Bear hunters

When I look at the logs for QES, I am always pleased, and surprised, at how many hits my posts about intercepting Russian bombers receive (of my admittedly few overall hits, of course). These posts (here, here, and here) all show American and NATO aircraft intercepting Russian Tupelov Tu-95 Bear bombers. I love pictures like this, showing the two sides of this long-standing rivalry, and a few days ago Google unearthed a great series of pages on this topic.

Entitled “Bear Hunters”, there are four parts in the series. Part 1 features Tupelov Tu-95 Bears and Tu-16 Badgers, Myasisichev Mya-4 Bisons, and Ilyushin Il-38 Mays and Il-76 Candids encountering English Electric Lightnings, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms and F-15 Eagles, Grumman F-14 Tomcats and A-6 Intruders, and Vought F8U Crusaders.

bh01.jpg

Part 2 features Korean intercepts, including Antonov Camps, Chinese Y-8s (a.k.a. Antonov Cubs), Ilyushin Mays, and Tupelov Bear and Badgers encountering Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighters, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms and Lockheed Martin/General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons.

bh207.jpg

Part 3 profiles a 1987 encounter which I well remember from its coverage in Aviation Week at the time. A Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker, which was a relatively new type at the time, intercepted and struck a Norwegian P-3, leading to cabin depressurization and ultimately a safe landing. The Soviets had the nerve to paint a kill marking on the Sukhoi.

su01_003.jpg

Finally, Part 4 matches Tupelov Bears, Bisons, and Backfires against McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles, Convair F-102 Delta Daggers, Grumman F-14 Tomcats, and Lockheed Martin/General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons.

bh20.jpg

These posts date to 2003, but they are still full of interest. The ACIG web site has quite a few other pages of related material, so have a browse and be proud of the plane buff inside of you.

If you like this, I encourage you to check out this summary of all of the aviation photography I have featured here.

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