Tupolev Tu-16 Badger

Badger D

The Tupolev Tu-16 Badger was originally developed as a medium bomber to complement the Myasishchev M-4 Bison and Tupolev Tu-95 Bear and the first prototype flew in 1952. Around 2000 Badgers were produced and only a few remain in service with Russia.

The Badger-D (Tu-16R) was configured for a maritime ELINT role. These aircraft were based on redundant Badger-C's, but with a larger undernose radome and 3 smaller radomes under weapons bay which all housed ELINT equipment.

Badger E

The Badger-E was a dedicated photographic and ELINT aircraft. These aircraft were similar in appearance to the Badger-A nuclear bomber, but carried cameras and various ELINT sensors in a pallet fitted in the bomb bay as well as having 2 radomes under fuselage.

The Badger-F (Tu-16R) was a dedicated maritime ELINT platform, similar in appearance to the Badger-E, but carried large ELINT pods under each wing.

Badger J

The Badger-J (Tu-16PP) was a dedicated ECM jamming/ELINT aircraft. A very distinctive canoe shaped ventral faring which protruded from the bomb bay housed the ECM equipment. Flat plate antennas were also carried on the wingtips.

The Badger-K is an updated version of the Badger-F and performs a similar maritime ELINT role.

The Badger-L is an updated Badger E and performs a maritime ELINT/photographic role.

The Chinese undertook licensed production of the Badger from 1968 until the early 1990's. The aircraft is known as the Xian H-6 and a number also perform recce duties.

Badger D


On 25 May 68 Badger-F flew very low over the USN carrier USS Essex - after the last pass, the aircraft appeared to stall and crashed into the sea.