. B-52 first flew in 1952 and entered service in 1955. Current version was built in 1960-62. The Tu-95 was in production considerably longer and entered service 1956. With over 500 built, I am sure the Russians put the older ones out to pasture due to age or treaty constraints (just as we have). The ones left could be (and as production went well into the 80s, probably are) considerably younger than the B-52H. Regardless still an airframe that has served them well.

  • duker

    Where did you get the idea that its US “airspace”
    “In April, two of Russian Bear bombers flew into U.S. airspace in Alaska”

    Its going to be a US air identification zone, just like the Chinese have in the South China Sea, the US like Russia just flies on through whenever they please.
    As the original source says
    “An intrusion of the ADIZ, however, isn’t a violation of international law since the zones are not considered sovereign airspace. Aircraft flying in the ADIZ, though, are required to identify themselves and their location.”

  • justin

    Aww, guess that means no new pictures of Fighters next to 50 year old bombers.

    Unless… we paint red stars on some B-52s.

  • Fatman

    This article has been up for a while, can we please drop the ‘n’ from Russian in the title?

  • Curt

    Seems pretty common sense and done all the time by various nations while investigating accidents. For instance, the A400 is currently grounded until they make sure the problem on one aircraft is not on all of them. If Russia really needed the Tu-95s they would fly them.

  • Mystick

    What a great time to do a maintenance evolution prior deployment.

  • bart ninja

    not long back the mighty F-35 fleet was grounded due to a fire… I guess the american’ts are having problems too.

  • b howard

    The TU-95 has been the mainstay in the Russian/OldUSSR’s nuclear weapons arsenal since the 60’s. It is still a capable conventional bomber. Don’t be too hasty to count it out.