This aircraft may bedeservedly called a long-liver. Although its first prototype took off back in 1952, the airplane remained in production at Samara plant by the early Nineties. The Tu-95 remains the world`s only swept-wing turboprop strategic bomber. In March 1955 Tupolev started work on first missile-carrier version, the Tu-95K armed with a X-20 nuclear missile. This aircraft had its maiden flight on 1 January 1956 and became operational in late 1059. Tu-95K22 missile-carriers have been extensively used for missions over the ocean, including finding location of foreign ships in the open sea.
Youngest in the family, the Tu-95MS
missile-carrier is intended for strikes on most important targets with nuclear weapons.
Its prototype flew in 1979, mass production began in 1981. Since 1984 the aircraft has
been in service with the Long Range Aviation.
Primary "user" of the Raduga X-55, the Tu-95MS carries six such missiles inside of the fuselage in a catapult launcher. In addition, ten X-55 or eight X-55M missiles may be carried on four external points. Two 23-mm twin-barrel GSh-23L cannons are located in the rear turret. Provision is made for the Meteor-NM defensive on-board complex.
The Tu-95MS` combat capabilities can be extended further. After inclusion in its arsenal newgeneration precision munitions, its combat value will be increased by a few times.