Tupolev TU-126 Moss
The Tupolev TU-126 Moss (NATO Designation) was based on the obsolete
Aeroflot TU-114 Airliner, itself developed from the TU-95 (TU-20)
Bear turboprop bomber first flown in the 1950s.
The Tupolev Bear and derivatives have the distinction of being the fastest propeller
driven aircraft in the world. First identified in 1968, the Moss
is believed to have entered service in 1971, the exact number
used by Soviet Forces being unknown. The TU-126 has been assessed
by Western sources as being of only limited capability, being
unable to detect cruise missiles or small aircraft at low level.
Commencing in the early 1980s the Beriev A-50 Mainstay
began development to replace the TU-126 in service. With greater
capability than the Moss, operational examples began being fielded
in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
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Updated Friday, July 03, 1998 8:13:07 AM