TechRussia launches heavy bombers

Russia launches heavy bombers

Tu-95, illustrative picture
Tu-95, illustrative picture
Images source: © Wikipedia
ed. MT
4:14 PM EST, December 10, 2023

The British Ministry of Defense has reported a likely initiation of a renewed, more coordinated offensive by Russia intended to destroy Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The offensive consists of heavy bombers, presumably Tu-95s, taking off.

The daily intelligence update forwarded by the ministry suggests that the Russian air forces launched a series of attacks on Kyiv and central Ukraine. They employed a fleet of heavy bombers, marking the first such attacks since September 20, which occurred during the night of December 7 to 8 Eastern Time.

Russia deploys Tu-95 bombers

The aircraft employed by the Russians are thought to be Tu-95s (NATO code: Bear H). These planes can reach altitudes of up to 44,291 feet and maintain flight for up to 14 hours without refueling, boasting a range of roughly 6,525 miles. Powered by four Kuznetsov NK 12 turboprop engines, with each providing 14,993 foot-pounds of force, the Tu-95 can reach maximum speeds of 515.729 miles per hour.

The Tu-95 serves as the principal armament of Russian strategic aviation. According to British reports, during the last attack, at least 16 cruise missiles (ALCM) were launched, fired from their typical base over the Caspian Sea.

Destructive AS-23a missiles

The utilized missiles are presumed to be the AS-23a (NATO code: Kodiak), recognized as Russia's top-range ALCMs. Previous warnings indicate that Russia is likely stockpiling these missiles in preparation for their winter campaign. Each missile of this type weighs up to 5291 lbs and measures almost 24.6 feet in length. Capable of carrying a warhead that weighs 1058 lbs, these missiles can target locations about 2.8 miles away.

"This appears to be the beginning of a more coordinated Russian campaign to degrade Ukraine's energy infrastructure. Preliminary reports, however, suggest that a majority of these missiles were successfully intercepted by Ukrainian air defenses. Though it's reported that one civilian casualty occurred, the damage at this point seems minimal," the British stated in an intelligence update.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukrainian forces in the south, reported in November that Russians are amassing significant stocks of various missile types in Crimea. This action is also interpreted as a precursor to heightened attacks during the winter period.

Related content