Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Resource Guides  |  Forum  | 

Russian Strategic Aviation Today

Hikoki Publishing


 S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Russian Strategic Aviation Today – Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
Hikoki Publications


Hard Cover, 272 pages




GBP £34.95 available online from Crecy Publishing

Review Type:

First Read


Comprehensive coverage with many high quality colour photos of the subjects covered. A very useful reference for modellers.


A Western reader may find some hubris in the text.


Post Cold War the armed forces of Russia have become considerably more accessible to authors, journalists and aviation enthusiasts. This is reflected in the considerable photographic coverage of the subject formations and makes for a more transparent and interesting narrative.

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



At the end of the Cold War one of the forces to suffer most from the contraction of the borders of the Soviet Union and the economic turmoil that followed was the Long Range Aviation (Dahl’nyaya aviaahtsiya or DA) branch of the Soviet Air Force. Not only did it find itself starved of operational funding and new aircraft but many existing formations and bases were located outside of Russian borders, for example much of the Tu-160 Blackjack force being based in the Ukraine. After a period of decline through the 1990s, the resurgent Russian economy and the ambitious policies of President cum Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has seen Russia’s strategic aviation forces regenerating and conducting operations unheard of since the late 1980s, including probing the NATO Northern Flank and UK Air Defence zones and even conducting missions to Central and South America to wave the Russian Flag.

With this in mind it is more than time that a high quality book on Russian Strategic Aviation be published, that puts in context both the trauma suffered within the force at the end of the Cold War and examines the capabilities available to Russia today. Crecy Publishing’s imprint Hikoki has recently published Russian Strategic Aviation in the Cold War and now provides the companion piece, Russian Strategic Aviation Today to bring the story up to date. Anyone familiar with authors Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov from their Aerofax and Red Star Series books will know what to expect from this book. That is detailed text accompanied by many pertinent illustrations, which combine to cover the subject in a deep and thorough way.



Russian Strategic Aviation Today is no different. In 272 pages the authors cover everything from the immediate post Soviet period to the most recent events. Along the way the authors look at the aircraft flown, the bases and formations, current operations and detailed examination of two recent events that have flagged the return of Russian Strategic Aviation as a force to be reckoned with, these being the mission flown by President Putin in August 2005 and the deployment of Tu-160 Blackjack bombers to Venezuela in 2008. The final section highlights the many systems employed on Russian bombers, including the variety of stand-off cruise missiles and bombs, along with the weapons systems of the aircraft that employ them.



Accompanying the text and making this book an excellent modelling reference are literally hundreds of high quality large format colour photographs of all the current aircraft used, along with colour profiles and markings details that all will be extremely helpful to the modeller. Given that between Trumpeter, Italeri, and AModel just about every aircraft covered can be built as a scale model (in 1/72 at least) there is much to be gained from this book. To reinforce this there are good photos of Tu-95/142 Bears, Tu-160 Blackjacks and Tu-26 Backfire bombers, along with IL-76 Candids, IL-78 Midas and finally An-30 Curl transports and tanker aircraft. In conclusion there is much to recommend this book to modellers and military history buffs as a high quality, well researched and beautifully presented book.

Thanks to Crecy Publishing for the sample

Review Copyright 2011 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 25 January, 2011
Last updated 25 January, 2011

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page