Satellite Imagery Shows Russian Tu-95 Bomber Covered With Car Tires | Aviation


Satellite imagery shows a Tu-95 at Engels-2 airbase covered with tires (Image edited from the satellite image posted by @Tatarigami_UA embedded in the article)

Something interesting is emerging from the analysis of satellite imagery of Engels-2 airbase, located in Saratov Oblast, some 400 km southeast of Moscow and roughly 700 km from the border with Ukraine: at least one Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber appears to have its wings and a small section of the upper fuselage covered with car tires.

While the reason for covering the wings and part of the upper fuselage in this way is not completely clear, the most likely theory is that the car tires are used to protect the valuable bombers from attacks carried out with kamikaze drones. Someone said the rubber tires would be able to absorb the impact of the remotely piloted vehicle preventing it from exploding upon contact (small/light drones would bounce on the tires and explode at a certain distance from the intended target). Others suggested the car tires would protect the fuel tanks in the wings from shrapnels of a drone explosion.

Whatever, the use of car tires on the wings of the Bear bomber appears to be an improvised anti-drone type of defense, introduced in the wake of a recent Ukrainian drone attack on Kresty Air Base in Pskov Oblast, Russia, that destroyed two Il-76 Candid cargo jets and damaged two others, to protect the local bombers. Still, its effectiveness depends on several different factors: the tires have holes, and the drones could still be able to reach the upper surface of…

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