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Tu-160's visit Venezuela

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Tu-160's visit Venezuela

Old 13th Dec 2018, 21:45
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Only bomber tanking the old USSR did was the wingtip to wingtip on the Badger, IIRC the IL-86 is purely a tactical fighter-bomber tanker.
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 21:59
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[QUOTE=ORAC;10335140]
Only bomber tanking the old USSR did was the wingtip to wingtip on the Badger, IIRC the IL-86 is purely a tactical fighter-bomber tanker.
[/QUO
They used AAR for long range missions against Syrian targets ; the tanker doesn’t have to go all the way.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 08:13
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Only bomber tanking the old USSR did was the wingtip to wingtip on the Badger, IIRC the IL-86 is purely a tactical fighter-bomber tanker.
IL-86 is a civilian plane (for some 350 pax). Production stopped in 90's. Never saw, heard of, read about its tanker verison.
The main tanker is IL-78. In old days (until late 80's) there were quite some Myasischev 3M tankers (converted bombers).

As for "old blokes", their presence is easily explicable.
First, it's a sort of a resort trip. Thus, better give this bonus to elder guys, younger ones can wait :-)
Second, as there obviously are some socialising events with the locals during this mission, it's better to have experienced lads. They would not be confused to chat with local generals, can consume endless amount of hard drinks and not get drunk, can tell many stories, etc. :-)
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 10:49
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Old blokes are surely the ones who order and organise such trips so it's understandable if a disproportionate number of portly Generals, Group Captains etc. allocate themselves to go along.
Jollies for the boys applies to old gits too...

Do we have any idea what route they took to get there?
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 10:51
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No probe, and they don’t do boom.


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Old 14th Dec 2018, 10:54
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 12:29
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Big ol' orbit mid-point during the flight. Are we sure they don't have an AAR capability?
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 12:34
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Wiki:-

"The Tu-160 is powered by four Kuznetsov NK-32 afterburning turbofan engines, the most powerful ever fitted to a combat aircraft. Unlike the American B-1B Lancer, which reduced the original Mach 2+ requirement for the B-1A to achieve a smaller radar cross-section, the Tu-160 retains variable intake ramps, and is capable of reaching Mach 2.05 speed at altitude.[38] The Tu-160 is equipped with a probe-and-drogue in-flight refueling system for extended-range missions, although it is rarely used."
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 15:35
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The photos from Venezuela show the aircraft not to be fitted with probes. The link with the map above states the third aircraft was another Blackjack. Presumed to be an airborne spare which loitered at the Orbit till fuel required RTB.



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Old 14th Dec 2018, 17:04
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" The photos from Venezuela show the aircraft not to be fitted with probes. " - those darned Ruskis have tricked you, Sir
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 17:15
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Looks retractable in the airborne image. The image of the nose on the ground shows a faint rectangular outline of what may be refueling doors.

Last edited by West Coast; 14th Dec 2018 at 17:56.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 17:23
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You can see the extended probe and doors in this video

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Old 14th Dec 2018, 17:40
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 18:33
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Looks like a very short visit to Venezuela. The two Tu-160s and the ground controllers have been noted active on HF on their way home today.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia has told the United States that two of their strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons will leave Venezuela on Friday, the White House said on Wednesday, ending a deployment that angered Washington.

“We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft, which landed in Venezuela, will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email sent to Reuters.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-v...-idUSKBN1OB2II
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 19:39
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
Looks retractable in the airborne image. The image of the nose on the ground shows a faint rectangular outline of what may be refueling doors.
Makes sense - can you imagine the amount of drag that probe would add at Mach 2? And we're talking a long range aircraft - the weight of making it retractable would be negligible compared to the impact on range of getting rid of that drag.
Not to mention the effect on radar cross section.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 08:55
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I would imagine that the orbit mid Atlantic on the way out was because the bottle of vodka had rolled into a distant corner of the cockpit.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 10:33
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I would be interested if the powers that be would publish the basics of the compliance or non-compliance with flight plan notification that was used in this, and similar, long range Russian flights. I would presume that these Tu160's transited mostly at high level and straight through the busy N.Atl OTS airspace. Was any co-ordination achieved or, was there an increased risk to civil traffic?

OAP
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 11:01
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The Tu-160s have returned to Russia and they did air to air refuel. Radio enthusiasts noted at least two IL-78 Midas tankers along with the Tu-160s using HF last night. Looks like they refeulled them in the Barents area before they returned to Engels.

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Tu-160 strategic bombers have returned to their home airfield in Russia after a their visit to Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry's department of information and communications said on Saturday.

"Long-range aircraft flew in the airspace over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Norwegian and Barents Seas," the defense ministry said. "Tu-160 strategic bombers flew over 12,000 kilometers and refueled in the air," the ministry added.
From

TASS: Military & Defense - Tu-160 bombers return to home airfield in Russia after visit to Venezuela
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 11:22
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Only bomber tanking the old USSR did was the wingtip to wingtip on the Badger, IIRC the IL-86 is purely a tactical fighter-bomber tanker.
There was also the Bison tankers as A_Van posted in reply. They were retired in the mid 1990s. There was no IL-86 Camber tanker variant. In recent years they were looking at an IL-96 tanker but have apparently abandoned that idea.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...gic-air-tanker

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Old 15th Dec 2018, 19:18
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Was any co-ordination achieved or, was there an increased risk to civil traffic?
Unless they have changed suddenly in the last few weeks......no coordination what so ever. I' ve never heard of ANY Russian MIL aircraft coming around the North Cape for the Atlantic that is ever coordinated with ATC.
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