Research, Technology

Comparison of the best strategic bombers of the most powerful armies

People who are interested in military aviation,usually more attention is paid to fighters and attack aircraft, that is, aircraft that are designed for air combat or support for ground forces. The tasks of the bombers seem more boring and monotonous, like the planes themselves. However, in fact, these are very interesting cars in their own way. Unlike the two types of aircraft mentioned above, they have been in use for many decades. Therefore, bombers from completely different eras are in service in different armies. Some of them were created at the very beginning of the Cold War. These aircraft are radically different from each other in design, but they are used for the same purposes. We offer further comparison of the four most common bombers currently used by the most powerful armies in the world.

Strategic bombers have been in service for decades


  • 1 American supersonic bomber Rockewell B-1 Lancer
  • 2 B-52 Stratofortress - the oldest bomber
  • 3 Tu-95 Medved - Soviet strategic bomber
  • 4 Xi'an H-6 - the Chinese analogue of the Soviet Tu-16 aircraft

American supersonic bomber Rockewell B-1 Lancer

The B-1 Lancer bomber was developed back in70-80s of the last century, and was adopted in 1985. It was developed as a replacement for the B-52 bomber. This bomber has, perhaps, the most unusual design, different from other aircraft of this class.

The maximum takeoff weight of this aircraftis 216,365 kg. It develops a speed of up to 2,300 km/h and can cover a distance of up to 12,000 km, which allows it to solve various strategic tasks.

The B-1 Lancer aircraft entered service in 1985.

B-1 Lancer has a stretched fuselage,providing aerodynamic efficiency. Its interesting feature lies in the mixed aerodynamic scheme - it is a combination of a flying wing (that is, the body acts as wings) and separate wings. Moreover, the latter have a variable sweep - they can move forward if you need to increase maneuverability, or lean back when you need to fly at high speed.

B-1 Lancer speeds up to 2300 km/h

B-1 is equipped with four turbofan(bypass turbojet) engines mounted under the wings. At the rear of the aircraft is a cruciform tail and triangular anti-roll bars. The design of the aircraft is made according to the “stealth” technology, that is, it is poorly detected by radars. This is facilitated by the use of special materials that absorb radar signals, and the aforementioned mixed design of the wing body.

B-52 Stratofortress - the oldest bomber

Boeing B-52 "Stratofortress", or "stratosphericfortress”, is a US intercontinental strategic bomber. It's hard to believe, but it was put into service in 1955, that is, at the beginning of the Cold War. As a result, it has been in operation for almost 70 years. The aircraft was developed in the late 40s - early 50s to replace the B-36 bomber. But you will be even more surprised when you learn that it will be in operation until 2050. This means that the aircraft will be in service with the US Army for almost 100 years!

The American B-52 bomber has been in operation since 1955.

In terms of characteristics, it is significantly inferioraircraft B-1 Lancer. Its maximum takeoff weight is 229,065 kg. The maximum speed does not exceed 957 km / h. The maximum flight range is 14162 km.

B-52 Stratofortress can cover up to 14,162 km

The B-52 Stratofortress is powered by eight turbojet engines located in pairs under the wings. In appearance, it resembles a large airliner with swept wings.

Tu-95 Medved - Soviet strategic bomber

Russian turboprop strategicthe Tupolev Tu-95 Medved bomber is not much younger than the American B-52. It was put into service in 1956, but first took to the air in 1952. Its development also began in the late 40s. The plane is known for the fact that the "Tsar bomb" was dropped from its side.

Use is planned until 2040. It will be replaced by a new bomber, known as the "product 80".

Soviet aircraft Tu-95 Medved

The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 156,000kg. Its maximum speed is 945 km / h, which is only slightly inferior to the American counterpart. But in terms of flight range it surpasses it, as it is able to fly up to 15,200 km.

Tu-95 Medved is one of the few propeller-driven aircraft

Tu-95 has a pointed silhouette, different fromother bombers. Its characteristic feature is swept wings and an elongated nose with a protruding filling probe. In addition, the aircraft is unique with its four turboprop engines. In the entire history of aviation, very few swept-wing propeller-driven aircraft were produced.

Xi'an H-6 - Chinese analogue of the Tu-16, created under license

Xian H-6 - Chinese analogue of the Soviet Tu-16 aircraft

Xian H-6 has been the mainstrategic bomber of the Air Force of the People's Liberation Army of China. It is a Chinese version of the Soviet Tu-16 aircraft, made under license. It first took to the air in 1959. The aircraft has high swept wings and two jet engines built directly into the sides of the fuselage.

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Its maximum speed is 79,000 kg. Thanks to jet engines, it reaches speeds of up to 1050 km / h. However, the maximum flight range does not exceed 6000 km.