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Overall Number of the Tu-95MS And Tu-160 Strategic Bombers at Engels Airforce Base, How Many of Them Can Be Ready to Strike

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russia's Tu-160 at the Engels air base / Illustrative photo from open sources
russia's Tu-160 at the Engels air base / Illustrative photo from open sources

And what else do the russians need to ensure another missile attack on Ukraine

Many Ukrainians have already heard the phrase "Engels air base" in the last few days: it is expected that russians may launch another missile attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure from this airfield. Moreover, there were publicly available reports saying russians locate five Tu-95MS bombers at the Engels airfield, which could be a sign of preparations for another missile attack.

The liveuamap resource has made publicly available a new satellite image of Engels Airforce Base, taken on November 28, 2022. For greater convenience, the authors of the resource "divided" the image into three "layers", on each of them we can see the following.

Read more: ​MiG-29 and F-16 Supplies to Ukraine on the Table Again After NATO Discarded Them "in the Early Days of War" – Bloomberg
Overall Number of the Tu-95MS And Tu-160 Strategic Bombers at the Engels Air Base, And How Many of Them Can Be Ready to Strike, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Engels Airforce Base as of November 28, 2022 / Credits: livemapua

For example, on layers 2 and 3, we can count that there are now a total of 14 Tu-95MS strategic bombers (blue fuselage color) and 4 Tu-160 strategic bombers (white fuselage color) at the Engels airfield. Thus, in one place, russians have now concentrated about 20% of their Tu-95MS fleet and 20% of their Tu-160 fleet.

The maximum volley that all these planes can launch in one go is up to 132 Kh-555 and Kh-101 cruise missiles.

Overall Number of the Tu-95MS And Tu-160 Strategic Bombers at Engels Airforce Base, And How Many of Them Can Be Ready to Strike, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Tu-95MS at Engels Airforce Base / Illustrative photo from open sources

But the "zoo" of russia’s planes looks no less interesting, according to layer 1. On the left there is a white An-124 military cargo plane white. Typically, russia uses such aircraft to 1) deliver urgent and secret cargo, and 2) to minimize security for the cargo on board. Another batch of cruise missiles or some training unit for this definition is ideal.

In the middle there are four smaller planes, obviously either Il-76 (for delivering missiles) or, most likely, refueling planes of the Il-78 type. "Air tankers" are an indispensable attribute of the "long-range aviation" of the russian Air Force. On the other hand, the Tu-95MS and Tu-160 have quite sufficient range for strikes on Ukraine, so refueling in the air is hardly necessary. But here it should not be ruled out that russians may try to work out the concept "in the style of the US Air Force": raising a small number of strategic bombers with empty tanks, and refueling them to full tanks already during the flight.

Overall Number of the Tu-95MS And Tu-160 Strategic Bombers at Engels Airforce Base, And How Many of Them Can Be Ready to Strike, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russians practice refueling the Tu-160 in the air by means of Il-78 / Illustrative photo from open sources

And the one on the far right, the smallest, looks like the Tu-134UBL. In Soviet times, such aircraft were used precisely for training pilots of strategic aviation. Putin's russia has already "launched" the conversion of the Tu-134UBL into "VIP-boards" under the index Tu-134 A-4. Therefore, it is quite possible that russia’s high-ranking officer is currently at the Engels airfield, who directly manages the process of preparing a new missile attack on Ukraine.

The number of strategic bombers and auxiliary aircraft at the "Engels" airfield clearly indicates the increase in the level of danger for Ukraine. Therefore, Defense Express urges everybody here in Ukraine not to ignore air alarms these days.

Overall Number of the Tu-95MS And Tu-160 Strategic Bombers at Engels Airforce Base, And How Many of Them Can Be Ready to Strike, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Tu-134UBL / Illustrative photo from open sources
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